20. Steve Irwin - Top 20 controversial celebrities deathSteve Irwin (1962-2006), famously known as "The Crocodile Hunter," was an Australian television personality, wildlife expert, and conservationist. Irwin was renowned for his television series The Crocodile Hunter, an internationally broadcast wildlife documentary. Irwin died at the age of 44 on September 4, 2006, after he was pierced in the chest by a stingray barb when he was filming in Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The event caught on camera and a copy of the footage was handed to the Queensland Police. Later the family requested that the footage not be broadcast in public. Irwin's death stirred strong reaction in the world. Even the (then) Australian Prime Minister John Howard expressed "shock and distress," saying "Australia has lost a wonderful and colourful son." Flags at the Sydney Harbour Bridge were lowered to half mast in honour of him. Read: Ryan Dunn Dead or Alive: Top Reasons the Jackass star could be making a jackass of you
19. Elvis Aaron Presley - Top 20 controversial celebrities deathElvis Aaron Presley (1935-1977), also known as "King of Rock and Roll," is considered as one of the most important and popular figures of popular culture. A versatile voice of Presley could control many genres, including country, pop ballads, gospel, and blues. During his life, Presley was nominated for 14 Grammys and won 3. He also won the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award when he was 36 and was inducted into four music halls of fame. However, Presley led a degenerated life, abusing drug, eating junk food and having a lot of romantic partners. Twice in 1973, he overdosed on barbiturates, spending three days in a coma in his hotel suite. His Demerol addiction made him semicomatose and forced him to be hospitalized. During the later years of his life, Presley became over-dependent on drugs and became bloated and slow and dull and he could hardly pull himself through his abbreviated shows. Many fans remember him speaking gibberish and he was a shadow of his former energetic self. Drug abuse also made him suffer from multiple ailments including glaucoma, high blood pressure, liver damage, and an enlarged colon. In the afternoon of August 16, 1977, Presley's girlfriend Ginger Alden discovered Presley unresponsive on his bathroom floor. Several attempts to revive him failed and the iconic singer was officially pronounced dead at 3:30 pm at Baptist Memorial Hospital. Read: Ryan Dunn Dead or Alive: Top Reasons the Jackass star could be making a jackass of you
18. Tupac Amaru Shakur - Top 20 controversial celebrities deathTupac Amaru Shakur (1971-1996), a rap artist and actor, was named as the 86th Greatest Artist of All Time by Rolling Stone. He was also one of the best-selling music artists in the world, setting records of selling over 75 million albums worldwide as of 2007. However, the topics of most of Tupac's songs are violence and hardship in inner cities, racism, and other social problems. When he was only 25, Shakur was shot four times in Las Vegas on September 7, 1996 by unidentified gunmen. At the hospital, Shakur looked as if he would pull through and had passed the critical phase. However, on September 13, 1996, he had a hemorrhage and died of internal bleeding. The official cause of death was noted as respiratory failure and cardiopulmonary arrest in connection with multiple gunshot wounds. Read: Ryan Dunn Dead or Alive: Top Reasons the Jackass star could be making a jackass of you
17. Leslie Cheung - Top 20 controversial celebrities deathHong Kong film actor and musician Leslie Cheung Kwok-Wing (1956-2003) was recognized as the "Asian Biggest Superstar" by China Central Television (CCTV) in 2000. Recently, he was also listed in CNN's "top five most iconic musician of all time", just behind Michael Jackson and The Beatles. Cheung has acted in iconic movies like Farewell My Concubine (1992) and chopsocky movies like John Woo's Once A Thief (1991). Although Cheung gained tremendous fame, his life wasn't happy. On 1 April 2003, he jumped from the 24th floor of the Mandarin Oriental hotel. He left a suicide note saying that he had been suffering from depression. As one of the most hottest stars in Asia, Cheung's death shocked the world. And as rumors about the cause of his death spread, Cheung's family requested the media to let Cheung rest in peace, and not to sensationalize his sexual orientation and reasons for suicide.
