Actresses Who Committed Suicide

by classicactresses | created - 08 May 2016 | updated - 15 Apr 2020 | Public

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1. Carole Landis

Actress | I Wake Up Screaming

Carole Landis was born on New Year's Day in 1919 in Fairchild, Wisconsin, as Frances Lillian Mary Ridste. Her father, a railroad mechanic, was of Norwegian descent and her mother was Polish. Her father walked out, leaving Carole, her mother and an older brother and sister to fend for themselves.


Killed herself with secanol in 1948

2. Barbara Bates

Actress | All About Eve

Born in Denver, Co, 6 August, 1925 and originally named Barbara Jane Bates, Barbara was the eldest of 3 daughters born to a postal clerk and RN.

Rather shy, her mother initially sent Barbara to study ballet. By her late teens, the young beauty began to model clothes as a teen out of high school.


Killed herself with carbon monoxide poisoning in 1969

3. Bella Darvi

Actress | The Egyptian

Bella Darvi became a 50s symbol for one of the many movie "Cinderellas" whose bright and beautiful Hollywood fairy tale would come crashing down, ending in bitterness and tragedy. A self-destructive brunette beauty, her life was full of misfortune. Of Polish/French descent, she miraculously ...

Killed herself with gas poisoning in 1971

4. Faith Bacon

Actress | Prison Train

Showman Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. once billed her as "the most beautiful girl in the world". Burlesque dancer Faith Bacon, and not the much better known Sally Rand who worked for Bacon in the early 1930s, is genuinely considered the lady who originated the "fan dance" during "The Jazz Age".

The Los ...

Killed herself by jumping out a window in 1956

5. Marion Aye

Actress | The Roughneck

Marion Aye was born Maryon Eloise Aye on April 5, 1903 in Chicago, Illinois. Her father was a lawyer who moved the family to California. She was discovered by Fatty Arbuckle and started her career at Balboa Studios. When she was fifteen Marion lied about her age to elope with cameraman Sherman ...

Killed herself by swallowing poison in 1951

6. Jeanette Loff

Actress | Flirtation

Jeanette Loff was born Janette Lov in Orofino, Idaho, on October 9, 1906. Her father Maurice was a successful violinist from Denmark who moved their family to Canada when Jeanette was a child. She loved to sing and she studied music at the Ellison-White Conservatory in Portland, Oregon. At age ...

Possible suicide by swallowing ammonia in 1942

7. Marvel Rea

Actress | Those Athletic Girls

Marvel Rea was born Marvel Luciel Rea on November 9, 1901, in Ainsworth, Nebraska. Her family moved to California when she was a child. Marvel grew into a beautiful teenager and in 1917 she became a Mack Sennett bathing beauty. The following year she married banker Henry Page Wells. Unfortunately ...

Killed herself by eating ant paste in 1937

8. Anny Ahlers

Actress | Die Marquise von Pompadour

Anny Ahlers was born December 21, 1907 in Germany. Operetta singer, she began her career at the age of 4 in the circus. She later took up singing and dancing. Her first appearance was at the Volksoper in Hamburg. From there, as an operetta diva she moved down to Krefeldand Breslau. In 1928 Eric ...

Killed herself by jumping out a window in 1933

9. Mary Nolan

Actress | Desert Nights

Blonde and utterly beautiful, Mary Nolan had the requisite figure and prettiness to rise up fast in the Hollywood ranks. Her downfall, however, would be just as fast and not at all pretty.

She was born Mary Imogene Robertson in 1905 and began her show-business career as a teenage model. Showman ...

Killed herself with secanol in 1948

10. Lupe Velez

Actress | Mexican Spitfire

Lupe Velez was born on July 18, 1908, in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, as Maria Guadalupe Villalobos Velez. She was sent to Texas at the age of 13 to live in a convent. She later admitted that she wasn't much of a student because she was so rambunctious. She had planned to become a champion roller ...

Killed herself with secanol in 1944

11. Phyllis Haver

Actress | The Midnight Express

Phyllis Haver was born Phyllis O'Haver on January 6, 1899, in Douglas, KS. When she was a child her family moved to California. Young Phyllis got a job playing piano at a local movie theater. Producer Mack Sennett saw her and hired her to be one of his "Sennett Bathing Beauties". Between 1916-20 ...

Killed herself with an overdose of barbiturates in 1960

12. Ona Munson

Actress | Gone with the Wind

Ona Munson was born Owena Elizabeth Wolcott on June 16, 1903 in Portland, Oregon. She took singing and dancing lessons when she was a child. At the age of fourteen, Ona moved to New York City with her mother. She began her career performing in vaudeville. In 1919 she made her Broadway debut in ...

