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Celebrities Who Tragically Died on Their Birthdays

Studies have demonstrated what’s known as the “birthday effect.” It shows that you’re statistically most likely to die on or near your birthday.

This doesn’t just apply to everyday people. Plenty of famous names have proven it to be true. Everyone from talk show hosts to prolific movie actors have left this world on the same date they came into it. They managed to cultivate successful careers but couldn’t escape their fate.

Like and subscribe to Facts Verse for more on some of the most curious coincidences in Hollywood. Keep watching to learn about celebrities who tragically died on their birthdays.

Ingrid Bergman

Ingrid Bergman is arguably the most famous actress to die on her birthday. She sits at the #4 spot on the American Film Institute’s Greatest Screen Legends actress list, the #12 spot on the Greatest Movie Stars of All Time by Entertainment Weekly, the #5 spot in Premier’s list of 50 Greatest Movie Stars, and the #3 spot in DreamDoor’s 100 Greatest Movie Actresses.

She was born on August 29, 1915, in Stockholm, Sweden. She went to live with her uncle after her parents died by the time she was 12 and decided to pursue acting after finishing school. She enrolled at the Royal Dramatic Theater School in Stockholm.

Ingrid dreamed of acting in films instead of on stage. She made her debut in The Count of the Old Town in 1935. David O. Selznick saw her in Intermezzo in 1936 and signed her to a contract. She soon went to California and made an English remake of that film, and the rest was history.

Ingrid’s most famous film is 1942’s Casablanca. She’s also well-known for other roles such as Notorious in 1946 and Gaslight in 1944.

She’s also one of the most decorated actresses in history. She’s tied with Meryl Streep and Frances McDorman for the most Oscars won by an actress. She was also the third performer to win the Triple Crown of acting; an Oscar, Tony, and Emmy.

Ingrid still found time for love during her busy schedule. She was married three times. Her first husband was Dr. Peter Lindstrom. She fell in love with director Roberto Rosselini while filming Stromboli in Italy in 1950. She then divorced him and married Lars Schmidt who she divorced in 1978. In total, she had four children; Pia, Robert, Isabella, and Isotta.

Ingrid Bergman sadly died of breast cancer on her 67th birthday on August 29, 1982. She’s now a beloved figure in America and Sweden.

Otto Kruger

Otto Kruger was born in1885. He was the grandnephew of former South African president Paul Kruger, and he used his talent to make a name of his own.

He trained to be a musician from a young age but switched to acting while enrolled at Columbia University. He made his Broadway debut in a production of The Natural Law in 1915 and his film debut in The Runaway Wife the same year.

Otto played heroes in movies such as The Corregidor in 1943 but was better known for playing villains in movies such as Alfred Hitchcock’s Saboteur in 1942. One of his most famous films was Magnificent Obsession in 1954. He also appeared in TV shows such as Perry Mason.

He was a busy character actor and appeared in dozens of films. He later suffered a series of strokes in the 60s that forced him to retire.

Otto Kruger died of a stroke on his 89th birthday on September 6, 1974. He interred at Forest Lawn in the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles.

Gertrude Astor

Gertrude Astor was born in 1887. She began her entertainment career as a saxophone and trombone player on a riverboat.

Actor Robert Edeson convinced her to try movies. She became the first actress to sign a contract with Universal and one of the most prolific silent actresses of all time.

Gertrude appeared in over 250 movies from 1915-1962. One of her first was The Shadows of Suspicion in 1916, and one of her most famous was 1925’s Stage Struck. Other notable roles appearances The Strong Man in 1926 and The Cat and the Canary in 1927.

She also worked with Laurel and Hardy, Our Gang, and Charley Chase once sound movies came on the scene. Most of them were bit parts in films such as The Scarlet Claw in 1944. Her last was The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence in 1962.

Gertrude Astor passed away of a stroke on her 90th birthday on November 9th, 1977. She never got married, and her only surviving family member was her godson Rod Normand.

