Any celebrity death is tragic for fans, friends, and family, but certain factors can give them an even greater impact. It may be the way they died or when or even the unanswered questions that are left behind.
Holidays are a difficult time to lose a loved one. Christmas Day is such an important family event that any deaths that occur during it will remember forever. Several popular singers, actors, and actresses have passed away during the Yuletide season.
Like and subscribe to Facts Verse for more videos covering the untimely deaths of some of the world’s biggest stars. Watch our video to learn how and why these celebrities tragically died on Christmas Day.
Dino Paul Crocetti was born on June 7, 1917, in the midwestern town of Steubenville, Ohio. He became a beloved crooner, and some of his most popular songs were Volare, Everybody Loves Somebody, and That’s Amore. He also developed The Dean Martin Show in the 60s and hosted the Dean Martin Celebrity Roast specials.
Dean is a prominent part of the Rat Pack group of singers that includes Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. He appears with a drink and cigarette in his hand, but his daughter Deana says he prefers to drink at home with his wife.
Dean developed health issues such as kidney problems, lung cancer, and emphysema. He continued to headline his Vegas act until officially retiring from public appearances.
Dean Martin passed away of acute respiratory failure at the age of 78 on Christmas Day, 1995. His funeral holds on December 28 with several huge names in attendance. But his Rat Pack friend Frank Sinatra is too distraught to come.
Eartha Mae Keith was born on January 7, 1927. She attended the Metropolitan Vocational High School and began performing as part of the Katherine Dunham Company from 1943 to1948. Her breakout role was in the 1945 Broadway production of the musical Carib Song. In the 1950s, she creates six songs on the US Top 30 charts, including Uska Dara and I Want to Be Evil. The 1954 track Under the Bridges of Paris reached the Top 10 on the UK charts. One of her most memorable songs was the 1953 recording of the Christmas-based comedy song Santa Baby. In it, she spoke four languages and sang in 11.
Her many film appearances included The Mark of the Hawk in 1957, St. Louis Blues in 1958, and Anna Lucasta in 1958. Her TV appearances began in 1967 when she appeared as Catwoman in the final season of the television series Batman. Her career is rising but take a temporary hit in 1968 when she speaks against the Vietnam War during a White House luncheon.
She earns the first gold record of her career with the disco track Where Is My Man in 1984. Which reaches the Top 40 on the UK Singles Chart and the Top 10 on the US Billboard dance charts. She returned to Broadway in the 1978 production of Timbuktu and also in the 1987 production of Steven Sondheim’s Follies. Timbuktu earned her a Tony nomination, followed up by another nomination for The Wild Party in 2000.
Eartha’s voiceover work began with a commercial for the album Aja by the rock band Steely Dan and with her portrayal as the hypnotizing snake Kaa in a 1994 radio version of The Jungle Book. Reached a new generation with her memorable performance as Yzma in Disney’s Emperor’s New Groove. She earned 2 Daytime Emmys and 2 Annie Awards for its direct-to-TV sequel Kronk’s New Groove and TV series The Emperor’s New School. She also earned a 3rd Emmy for her guest appearance on Wonder Pets in 2010.
Eartha married John William McDonald on June 6, 1960. They had a daughter named Kitt McDonald on June 6, 1960, and baptized her at the Bless Sacrament Catholic Church. The couple divorced in 1965.
Eartha was also a devoted activist. Established the non-profit Kittsville Youth Foundation for underprivileged youth in Los Angeles and supported the Rebels with a Cause organization to clean up the streets and develop recreational areas. She even spoke in their favor in front of the House General Subcommittee on Education of the Committee on Education and Labor in May of 1967. She was also a member of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and was an ardent supporter of LGBT+ rights.
Eartha Kitt died of colon cancer three weeks before her 82nd birthday on Christmas Day in 2008.
