With the recent loss of several beloved celebrities, we’re taking this opportunity to reflect on life and death of the rich and famous. The entertainment industry can be harsh, manipulative and painfully intrusive in the lives of those entertainers lucky — or unlucky — enough to make it to the top. Some celebrities find it too much, and are driven to attempt to take their own lives. These are 10 stars who attempted suicide and failed.
1 1. Eminem
It was a particularly trying time in Eminem’s life. He had just released his first album without much success or profit. His wife had left him and taken their child. The rapper attempted suicide with a Tylenol overdose. He was not successful.
“American Idol” star Fantasia attempted suicide by a pill overdose in 2010, just after ending an affair with a married man. Fantasia said in an interview that she’d been experiencing feelings of loneliness and pain for many years before that. She survived.
3. Richard Pryor
Comedian Pryor had a long history of substance abuse leading up to this 1980 suicide attempt. After a cocaine binge, Pryor lit himself on fire, giving himself third degree burns. The suicide attempt was originally reported as an accident but Pryor later admitted he was trying to kill himself. He died of a heart attack in 2005 at age 65.
4. Brigitte Bardot
Considered one of the sexiest sex symbols of the ’60s and ’70’s, Bardot attempted suicide several times. After one such attempt, fans invaded a hotel where Bardot had overdosed on pills and cut herself, where they collected sheets and pillows as souvenirs.
5. Elton John
The now openly gay singer attempted suicide when he was still in the closet, and about to marry Linda Woodrow. John’s lyricist, Bernie Taupin, found John with his head in an oven but Taupin was reportedly not too alarmed because John had put the gas on very low and left all the windows open.
6. Princess Diana
In an interview describing her reaction to discovering Prince Charles’ affair, Diana admitted she threw herself down the stairs, while pregnant. Diana said her relationship with Prince Charles was terrible for her sense of self worth in many ways, and also drove her to an eating disorder.
7. Owen Wilson
The comedic sweetheart of “Wedding Crashers” isn’t always upbeat and laughing. Wilson has struggled with depression and in 2007 he attempted suicide by slitting his wrists in his Santa Monica home. Wilson almost didn’t survive.
8. Billy Joel
Rocker Joel was at an all time low in his 20’s when his band’s first album flopped and a relationship ended. Joel went through is mom’s cabinets and found furniture polish, which he proceeded to drink in an attempt to kill himself. Joel has said he just had stomach problems for several days after.
9. Drew Barrymore
Watching Barrymore in a romantic comedy is like receiving a warm hug, but she maybe wasn’t getting enough of that kind of embrace as a teenager. By her teenage years, Barrymore had experimented with mood-altering substances. By the time she was 14, Barrymore had attempted suicide and was sent to a rehab facility.
10. Halle Berry
She won an Oscar for her performance in “Monster’s Ball” (2002). Berry admitted in 2007 that she was distraught after her divorce from baseball star David Justice, and attempted suicide by gassing herself inside her car. Berry says an image of her mother brought her back to her senses, and she vowed she’ll never attempt to take her own life again.