Celebrities who overdosed on heroin

The fame and fortune of celebrity life can sometimes end in tragedy and that is why we dedicate these pages to the famous people who succumbed to heroin addiction, including many iconic scenes from their careers.

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Philip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote

Philip Seymour Hoffman (top) as 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.” Philip Seymour Hoffman won the Academy Award for “Best Actor” in his portrayal of the enigmatic author, Truman Capote.


Famous heroin deaths

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


Philip Seymour Hoffman

Birth Name: Philip Seymour Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman was born on July 23, 1967, in Rochester, New York, the second of four children. His father worked for Xerox and his mother was an attorney. On February 2, 2014, Mr. Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in 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 three children earlier in the day. O’Donnell notified Katz. Soon after, he 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 just 46 years old.


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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. Robert Vineberg a.k.a. Robert Aaron, an infamous N.Y.C. heroin dealer and 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

Philip Seymour Hofman as Truman Capote


Jennifer Lyn Jackson

Birth Name: Jennifer Lyn Jackson

Jennifer was a Playboy magazine Playmate of the Month. On Friday, January 22, 2010, Jennifer was found dead in bed by her husband, James, in their home in Ohio, of a heroin overdose. She may not be the most famous person on the list, but she was a Playboy Playmate of the Month. What a shame.

The Allure of Heroin

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.

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Chris Farley

Birth Name: Christopher Crosby “Chris” Farley

On December 18, 1997, Mr. Farley was found dead by his younger brother, John, in his apartment in the John Hancock Center in Chicago. An autopsy later revealed that Farley had died of a cocaine and morphine overdose early that morning. He was 33 years old.

famous people heroin overdoses

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 his hotel room, Bungalow 3 at the Chateau Marmont Hotel on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California. Mr. Belushi was an American actor/comedian. He is best known for his “positive energy and wild personality” which he displayed as one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live. He was just 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

Birth Name: John Simon Ritchie

On February 2nd, 1979 Sid Vicious was found dead in a friend’s N.Y.C. apartment by his mother Anne Beverley. Shown below is a picture of Sid Vicious and and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. It is one of the most famous pictures in Rock ‘n’ Roll history. Sid Vicious would later murder Nancy. She was just 20 years old.

Heroin Addiction and Violence

Sid Vicious was the bass guitarist for the Sex Pistols. 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 for allegedly stabbing his girlfriend to death with his hunting knife at the Chelsea hotel in N.Y.C. just a few months earlier. Rumors abound that his mother administered the fatal dose. He was just 21 years old.

sid vicious


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.

See More: Celebrity Heroin Overdoses

Celebrities who overdosed on heroin

Not every famous person who died from heroin overdose made this list, but these are possibly the most famous heroin deaths. If you think we left off a celebrity who should be on the list please make your suggestion down below.