Killed herself with a barbiturate overdose in 1955

13. Joan Dowling

Actress | Murder Without Crime

Joan Dowling had a passion for acting and as an aspiring young actress she would take roles in plays, pantomimes and other works simply to be on the stage. Her first recognised role was at the tender age of 14 and she signed her first film contract at 17. She had natural talent and did not have any...

Killed herself with gas poisoning in 1954

14. Florence Lawrence

Actress | Not Like Other Girls

Florence Lawrence was the first film player whose name was used to promote her films and the studio (Independent Moving Pictures Company [IMP]) for which she worked. Before her, actors and actresses worked anonymously, partly out of fear that stage managers would refuse to hire them if they were ...

Killed herself by eating ant paste in 1938

15. Marilyn Monroe

Actress | Some Like It Hot

Marilyn Monroe was an American actress, comedienne, singer, and model. She became one of the world's most enduring iconic figures and is remembered both for her winsome embodiment of the Hollywood sex symbol and her tragic personal and professional struggles within the film industry. Her life and ...

Possible suicide with a drug overdose in 1962

16. Phyllis Barry

Actress | The Moonstone

Phyllis Barry was born Gertrude Hillyard on December 7, 1908, in Leeds, England. She was a gifted dancer and at the age of fourteen she joined an Australian cabaret troupe. Phyllis starred in many stage musicals including No No Nannette and Lady Be Good. She made her film debut in the 1925 ...

Killed herself with barbiturate poisoning in 1954

17. Helen Twelvetrees

Actress | Millie

Helen Twelvetrees was born Helen Marie Jurgens in Brooklyn, New York on December 25, 1908. Her interest in the theatricals was apparent at an early age. After graduating from high school. Helen embarked on a stage career. She participated in a number of plays in New York City, but gravitated toward...

Killed herself with an overdose of sedatives in 1958

18. Dorothy Abbott

Actress | Dragnet

Perennial starlet Dorothy Abbott was a sexy, vivacious, wide-smiling model, showgirl and actress who could brighten up a room. Unfortunately, her cinematic offerings wound up being pretty minimal and her last years were marred by depression and, ultimately, a tragic end.

She was born Dorothy E. ...

Killed herself in 1968

19. Clara Blandick

Actress | The Wizard of Oz

Clara Blandick was an American actress born as Clara Dickey and born aboard an American ship off the coast of Hong Kong on June 4, 1880. Little is known about her early life until she became an actress. She grew up in Boston and first acted on stage in E.H. Sothern's 'Richard Lovelace'. Although ...

Killed herself with an overdose of pills in 1962

20. Evelyn Nelson

Actress | Peaceful Peters

Evelyn Nelson was born Dorris Evelyn Nelson on November 13, 1899 in Chloride, Arizona. Her father was a miner and cattle owner. When she was a child her family moved to Los Angeles, California. She started her career at Bull's Eye films and appeared in the 1920 comedy Don't Park Here. Evelyn was ...

Killed herself in 1923

21. Dorothy Hale

Actress | The Rise of Catherine the Great

Dorothy Hale was born Dorothy Anderson Donovan on January 11, 1905 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Her father, James P. Donovan, was a successful real estate agent. Dorothy was educated at a convent and attended drama school. When she was a teenager she ran away from home to become an actress. Her ...

Killed herself by jumping out a window in 1938

22. Gladys Frazin

Actress | The Winning Oar

Gladys Frazin was born on June 21, 1900 in Chicago, Illinois. She began her career on the New York stage. In 1918 she married theatrical agent Leo Lowenstein. Their son, Leo Jr, was born two years later. Gladys starred on Broadway in The Masked Woman and toured the country in White Cargo. She ...

Killed herself in 1939 by jumping out her window

23. Inger Stevens

Actress | Hang 'Em High

This enigmatic Stockholm-born beauty had everything going for her, including a rapidly rising film and TV career. Yet on April 30, 1970, at only 35, Inger Stevens would become another tragic Hollywood statistic -- added proof that fame and fortune do not always lead to happiness. Over time, a ...

Killed herself with an overdose of pills

24. Irene

Costume_department | Gaslight

Irene Maud Lentz was born on December 8, 1901 in Baker. Montana. When she was a teenager she moved to Hollywood to become an actress. She found work as a Mack Sennett bathing beauty and appeared in the comedies Picking Peaches (1924) and A Tailor-Made Man (1922). Irene married director F. Richard ...

Killed herself by jumping out a window

25. Maggie McNamara

Actress | The Moon Is Blue

Maggie McNamara -- with her brown hair in a ponytail -- arrives in Rome in Three Coins in the Fountain (1954) expecting great things to happen. Petite and slender, she looks almost like a schoolgirl in her prim blue suit. She is bright and vivacious and goes for what she wants -- a proposal from "...

