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Disease Control and Prevention Services

Dead Celebrities

At least sixteen famous people with STDs died between 2012 and 2020, so we have removed the following people from our List of Celebrities with STDs because if you read closely that section is about famous people living with STDs. because if you read closely that section is about famous people living with STDs. These 16 celebrities include five actors, four musicians, two athletes, two authors, two journalists, and one doctor.

All bios contain videos about the lives of these people lost. At least two of them were directly killed by their incurable sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and several others were killed indirectly by causes that they may have been better equipped to fight had they not been infected.

  1. Robin Williams

    Robin Williams Robin Williams

    In a case that Robin Williams nicknamed "Financial Attraction," he was sued for $6.2 million by his former girlfriend Michelle Tish Carter. Williams hooked up with Carter while he was performing at the comedy club where she was a waitress. The case was settled in 1992 for an undisclosed amount.

    According to the New York Times most of Robin's defense focused on Carter's history of promiscuous sexual behavior saying she had been with several other men during their relationship. Her lawyer's response was "she only had two isolated sexual incidents with two other famous comedians".


    Robin Williams hung himself on August 11, 2014 after battling depression for decades. It is not clear whether or not having Genital Herpes contributed to that depression, but depression is a common symptom of Genital Herpes. People with Genital Herpes often find themselves depressed when they are first diagnosed due to anxiety about their future. That anxiety flares up from time to time with every Herpes outbreak. The depression is often reduced once the infected person meets someone that also has Herpes or does not care that they have Herpes. If that relationship works then they live happily ever after, but if it fails their depression can sink to all time lows.

    Robin Williams knew that he had herpes for at least twenty years at the time of his death, so it probably was not much of a factor. He looked like a man that had everything he could possibly want despite having more than anyone cares to have. That may have been his undoing because people that are truly clinically depressed can never have enough to truly be happy.

    Learn more about the death or Robin Williams in the video below:

  2. Natalie Cole

    Natalie Cole Natalie Cole

    In April of 2009 the daughter of legendary singer Nat "King" Cole told CNN talk show host Larry King that she was diagnosed with Hepatitis C during a routine medical exam in February of 2008 and attributes the disease to years of cocaine and heroin use. In 2009 she received a Kidney transplant to combat health issues that she blamed on medication used to treat her Hepatitis C.

    The tabloid trash compactor TMZ announced the success of the transplant with a blurry photo of what looked to be an emotionally distraught Cole with an emphasis on her receiving a "used" kidney as if there were an option to get a new kidney unused by the previous owner.


    Natalie Cole died on December 31, 2015 from congestive heart failure. Learn more about the life and death of Natalie Cole in the video below:

  3. Larry Hagman

    Larry Hagman Larry Hagman

    Also known as Hag and the Mad Monk of Malibu this son of the legendary actress Mary Martin suffered from advanced Cirrhosis due to years of heavy drinking that required a liver transplant. The transplant saved his life, but gave him Hepatitis C.

    Best known for his role as J.R. Ewing on Dallas. He also appeared in several Nip/Tuck episodes as Burt Landau.

    Hagman discusses his alcoholism and liver transplant in his book "Hello Darlin': Tall (and Absolutely True) Tales About My Life"


    Larry Hagman died from cancer on November 23, 2012. Hagman had announced in 2011 that he had throat cancer. His official cause of death was listed as acute myeloid leukemia.

    Before his death, Hagman got to relive his glory days as J.R. Ewing in the TNT reboot of his old show Dallas. The show premiered just two months before his death and was cancelled two years later.

    Learn more about the death of Larry Hagman in the video below:

  4. Gregg Allman

    Gregg Allman Gregg Allman

    Gregg Allman was a singer and founding member of the Allman Brothers Band. The Allman Brothers Band achieved fame in the 1970s and continued to be popular among baby boomers for decades.

    Greg Allman made headlines in 2008 when several Allman Brothers concerts had to be canceled so he could undergo treatment for Hepatitis C. He most likely contracted the disease from IV drug use. His battles with addiction were legendary.