Edna May Oliver

Edna May Oliver was born on November 9, 1883. She quit school at 14 to follow her acting ambitions and studied speech and the piano. She toured with an all-female orchestra and found success in the Broadway play Oh Boy in 1917.

She made her film debut in 1923 and became a successful character actress. She appeared in several Charles Dickens adaptations, including A Tale of Two Cities in 1935 and David Copperfield in 1935.

Both of those films were nominated for Best Picture Oscars, as were Cimarron in 1931, Little Women in 1933, and Romeo and Juliet in 1936. She earned a Best Supporting Actress nomination in 1939 for Drums Against the Mowhawk. Her final films were Pride and Prejudice in 1940 and Lydia in 1941.

Edna May Oliver tragically died of an intestinal disorder on her 59th birthday on November 9, 1942. Her friend Virginia Hammond said she never realized the severity of her condition and “went peacefully asleep”

George Petrie

George Petrie came into this world on November 16, 1912. His entertainment career began on the radio. He had the title role in dramas such as Charlie Wild, Private Detective and The Adventures of the Falcon. He also appeared in other programs such as Call the Police, Murder at Midnight, and Philo Vance.

George shined even brighter on TV with a list of credits almost too long to name. He was famous for his role as Eddie Haskell’s father on Season 6 of Leave It to Beaver. He also had a recurring role on The Honeymooners. He appeared on The Twilight Zone in 1959 and 1985 as well as 19 episodes of Radio Mystery Theater. 

One of his first big screen appearances was At Sword’s Point in 1952. He also appeared in Baby Boom in 1987, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles in 1987, and The Day After in 1983.

He was married to Patricia Pope until his death. They had two children.

George Petrie die of lymphoma on his 85th birthday on November 16, 1997.

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John Banner

Johann Banner was born on January 28, 1910, in Vienna, Austria. It was the capital of the Austro-Hungarian empire at the time. He was a Jew and had to flee to America due to religious persecution during the Nazi-Austrian union.

He knew no English but became the emcee of a musical revue and learned his lines phonetically. He quickly began to learn the language.

He adopted the English name John and became typecast as comedy versions of the same Nazis who killed his family back home in Austria. One example was his role in Kisses for My President in 1964.

He eventually became a TV fixture as Sergeant Schultz on the TV show Hogan’s Heroes. He jokingly said, “who better to play Nazis than us Jews?” At the same time, he felt that the role was, in his own words, “too cuddly.” He didn’t see the character as a true Nazi but felt that he instead represented the goodness in every generation.

Hogan’s Heroes was canceled in 1965. John then got a part in the prohibition-era show The Chicago Teddy Bears in 1971. It only lasted for three months and 13 episodes.

John married Illa Raudnitz on October 11, 1940. He then married Renee Christine Gemenne Murh on June 19, 1965, but they were divorced on January 28, 1973. He never had any children.

John Banner’s life was cut short by an abdominal hemorrhage on his 63rd birthday on January 28, 1973. He is interred at the Maurer Cemetery in Vienna.

Mike Douglas

Mike Douglas was born on August 11, 1920. He began his career as a singer but moved to California in the 40s. He joined Kay Kyser’s band and was a singer on the College of Musical Knowledge show in 1949. His love for entertainment soon led him to the big and small screen.

He was most famous for The Mike Douglas Show, which ran from 1961-1981. It had plenty of notable guests, including Judy Garland, Debbie Reynolds, Bette Davis, and Lou Rawls. It was also the first syndicated show to win an Emmy.

Mike also appeared in movies such as Cinderella in 1950. He even had a hit recording in 1966 when The Men in My Little Girl’s Life reached #6 on the charts.

He wrote two books about his life. The first, Mike Douglas: My Story was released in 1978. The next one, I’ll Be Right Back, Memories of TV’s Greatest Talk Show, was released in 1999.

Mike Douglas died on his 86th birthday on August 11, 2006.

Who’s your favorite Hollywood star that burned out too soon? Let us know in the comments below. Like and subscribe to Facts Verse for more of the most tragic celebrity deaths of all time.

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