Money can’t buy happiness. These famous people who’ve experienced more tragedy than you know can attest to that. Even their success and fortune couldn’t ease the pain of the trauma they’ve gone through.1. Curtis Mayfield
Curtis Mayfield was a soul, rhythm & blues and funk singer-songwriter famous for the song, “Superfly.” While he was performing in 1990 in Brooklyn, New York, some lighting equipment fell on Mayfield, paralyzing him from the neck down. After the accident, Mayfield could no longer play the guitar, and had to take great pains to sing, lying on his back, while his voice was recorded slowly, line by line. In 1998, Mayfield lost his leg to diabetes and one year later, he died due to complications from the illness.
2. Roy Orbison
The singer-songwriter famous for his hit “Only the Lonely” grew up during the Great Depression, at which point both of his parents were unemployed. His wife had several affairs on him, for which he divorced her. After he remarryied his wife, she died in a motorcycle accident. Two years later, his house burned down, killing his two oldest sons.
3. Brandon Lee
Brandon Lee was an actor, martial artist, and son of martial arts film superstar Bruce Lee. Just weeks before Brandon was set to marry fiancé Eliza Hutton — a director’s assistant on his film, “The Crow” — Lee was accidentally shot while filming the movie, and died. He was only 28 years old.
4. Ernest Hemingway
Hemingway is the American author best known for writing “The Old Man and the Sea.” His family was riddled with suicide. Shortly after Hemingway had a child with his second wife, his father committed suicide. Hemingway’s first wife’s father had also committed suicide. In 1960, Hemingway was committed to a medical clinic for hypertension, where it’s believed certain medications may have caused him to suffer from depression. Two days after being released from the clinic in 1961, Hemingway shot himself. In 1982, Hemingway’s youngest brother also shot himself and in 1996 Hemingway’s granddaughter died of a drug overdose.
5. Sofia Vergara
The Colombian actress best known for her role on “Modern Family” plays a character who often talks about a turbulent life in Colombia, and that’s more true to her own life than you may realize. Vergara was divorced by the age of 20. Her older brother was murdered in 1998 during a kidnap attempt. In 2011, Vergara’s younger brother was deported from the U.S. back to Colombia after being arrested. The actress was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2000 and had her thyroid removed.
6. Anna Nicole Smith
Although there is much debate over whether or not this was Smith’s plan, she did lose her 90-year-old husband when she was just 27 years old. While in the hospital just after giving birth to her daughter, Smith’s 20-year-old son came to visit her and he died in the hospital room due to a drug overdose. Smith died a year later of a drug overdose.
7. Kelsey Grammer
Grammer’s role as a psychologist who helps people with depression and trauma on his long-standing show “Frasier” was more appropriate than you may know. Grammer’s parents divorced when he was 2 years old, and over the next 11 years, Grammer only saw his father twice, before his father was shot dead. In 1975, Grammer’s sister was kidnapped, raped and murdered by a serial killer and just five years later, his half brothers died in a scuba diving accident.
8. Marlon Brando
The star of “A Streetcar Named Desire” had some very troubled children. His son murdered the boyfriend of Brando’s then-pregnant daughter, and the sister subsequently attempted suicide three times. On the third time, right after losing custody of her child, Brando’s daughter successfully hung herself.
9. Jennifer Hudson
The American Idol singer has overcome much more than weight struggles. In 2008, Hudson’s sister’s estranged husband (so Hudson’s brother-in-law) shot Hudsons’s mother and brother to death, as well as Hudson’s nephew.
10. Kanye WestThe rapper, songwriter and producer doesn’t always have the greatest reputation when it comes to being polite, but perhaps he’s acting out after the tragedy he’s gone through. In 2002, on his way home from a recording session, West was involved in a car accident and had to undergo reconstructive surgery on his face. In 2007, West’s mother died due to heart disease, agitated by post-operative complications following plastic surgery.