The tragedy of losing a child is an almost unbearable prospect, but thousands of parents have to endure it every year. Celebrities are no exception, except many have had to go through the grieving process in the public eye. Here are 10 celebrities who have lost a child.
1. Mike Tyson
Heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson’s 4-year-old daughter, Exodus, died from accidental asphyxiation on May 25, 2009 after she got tangled up in the cord from a treadmill in her family’s home. She was found by her 7-year-old brother, Miguel, and while her mother contacted emergency services right away, it was unfortunately too late.
2. Eric Clapton
In 1991, Eric Clapton’s 4-year-old son, Connor, tragically fell out of the window of their 53rd-floor apartment in Manhattan after a window cleaner accidentally left it open. Clapton was three years sober at the time of his son’s death, and reflected on how circumstances would have been different if he had still been drinking. “I probably would have killed myself if I were actually a practicing alcoholic at the time of his death. Who knows what would have happened? I wouldn’t be here now. I doubt I would have survived that.” Clapton wrote “Tears in Heaven” in his son’s memory.
3. Marie Osmond
Marie Osmond’s son, Michael Blosil, had suffered from depression most of his life and had been in and out of rehabilitation since the age of 12. When he was 18, he committed suicide by jumping off of the eighth-floor balcony of the apartment he shared with roommates in Los Angeles, leaving a note that expressed his sorrow and depression. There were no drugs in his system at the time of his death.
4. Bill Cosby
Cosby’s only son, Ennis, died in 1997 at the age of 27 after he was shot and killed during a mugging on the side of the freeway. He had stopped to help somebody. The killer, a Ukrainian immigrant, was caught and sentenced to life without parole. The role of Theo Huxtable, Bill Cosby’s son on “The Cosby Show,” was based on Ennis.
5. Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone’s oldest son, Sage Moonblood, was an actor and film producer living in Studio City, California when he died from a heart attack. While it was initially thought to be an accidental overdose, the autopsy showed otherwise.
6. John Travolta
John and Kelly Travolta’s 16-year-old son, Jett, died in January 2009 while the family was vacationing in the Bahamas. Jett was diagnosed with Kawasaki disease at the age of 2, and suffered from seizures. The tragedy occurred when Jett had a seizure and hit his head on the bathtub. He died from his injuries. A paramedic who responded to the call later tried to blackmail John and Kelly for $25 million, but the Travoltas took him to court. The case ended in a mistrial.
7. Vincent Neil
Mötley Crüe lead vocalist Vince Neil lost his daughter, Skylar Lynnae Neil, to cancer on Aug. 15, 1995. She had been diagnosed with cancer in a CT scan at the age of 4, and the disease eventually spread to both of her kidneys and her lungs. Vince set up the Skylar Neil Memorial Foundation in his daughter’s memory to further support cancer research.
8. Dr. Dre
Rapper Dr. Dre’s son, Andre Young, Jr., died in August 2008 at age 20 after an accidental overdose of heroin and morphine. He was found by his mother, Jenita Porter, after he had been out partying the night before.
9. Johnny Carson
“The Tonight Show” legend Johnny Carson lost his son, Richard, on June 21, 1991 in a car accident. Richard’s car plunged down a steep embankment off of a paved service road in California. It was later determined that he had been taking photographs at the time. Carson paid tribute to his son’s photographic work on the first “Tonight Show” after the tragedy.
10. Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando’s 25-year-old daughter, Cheyenne, tragically hung herself in 1995, but little information was released regarding the circumstances. Five years earlier, she told her half-brother, Christian, that her boyfriend was abusing her. Christian went to confront the boyfriend and fatally shot him, for which he served five years in prison for murder.