Famous People Who Died Of Heroin Overdose

Celebrity heroin deaths

Tinseltown, has its fair share of heroin deaths, but the most gruesome celebrity heroin overdose happened in New York City. It began in October, 1978 when Sid Vicious, the bassist for the Sex Pistols, allegedly murdered his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. It ended a few months later with Sid’s overdose. Worse still, Sid’s mother helped him do it.

Philip Seymour Hoffman

Birth Name: Philip Seymour Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman was born on July 23, 1967, in Rochester, New York. But on February 2, 2014, Mr. Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his bathroom at his N.Y.C. apartment by his playwright friend David Katz.

Mimi  O’Donnell, Hoffman’s ex-partner and the mother of his three children grew concerned after Hoffman failed to pick up his kids earlier in the day. O’Donnell notified Katz, and soon after, Katz and a friend went to Hoffman’s apartment and found his lifeless body laying on the bathroom floor wearing glasses atop his head. The NYPD found a syringe in his left arm and close by were bindles of unopened heroin. The Oscar winning actor was 46 years old when he died.

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The N.Y.C. medical examiner ruled that Mr. Hoffman died of acute mixed drug intoxication, including heroin, cocaine, benzodiazepines and amphetamine. A Mr. Robert Vineberg a.k.a. Robert Aaron, an infamous N.Y.C. heroin dealer and heroin addict was arrested in connection with Hoffman’s death, but the charges were later dropped due to lack of evidence. Mr. Aaron quipped to the N.Y.P.D. that, “Monkeys can’t sell bananas.”

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote

Philip Seymour Hoffman played Truman Capote in the movie “Capote.” The screenplay is based on the life of Truman Capote during his research and subsequent writing of “In Cold Blood.” A non-fiction novel about a Kansas family murdered by two former cellmates. Philip Seymour Hoffman won the Academy Award for “Best Actor” for his portrayal of the enigmatic author.

Jennifer Lyn Jackson

Birth Name: Jennifer Lyn Jackson

Jennifer was a Playboy magazine Playmate of the Month, but on Friday, January 22, 2010, Jennifer was found dead in bed by her husband, James, in their Ohio home. A gorgeous Playmate of the Month overdosed on heroin. What a shame.


Dee Dee Ramone

Birth Name: Douglas Glenn Colvin

On June 5, 2002, Dee Dee Ramone (below right) was found dead by his wife, Barbara, on the couch in their Hollywood apartment. Dee Dee was the bass player and songwriter for the Ramones. An autopsy revealed that Dee Dee Ramone died of a heroin overdose. He was 50 years old.


Chris Farley

Birth Name: Christopher Crosby “Chris” Farley

On December 18, 1997, Mr. Farley was found dead on the floor of his 60th story apartment in the John Hancock Center in Chicago by his younger brother, John. An autopsy later revealed that Farley had died of a cocaine and morphine overdose early that morning.

Chris Farley told his closest friends he wanted to live and die just like John Belushi. He did exactly that. Both men started at Second City TV, both moved to Saturday Night Live, then onto movies and finally the morgue and both men died at 33.


River Phoenix

Birth Name: River Jude Bottom

On October 31, 1993 River Phoenix was pronounced dead at Cedar-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. River Phoenix was partying with friends at the Viper Room, a Los Angeles nightclub owned by Johnny Depp. Sadly, his brother Joaquin and sister Rain were present when he collapsed on the club floor. Mr. Phoenix later died of heart failure due to heroin and cocaine overdose. He was just 23 years old.


John Belushi

Birth Name: John Adam Belushi

On March 5, 1982 John Adam Belushi was found dead in bed inside Bungalow 3 at the Chateau Marmont Hotel on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California. Robert De Niro and Robin Williams were with him earlier at the hotel, but both men left before the tragedy occurred. The scuttlebutt was that Belushi was rehearsing a scene for an upcoming movie role about a drug addicted punk rocker.

Mr. Belushi was an American actor/comedian. He is best known for his “reckless personality” which he displayed as one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live. He was only 33 years old.

John Belushi (top left) is mimicking Joe Cocker (top right) singing “With a little help from my friends.”  The song was originally played by “The Beatles,” and written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.


