18 Celebrities Who Endured the Tragic Pain of Losing a Child (PHOTOS)

Michele Marin | Sep 14, 2015 Celebrities
18 Celebrities Who Endured the Tragic Pain of Losing a Child (PHOTOS)

No parent should ever have to do the unimaginable task of burying a child. Yet no amount of fame or fortune can shield a person from such tragedy. When celebrities lose a child, a media frenzy usually ensues, and while the outpouring of support is well-intentioned, stars need privacy through the grieving process, just like the rest of us.

If anything, learning that these celebrities lost a child heightens the realization that stars are people, too. In sharing these tragic losses, our eyes are opened to the difficulites everyone faces, regardless of their profession, wealth, or fame.


Image © Danny Moloshok/Corbis

  • Prince


    Image © Balazs Mohai/Corbis

    The artist formerly known as Prince has always been private. At one point he told Oprah that if he were to have children, it would be up to the child (not him) to one day make their name, sex or "anything"  about them known. Therefore, it's not surprising that Prince has never publicly acknowledged the death of his child, Boy Gregory, who was born with Pfeiffer Syndrome, a genetic disorder characterized by the premature fusion of skull bones. The infant passed away one week after his birth in 1996.

  • Eric Clapton


    Image © Britta Pedersen/Corbis

    If you listen to the words from Eric Clapton's song, "Tears in Heaven," the lyrics will bring tears to your eyes. Clapton wrote the song for his 4-year-old son, Conor, who died after falling out of the singer's Manhattan 53rd floor apartment building.

  • Joe Biden


    Image © Joel Averbach

    Vice President Joe Biden has seen his share of tragedy. In 1972 on their way to buy a Christmas tree, his wife, Neilia, and their 13-month-old daughter, Naomi, were killed in a tragic car accident. The couple's sons were also in the car at the time, but both survived. In the summer of 2015, Biden lost one of those sons, Beau, to brain cancer. It has been reported that the freshness of the pain of losing his oldest son is keeping him from considering another presidential run in 2016.

  • Anna Nicole Smith


    Image © Brock Miller/Corbis

    The controversial model and reality TV star lost her son, Daniel, from a drug overdose when he was only 20 years old. Three days after Daniel's death, Smith gave birth to a baby girl whom she named Dannielynn.

    More from The Stir: 20 Shocking & Unforgettable Hollywood Tragedies (PHOTOS)

  • Robert Plant


    Image © Splash News/Corbis

    Led Zepplin frontman Robert Plant was on tour in the states in 1977, when he lost his son, Karac, from a stomach infection. The singer was so devastated that he went back to his home in the Midlands where he grieved for months.

  • Adrian (A.J.) Peterson


    Image © Ann Heisenfelt/Corbis

    Former Chicago Bears running back Adrian (A.J.) Peterson lost his son after a brave seven-month battle with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma. The inoperable brain tumor took the 7-year-old 's life on February 15, 2015. 

  • Dr. Dre


    Image © Damian Dovarganes

    The son of rapper and producer Dr. Dre, Andre Young Jr., was found dead of a drug overdose in 2008. He was only 20 years old at the time.

  • Hunter Tylo


    Image © Fotostore/Corbis

    Stunning Bold & The Beautiful actress Hunter Tyl  lost her 19-year-old son, Michael, in 2007 from a condition known as complex partial seizures. He suffered a seizure while at Tylo's Nevada home and fell into the family pool, where he drowned.

    More from The Stir: 19 Celebrities Who Died Of Alcohol & Drug Overdoses (PHOTOS)

  • Sylvester Stallone


    Image © Tyrone Siu/Corbis

    While there was concern regarding the lifestyle and drug use of the 36-year-old son of actor Sylvester Stallone, Sage, his cause of death in 2012 was determined to be heart failure.

  • John Travolta


    Image © Joe Stevens/Corbis

    The world grieved with John Travolta and wife Kelly Preston in 2009 when their son, Jett, passed away at age 16. The child reportedly suffered from Kawasaki syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that causes seizures. While on vacation in the Bahamas, Jett suffered a seizure and died. The couple also have a daughter, Ella Bleu, and a son, Benjamin.

  • Mia Farrow


    Image © Splash News/Splash News/Corbis

    It's heartbreaking to learn that actress Mia Farrow lost not one, but two, children. Farrow's adopted daughter, Lark Pervin, died at the hospital of AIDs-related pneoumia at the age of 35. Farrow's other adopted child, Tam, died at age 19 of heart failure

  • Vince Neil


    Image © Infusnx-244/Corbis

    Motley Crew frontman Vince Neil's daughter, Skylar, lost her battle with cancer in 1995 at the age of 4. The singer formed the Skylar Neil Memorial Fund after her death, and has raised millions of dollars for children's cancer research since.

    More from The Stir: 17 Hollywood Celebrities Who Were Once Drug Addicts (PHOTOS)

  • Paul Newman


    Image © Armando Gallo/Corbis

    Academy Award-winning actor Paul Newman tragically lost his only son, Scott, also an actor, in 1978. Scott was just 28 when he passed away from a drug overdose. Paul Newman opened the Scott Newman Center to help prevent drug abuse in his late son's honor.

  • O. J. Simpson


    Image © Julie Jacobson

    In 1979 O. J. Simpson's daughter, Aeren, drowned in the family pool just one month shy of her second birthday. At the time Simpson was divorced from her mother, Marguerite Whitley, with whom he has two other children. 

  • Pierce Brosnan


    Image © Danny Moloshok/Corbis

    After battling ovarian cancer for three years, Pierce Brosnan's daughter, Charlotte, died at the age of just 41. The actor had adopted Charlotte while married to his first wife, Cassandra Harris, Charlotte's biological mother. Cassandra also died of ovarain cancer in 1991.

  • Keanu Reeves


    Image © KCS Press/Corbis

    The actor's baby girl, Ava, was delivered stillborn in 2000. Just 18 months later, her mother, Jennifer Syme, was killed in a a car accident. The couple had since split but the double loss so close together must have been devastating for Reeves. 

    More from The Stir: 17 Celebrities Who You Won't Believe Used to Live In Their Cars (PHOTOS)

  • Bill Cosby


    Image © Brennan Linsley/Corbis

    In 1997 Ennis Cosby, the only son of Bill and Camille Cosby, was changing his tire on the side of a road in Los Angeles when he was robbed, shot in the head, and killed. A man named Mikhail Markhasev is currently serving life in prison for the seemingly random murder.

  • Mike Tyson


    Image © Jackie Brown/Corbis

    Exodus, the 4-year-old daughter of Mike Tyson, died when she was only 4 years old from accidental asphyxiation, or strangling. Her body was found by her 7-year-old brother, who discovered her with a tangled cord from a treadmill wrapped around her neck.

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