Killed herself by taking an overdose of pills

26. Peggy O'Neill

Actress | Song of the Open Road

Peggy O'Neill was born Barbara Jeanne O'Neill in San Francisco, California. When she was eighteen she won a beauty contest and moved to Hollywood. She met producer Charles Rogers who helped her get a screen test. Peggy was given a starring role in the 1944 comedy Song Of The Open Road. Columnist ...

Killed herself at age 21

27. Claire Maynard

Actress | Over the Hill

Claire Maynard was born Marie J. MacCarthy on March 22, 1912 in Brooklyn, New York. Her father, James MacCarthy, was head of New York City's board of transportation and her grandfather, M.J. Coffey, was a State Senator. When Claire was a teenager she started modeling for a local dress shop. A 20th ...

Killed herself with gas poisoning

28. Nora Lane

Actress | The Western Code

Nora Bennett Schilling was born in Chester, Illinois. She grew up and went to school near St. Louis. After modeling for a time, she went to visit a friend in California and was noticed by someone in the film industry. She successfully passed her screen test and began playing small parts in silent ...

Killed herself with a gunshot

29. Christine Maple

Actress | Good Sport

Christine Maple was born Christine Raphael on November 16, 1912 in Belle-Plaine, Kansas. When she was a child her parents divorced. Her mother remarried and they moved to Los Angeles. Christine started competing in beauty pageants and was a finalist in the Elks National Convention bathing beauty ...

Killed herself by hanging

30. Allyn King

Actress | The Fighting Blade

Allyn King was born on February 1, 1899 in Wilmington, North Carolina. Tragically her father, Dr. Allyn King, was murdered in 1909. A few years later her mother moved them to New Haven, Connecticut. Allyn started performing in vaudeville when she was a teenager. In September of 1916 she became the ...

Killed herself by jumping out a window

31. Marie Walcamp

Actress | Tongues of Flame

Marie Walcamp was born on July 27, 1894 in Dennison, Ohio. Dennison had a small population and was miles from Canton and Youngstown, the two nearest big cities in the state. Because of its size, the town didn't afford the type of opportunity of fame that Marie wanted. She began to dream of stardom ...

Killed herself by turning on the gas

32. Helen Lee Worthing

Actress | The Count of Luxembourg

Helen Lee Worthing was born Helen Wortham on January 31, 1895 in Louisville, Kentucky. Her mother died when she was a child and her father moved the family to Massachusetts. During World War 1 she worked with the Red Cross. She married Charles McDonald, a businessman, in 1917. At the age of ...

Killed herself with an overdose of sleeping pills

33. Irene Dalton

Actress | Children of Jazz

Irene Dalton was born on September 10, 1899 in Chicago, Illinois. After graduating from high school she started working as a stenographer. She got her first acting job when she answered an ad in a local newspaper. Irene was signed by Christie studios in August of 1920. She costarred with Earl ...

Killed herself at age 34

34. Lingyu Ruan

Actress | Tao hua qi xue ji

Ruan Lingyu was born Ruan Fenggen on April 26, 1910 in Shanghai, China. Her father died when she was a child and her mother worked as a maid to support them. When she was sixteen Ruan started acting as a way to earn money. She made her film debut in the 1927 Chinese language film A Married Couple ...

Killed herself by overdosing on pills

35. Joyce Jameson

Actress | The Outlaw Josey Wales

Well-endowed, attractive Joyce Jameson was typecast as 'broads', 'dames' and dizzy blondes - somewhat in the vein of Barbara Nichols. In real life, she was said to have been the antithesis of her screen personae, a graduate in theatre arts from UCLA, highly intelligent and well-read. Joyce began ...

Killed herself with pills

36. Vera Sisson

Actress | The Married Virgin

Vera Sisson was born on July 31, 1891 in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was educated at the Brownlee Collegiate school for girls in Denver, Colorado. When she was twenty-one she applied to Universal Studios for extra work. She made her film debut in the 1913 drama The Helping Hand. Vera costarred with J...

Killed herself with an overdose

37. Marie Walcamp

Actress | Tongues of Flame

Marie Walcamp was born on July 27, 1894 in Dennison, Ohio. Dennison had a small population and was miles from Canton and Youngstown, the two nearest big cities in the state. Because of its size, the town didn't afford the type of opportunity of fame that Marie wanted. She began to dream of stardom ...

Killed herself with gas

38. Abigail Adams

Actress | Copacabana

Abigail Adams was born Margaret Thomas Adams on January 11, 1922. During her freshman year at the University of North Carolina she was discovered by modeling agent Harry Conover. She dropped out of school and moved to New York City to be a model. Abigail made her film debut in the 1942 comedy ...

Killed herself with pills

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