    The other half of the Allman brothers was Duane Allman. Duane Allman passed away in 1971 after a motorcycle accident. The loss of Duane surely contributed to Gregg's increased reliance on substances.


    Gregg Allman died from liver cancer on May 27, 2017 in a cruel twist of irony. Allman's liver had survived a lifetime of abuse from Allman that included heavy drug use and Hepatitis C only to succumb to cancer. Although Hepatitis C is not what killed Allman, having that did not make it any easier for his liver to fight cancer.

    Learn more about the death of Gregg Allman in the video below:

  5. Anita Pallenberg

    Anita Pallenberg Anita Pallenberg

    Italian born actress and former model Anita Pallenberg is best known for dating Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones from 1967 into the mid to late 1970s during which she and Richards had three children together. She told the British tabloid newspaper The Guardian that she had Hepatitis C back in 2008 when discussing issues regarding her health and more specifically alcoholism.

    Although it is not entirely clear how or when she contracted the disease she did have a very public heroin problem in the 1970s when she was known to associate with fellow former heroin using Hepatitis C sufferers Marianne Faithful and of course Keith Richards. Her addiction led to her 1977 arrest on heroin possession charges in Toronto.

    In 1980 she was charged with manslaughter after a 17 year old boy shot himself in her bed back in 1979 using a gun belonging to Keith Richards. She was eventually cleared of the charge when the death was ruled a suicide.

    She was rumored to have had a relationship with Mick Jagger on the set of the movie Performance back in , but has denied it publicly.


    Anita Pallenberg lost her war with Hepatitis C on June 13, 2017. Learn more about the death of Anita Pallenberg in the video below:

  6. Tommy Morrison

    Tommy Morrison
    Tommy Morrison

    Former WBO World Heavyweight Champion Tommy "The Duke" Morrison tested positive after a routine HIV screening while he prepared to for a fight against Arthur "Stormy" Weathers in 1996. The fight that would have been shows on Showtime was canceled and his career never recovered.

    In 2011 Tommy's mental health was called into question when he denied having HIV on the grounds that he believes that HIV does not exist.

    Tommy is best known for his role as the mediocre wanna be Rocky boxer Tommy "Machine" Gunn in Rocky V in which Tommy and Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) settled their differences with a street fight.


    Tommy Morrison died on September 1, 2013 after month of failing health caused by full blown AIDS. It is not clear whether or not his believe that HIV did not exist contributed to his death. Full blown AIDS deaths are increasingly rare and to see it in someone in a first world country with money is ever rarer.

    Learn more about the death of Tommy Morrison in the video below:

  7. Jim Nabors

    Jim Nabors Jim Nabors

    James "Jim" Nabors is best known as the original Gomer Pyle from the Andy Griffith Show. That gig helped him get his own show. Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. was about a dimwitted Marine that inspired Vicent Denafrio's legendary role as Private Pyle in the 1987 film Full Metal Jacket. In addition to Gomer Pyle he is known for his music and he has appeared in several films. In 1994 he received a liver transplant to repair the damage done to his body by Hepatitis C which weakened his immune system and in 2011 he was hospitalized with a throat infection before being treated with antibiotics.

    The exact date when he was infected with Hepatitis C is unknown, but some have speculated that it happened years before the liver transplant. The speculation makes sense since Hepatitis C isn't usually diagnosed until years after infection and on top of that Hepatitis C was not identified as a disease until the 1980s.

    Nabors was never known as a womanizer and he was friends with a homosexual actor named Rock Hudson. The combination of the two led to a rumor that Nabors is gay. That rumor was eventually substantiated when he married Stan Cadwallader shortly before his death.


    Jim Nabors died on November 17, 2017 with his husband Stan Cadwallader by his side. His health had been failing him for decades due to his liver transplant.