Sid Vicious

heroin and violence Sid Vicious

Birth Name: John Simon Ritchie

Shown below is a picture of Sid Vicious and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. It is one of the most famous pictures in Rock ‘n’ Roll history. They were inseparable. Some say she was schizophrenic, she claimed a 172 IQ, together they were Sid and Nancy, the punk version of Romeo and Juliet. Possibly the most famous Rock’n’Roll couple in music history. Sid Vicious would later murder Nancy, with a single knife wound below her belly button. She was just 20 years old at the time.

Sid Vicious was the bass guitarist for the Sex Pistols. On February 2nd, 1979 Sid Vicious was found dead in a friend’s N.Y.C. apartment by his bohemian mother Anne Beverley. On the day of his death, he was celebrating at a friend’s Manhattan apartment after having just made bail. Sid had recently been arraigned on murder charges. Sid allegedly stabbed his girlfriend slash manager to death with his hunting knife a few months earlier at the Chelsea hotel, room 100, in N.Y.C. Rumors abound that his mother administered the fatal dose. He was only 21 years old.

sid vicious heroin overdose


Jim Morrison

Birth Name: James Douglas “Jim” Morrison

Jim Morrison was the lead singer songwriter of “The Doors.” He was born on December 8, 1943, in Melbourne, Florida, the first of three children. The son of Clara Virginia and father Rear Admiral George Stephen Morrison of the U.S. Navy. Jim Morrison was an American rock singer and songwriter.

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On July 3rd, 1971 Jim Morrison was found dead by his common law wife Pamela Courson, in his apartment bathtub in Paris France. Though no autopsy was performed it is suspected he died of a heroin overdose. Almost three years after Jim Morrison died, his wife Pamela Courson would also die of a heroin overdose. On August 25th, 1974 she was found dead in her Los Angeles apartment. She was just 27 years old.


Janis Joplin

Birth Name: Janis Lyn Joplin

On October 4th, 1970 Janis Joplin was found dead by John Cooke at the Landmark Motor Hotel in room #105. The official cause of death was a heroin overdose. She was just 27 years old.


Frankie Lymon

Birth Name: Franklin Joseph “Frankie” Lymon

On February 27th, 1968 Franklin Lymon was found dead on the bathroom floor of his grandmother’s Harlem apartment of an apparent heroin overdose. He was just 25 1/2 years old. Lymon, a Southern Baptist, was buried at Catholic Saint Raymond’s Cemetery in the Throggs Neck section of the Bronx, in N.Y.C. Frankie Lymon was an American rock and roll singer and songwriter, best known for the song “Why Do Fools Fall In Love.” In the early 1960’s his voice changed from tenor to baritone as a result of his heroin use. That event was the beginning of the end of his career.


Lenny Bruce

Birth Name: Leonard Alfred Schneider

heroin overdose Lenny Bruce

Lenny Bruce was an activist stand-up comedian. On August 3, 1966, Lenny Bruce was found dead of an apparent heroin overdose on the bathroom floor of his home in Los Angeles. He was just 40 years old.

Lenny Bruce heroin overdose


Celebrities who overdosed on heroin

The fame and fortune of celebrity life can sometimes end in tragedy. This small list of celebrities who overdosed on heroin, does not include every famous person who died from heroin, but these are arguably the most famous heroin deaths. If you think we left off an important celebrity overdose, please make your suggestion down below.


Famous heroin overdoses

Celebrities tend to overdose on Sunday (3) and Wednesday (3), but never Monday (0). The most common place for a celebrity to overdose is in a bathroom, which is true of all heroin overdoses.

  1. Phillip Seymour Hoffman dies Sunday, February 2nd, 2014 of heroin overdose.
  2. Jennifer Lyn Jackson dies Friday, January 10th, 2010 of heroin overdose.
  3. Dee Dee Ramone dies Wednesday, June 5th, 2002 of heroin overdose.
  4. Chris Farley dies Thursday, December 18th, 1997 of heroin overdose.
  5. River Phoenix dies Sunday, October 31st, 1993 of heroin overdose.
  6. John Belushi found dead Wednesday, March 5th, 1980 of heroin overdose.
  7. Sid Vicious dies Friday, February 2nd, 1979 of heroin overdose.
  8. Jim Morrison dies Saturday, July 3rd, 1971 heart attack triggered by heroin overdose.
  9. Janis Joplin found dead Sunday, October 4th, 1970 of heroin overdose.
  10. Frankie Lymon dies Tuesday, February 27th, 1968 of heroin overdose.
  11. Lenny Bruce comedian found dead Wednesday, August 3rd, 1966 of heroin overdose.