Rose Joan Bondell was born in New York City on August 30, 1906. She begins her show business career as a vaudeville performer with her family before she could even walk, carried onto the stage by her mother in a production of The Greatest Love. Then she went everywhere with them, including living in Honolulu from 1914 to 1915 and then spent six years in Australia. She became a pageant girl with the stage name of Rosebud Blondell, winning the 1926 Miss Dallas pageant and placing 4th in Miss America in 1926.
Rose attends Santa Monica High School and acted in plays, then went on to study at North Texas Teacher’s College from 1926 to 1927.
Joan returned to New York in 1927 and worked as a model, circus hand, clerk, and actress in a stage company. Her first Broadway role was in Penny Arcade in 1930. It only lasted for three weeks, but Al Jolson turned it into a film called Sinner’s Holiday and cast Joan in it. She appeared in over 100 films and TV shows throughout her career and already had 50 films with Warner Brothers under her belt before leaving the studio in 1939. She was also one of the highest-paid workers in the United States during the Great Depression.
Joan was married to George Bernes from 1933-1936, Dick Powell from 1936-1944, and Mike Todd from 1947-1950. She had two children, Norman Scott Barnes and Ellen Powell.
She earned an Academy Award nomination for The Blue Veil in 1951 and won a Golden Globe for Opening Night in 1977. Her final films were Grease in 1978 and The Champ in 1979.
Ellen Powell died of leukemia on Christmas Day in 1979. Her family was by her side when she passed, and she was cremated and interred at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.
Denver Dell Pyle was born in Bethune, Colorado, on May 11, 1920. He attends Colorado State University after high school but dropped out to pursue his show business dreams. Then moved to Los Angeles in 1940 and played drums in a band until enlisting in the Navy during WWII. He was injured at the Battle of Guadalcanal and medically discharged in 1942. After that, he worked in TV and television. His most notable TV roles included Briscoe Darling Jr. on The Andy Griffith Show and Jesse Duke in The Dukes of Hazzard, and Mad Jack in The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams. He was also a frequent fixture in Western movies such as The Horse Soldiers and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. He received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on December 12, 1997.
Denver married Marilee Carpented in 1955. They had two sons, David and Tony, but divorced in 1970. He later married Tippie Johnston in 1983.
Denver invested in oil when it was $2.15 per barrel and earned a massive return on his investment. He was rich by the time of the 1973 oil crisis and earned more money from oil than his entire 30-year acting career. However, he chose not to hoard his wealth and used it instead for philanthropic efforts. He sponsored Uncle Jesse’s Fishing Tournament for ten years. During this time, it raised over $160,000 for children’s programs in Lamar County, Texas. The Texas Senate passed a resolution honoring him and his wife for their contributions to the Special Olympics and the Denver Pyle’s Children’s Charities he helped establish.
Denver retired from full-time acting in his later years. His final role was Jesse Duke in the 1997 made-for-TV movie The Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion!
Denver Pyle sadly died of lung cancer on Christmas Day in 1997. The service was held on January 6, 1998, and he was buried at an unmarked grave at the Forreston Cemetery in Forreston, Texas but interred next to his wife’s parents J.T. Johnston and Erin Birch Johnston.
James Joseph Brown came into this world on May 3, 1933. He became a popular soul singer with hits like It’s a Man’s, Man’s World.
James Brown died at the age of 73 on Christmas Day in 2006, with the official cause of death listed as congestive heart failure from pneumonia. At least 12 people, including Dr. Marvin Crawford, who signed his death certificate, doubt that claim and believe he may have been murdered.
George Michael was born in the United Kingdom. He became part of the duo Wham and released hits such as Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, Careless Whisper, and Last Christmas. Their debut album Fantastic reached the top spot on the UK charts, and their next album, Make It Big, reached #1 in the UK, the United States, and several other countries. He also had a successful solo career and sold over 1 million records over 35 years, making him one of the best-selling artists in history. He also earned accolades such as Best British Male Solo Artist at the 1988 Brit Awards, Album of the Year at the 1989 Grammies, and the Video Vanguard Award at the MTV Video Music Awards.