    Learn more about the death of Jim Nabors in the video below:

  8. Jack Kevorkian

    Jack Kevorkian
    Jack Kevorkian

    Best known for his public trial and prison sentence in 1998 for helping terminally ill patients kill themselves this aging medical doctor has been struggling with the Hepatitis C that he contracted during his service in the Vietnam War.

    Kevorkian first earned the nickname Dr. Death in 1956 after he conducted a study photographing patients eyes as they died. He concluded that death row patients be euthanized and their organs harvested.

    In 1960 he advocated for the use of condemned prisoners in medical experiments.


    Jack Kevorkian died on June 3, 2011 after years of health problems that included Hepatitis C, liver cancer, and kidney problem. His final demise was due to a blood clot breaking free from his foot and getting lodged in his heart.

    His death was described as quick, painless, and unassisted.

    Learn more about the death of Jack Kevorkian in the video below:

  9. Christopher Kennedy Lawford

    Christopher Kennedy Lawford Christopher Kennedy Lawford

    The son of President John F. Kennedy's sister Patricia, Christopher Kennedy Lawford was a well known actor having co-stared in several films including Terminator 3 with cousin in-law California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Lawford was diagnosed with Hepatitis C in 2001 a condition that he attributed to heavy drug use during the late 1970's and early 1980's.

    He played a fighter pilot in the movie "Thirteen Days" that was based on the Cuban Missile Crisis. His character flew a reconnaissance mission over Cuba to photography Soviet military activity with orders to report any hostile actions taken against him. When he landed with his plane full of bullet holes he lied about it to prevent World War III.


    Christopher Kennedy Lawford suffered a heart attack while doing yoga and died on September 4, 2018.

    The video below shows Lawford's last interview with TMZ. He talks about being sober for 26 years and says his message to addicts is "don't give up." He goes on to say "you're not responsible for your illness, but once you have it you are responsible for doing something about it.

  10. Gary S. Paxton

    Gary S. Paxton Gary S. Paxton

    Grammy winning gospel singer Gary S. Paxton said on his website that after losing 80% of his blood due to bleeding ulcers he was rushed to the hospital and given 8 blood transfusions at least one of which was contaminated with Hepatitis C. On the same page called "Testimony" Paxton talked about the time he got shot 3 times in 1980 by a former business associate before being forced into bankruptcy by the FDIC while also praising god and discussing his history of drug use. He claimed to have been committed to a mental institution twice with the first being for alcohol and the second being for drugs.

    Gary S. Paxton won a Grammy Award in 1975 for Best Inspirational with his album "The Astonishing, Outrageous, Amazing, Incredible, Unbelievable, Different World of Gary S. Paxton". He also wrote the song "L-O-V-E" for The Blackwood Brothers that won the 1973 Grammy for Best Gospel Performance.


    Gary S. Paxton died on July 16, 2016.

  11. Rob Astbury

    Rob Astbury
    Rob Astbury

    This former Australian television sports journalist was the former lover of Graham Kennedy the widely regarded "King" of Australian television. He talked about his life in his book "King & I: My Life with Graham Kennedy". Graham Kennedy was Rob Astbury's lover and a successful entertainer in his own right.

    He won 10 VFL/AFL awards, two national Penguin awards and was twice nominated for the Logie awards for the Best News Story of the year.

    Later in life, Rob Astbury became a successful real estate agent.


    Rob Astbury died on November 9, 2017. Learn more about the life and death of Rob Astbury in the video below:

  12. Jerry Herman

    Jerry Herman Jerry Herman

    This Broadway composer helped produce La Cage aux Folles in 1983. Shortly after the opening of La Cage cast members started dropping dead of a mysterious illness that wiped out half the chorus before it was all over. Herman was diagnosed afterward in 1985.

    He is best known for writing the Broadway hit musical "Hello, Dolly!." In 1969 "Hello, Dolly!" was made into a movie by the same name starring Barbra Streisand. In later years he wrote "Words and Music".

    Jerry Herman won countless awards and honors over the decades of his success. In 2009 he received an honorary Tony Award for lifetime achievement. In 2010 President Obama made him a Kennedy Center honoree. He said that his goal was to "make people feel better."


    Jerry Herman died on December 26, 2019.

    Herman was openly gay and basically married to a real estate broker named Terry Marler.

    Learn more about the death of Jerry Herman in this video:

  13. Andy Fraser

    Andy Fraser Andy Fraser

    This former member of the British blues-rock band Free contracted HIV while undergoing treatment for Kaposi's Sarcoma Cancer sometime before his performance at Woodstock 1994.

    He recorded a song for Barack Obama called "Obama, Yes We Can" back in 2008 before America realized that he forgot to append "Do Nothing" to the title. Had he done that, the country may not have had to wait 8 long years learn that Obama was a do nothing President.


    Andy Fraser died March 15, 2016 from a heart attack. It is not clear what role if any his HIV positive diagnosis played in his death.

    The video below was uploaded to YouTube and advertised as Fraser's last interview.

  14. Stanley Greene

    Stanley Greene Stanley Greene

    Photojournalist Stanley Greene announced in 2008 that he contracted Hepatitis C from a contaminated Razor in Chad the previous year and claimed to have the deadly disease under control with medication. Hepatitis is just the latest in a long string of incidents that have put his life in danger since the 1980s most of which he encountered on the job working as war photographer.

    Greene's photography work began getting noticed in 1989. It was then that he and fellow STD carrier David Hasselhoff witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall. After that Greene photographed the war in Chechnya, Hurricane Katrina, events in Africa, and war zones in the Middle East. In 1993 he was nearly killed in the Russian White House during a coup attempt against Russian President Boris Yeltsin.

    Greene was also a member of the Black Panther Party in 1971 and a member of the anti-war movement.

    According to Stanley Greene's Wikipedia page his father was a Hollywood actor and member of the Screen Actors Guild before being blacklisted for being a communist.


    Stanley Greene died on May 19, 2017.

    The video below is a retrospective or his career that was uploaded as a tribute:

  15. Roy Simmons

    Roy Simmons
    Roy Simmons

    Nicknamed "Sugar Bear" by his teammates during his 1979-83 stint with the New York Giants Roy Franklin Simmons was diagnosed with HIV in 1997 after he began to suffer from unexplained health problems.

    Following his career with the Giants, Sugar Bear played for the Washington Redskins from 1983-85 and played in their 27-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XVII.

    Simmons announced his homosexuality on the Phil Donahue Show in 1992 and in so doing became one of the first openly gay professional football players. Future gay NFL stars like Aaron Hernandez should have taken a page out of Roy's book and just been open about who they truly are instead of doing all they can to cover it up.

    Simmons published a book called "Out of Bounds" in 2006. That same year he nearly sued the NFL for not issuing him special Super Bowl tickets claiming that the league's denial was based on his HIV status and sexual orientation.


    Roy Simmons died on February 20, 2014.

  16. Chopper Read

    Chopper Read Chopper Read

    Mark Brandon "Chopper" Read was a notorious violent Aussie criminal who claimed to have killed at least 19 people during his multi-decade criminal career. During that time he spent the majority of his 20s and 30s behind bars on charges of Armed Robbery, Assault, and Kidnapping during which he claims to have gotten his ears cut off, stabbed multiple times, and infected with Hepatitis C by a bloody razor. His Hepatitis C made Australian headlines in 2009 when he became seriously ill from liver failure and was given between 2 and 5 years to live, but refused a liver transplant that could save him because he didn't want to put his needs above those of a 10 year old kid.

    Chopper Read has become an international celebrity due to both his extensive criminal history and several semi-autobiographies written by him. His fame reached its peak in 2001 when Eric Bana portrayed him in the movie Chopper.


    Chopper Read died of liver cancer on October 9, 2013.

    Despite claiming to have killed 19 men, Chopper Read died a free man that had never been convicted or murder.


Fame and fortune can't always make up for bad decision making. As these dead celebrities show, reckless behavior early in life can cost you in the long run.

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