George also fought for LGBT+ rights and donated proceeds from his singles to charities fighting against AIDS,
George Michael died of heart and liver issues at the age of 53 on Christmas Day in 2016. His partner Fadi Fawaz discovered his body, but the autopsy took months to complete, and it was another suspicious death that naturally led fans to speculate.
If you’re enjoying this video, give it a like and subscribe to Facts Verse for more. Keep watching to learn the tragic tales of other celebrities who tragically died on Christmas Day, including one of the most popular classic actors of all time.
This beloved actress was born on July 12, 1890. She was a character actress who first entered the stage at the age of 3 and earned her nickname for her cheerful attitude. Her films appearances include I’ll Cry Tomorrow in 1955, Brand of Courage in 1958, and The Long Count in 1962. Her TV roles include playing Lovey Hackett in One Happy Family, Emma Brand in The andy Griffith Show, and regular appearances on The Ames Brothers Show. She was married twice and had three children.
Cheerio Meredith perished at the age of 74 on Christmas Day in 1964 after an unspecified long illness.
William Claude Dukenfield was born to English immigrant parents on January 29, 1880. He never completed grade school and ran away constantly, but he always had dreams of stardom. A performance at a local theater sparked his interest in juggling, and he began as a silent juggler in vaudeville shows. He was regularly called the best in his craft and began touring around the world, including North America, Europe, Australia, and South Africa. He later added comedy to his act and joined the Ziegfeld Follies for years.
W.C. made his Broadway debut in The Ham Tree in 1905. It was the first time the stuttering performer ever spoke on stage. He continued to tour with vaudeville acts and even got to perform for George V and Queen Mary. From 1915-1922, he appeared in the successful Ziegelf Follies review. He returned to Broadway in the 1923 musical Poppy and The Earl Carrol Vanities in 1928.
W.C.’s first films were Pool Sharks and His Lordship’s Dilemma, both silent projects released in 1915. He stayed with the stage until 1924, when he appeared in the 1924 Revolutionary War film Janice Meredith and a film adaptation of Poppy called Sally of the Sawdust in 1925. He earned a contract with Paramount that led to a series of 13 feature-length comedies. His first sound film was Her Majesty’s Love in 1931.
W.C. married chorus girl Harriet Hattie Hughes on April 8, 1900. She was a part of his stage act. She taught him to read and write, and they had their son William Claude Fields, Jr. in 1904. The couple separated in 1907. He later met Bessie Poole and had a son with her named William Rexford Fields Morris. They put him under the care of her acquaintance so that they could continue to tour but split up in 1927 after she claimed that he wasn’t the father of her son. He had an on-and-off-again relationship with Carlotta Montio from 1907 until his death.
He also developed a reputation as a heavy drinker, and it was even written into many of his film roles. By 1938, it had caused him to develop a condition known as delirium tremens that made him physically unable to work in film. He took the time to work on the radio and reconnect with his wife. He earned another film contract with Universal in 1939, but his career was already slowing down.
W.C. died of a gastric hemorrhage at the age of 66 on Christmas Day in 1946.
Kurt Boas was born in Germany on April 5, 1901. He began acting in 1907, making him one of the first child actors. His Jewish family was forced to leave Germany in 1934.
Curt found his way to Hollywood in 1937, and he appeared in theater, cabaret, musicals, and films over an 82-year-long career. A few of his most notable projects were Casablance in 1942 and Wings of Desire in 1987. The latter film earned him a European Film Award for Best Supporting Actor.
He returned to Germany in the 50s when it was safe to do so and did some of his final projects there.
Curt Bois died in Berlin at the age of 90 on Christmas Day in 1991.
Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin Junior was born on April 16, 1889. He became one of the most famous stars of silent film thanks to his Tramp character. He never shied away from controversial projects, even producing The Great Dictator as a mockery of Hitler. His film career was so long and dramatic that it even inspired a film titled Chaplin.
Charlie Chaplin died on Christmas Day in 1977. His legacy lives on today and has been influencing comedians for decades.
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