16. Jimmy Hendrix - Top 20 controversial celebrities deathJimmy Hendrix (1942-1970), who was the first person inducted into the Native American Music Hall of Fame, is a very famous American guitarist and singer-songwriter. Hendrix is well known as the greatest electric guitarist in musical history and one of the most significant musicians of his time over a wide range of genres. During his lifetime, Hendrix won many distinguished rock music awards. He received a lot of fame. He was inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. Early on September 18, 1970, Hendrix died in London. When the police and ambulance arrived at 11:27 am, he was found lying on the floor, fully clothed. It seemd that he had been dead for some time. The police put the time of his death sometime between 3:00 am and 4:00 am. It was believed Hendrix died of overdose of Vesparax sleeping pills. A surgeon, who had attended on Hendrix on previous occasions, said Hendrix could have asphyxiated in his own vomit, mainly red wine which had filled his airways. Read: Ryan Dunn Dead or Alive: Top Reasons the Jackass star could be making a jackass of you
15. Brittany Murphy - Top 20 controversial celebrities deathBrittany Murphy (1977-2009), an American actress and singer, starred in films such as Clueless, Just Married, Girl Interrupted, Spun, 8 Mile, Uptown Girls, Sin City, Happy Feet, and Riding in Cars with Boys. She also voiced Luanne Platter on the animated TV series King of the Hill. Her final film, Abandoned, was released direct-to-DVD on August 24, 2010. On December 20, 2009, Murphy suddenly collapsed in the bathroom of her house. The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to an emergnecy call and firefighters attempted to resuscitate her. Subsequently, Murphy was taken to Cedars-Senai Medical Center where she was pronounced dead on arrival. On February 4, 2010, the Los Angeles County coroner stated that the primary cause of Murphy's death was pneumonia, with secondary factors of iron-deficiency anemia and multiple drug intoxication. These included "elevated levels" of hydrocodone, acetaminophen, L-methamphetamine (this is an OTC nasal medication, not the more well known D-methamphetamine which is a psychostimulant) and chlorpheniramine. Read: Ryan Dunn Dead or Alive: Top Reasons the Jackass star could be making a jackass of you
14. Heath Ledger - Top 20 controversial celebrities deathAustralian actor Heath Ledger (1979-2008) shot to fame, thanks to his explosive performance in movies like The Patriot (2000), Monster's Ball (2001), A Knight's Tale (2001), The Brothers Grimm (2005) and Brokeback Mountain (2005). It was in The Dark Knight (2008) that Ledger established himself as a talented actor. For playing the role of Joker in the movie, Ledger won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. To prepare for the role, ledger told Empire that he locked himself away in a hotel room in London, "formed a little diary and experimented with voices." "It was important to try to find a somewhat iconic voice and laugh. I ended up landing more in the realm of a psychopath – someone with very little to no conscience towards his acts," Ledger said. Ledger received a lot of critical acclaim for his role as Joker but did not live to see or hear it. On January 22, 2008, Ledger's housekeeper, Teresa Solomon, and his masseuse, Diana Wolozin, found him lying unconscious on his bed in his fourth-floor loft apartment at 421 Broome Street in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan. Wolozin called Ledger's actress friend Mary-Kate Olsen as well as 911 for help. At the insistence of the 911 operator, Wolozin administered CPR but failed to revive him. Later Emergency medical technicians (EMT) arrived and at 3.36 pm Ledger was pronounced dead and his body was removed from the apartment. Toxicology reports say Ledger "died as a result of acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine." "We have concluded that the manner of death is accident, resulting from the abuse of prescription medications," the report stated. The medications found in the toxicological analysis are commonly prescribed in the United States for insomnia, anxiety, depression, pain, and/or common cold symptoms. Read: Ryan Dunn Dead or Alive: Top Reasons the Jackass star could be making a jackass of you
13. John Lennon - Top 20 controversial celebrities deathEnglish singer-songwriter John Lennon (1940-1980) is one of the founding members of The Beatles, which is regarded as one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Lennon also cooperated with Beatles costar Paul McCartney to form one of the most successful songwriting partnerships of the 20th century. As much as Lennon was known for his songs, he was equally well known for his controversial political views and peace activism. Lennon resigned from the music business in 1975 and devoted all the time to his family, especially his new-born baby. In 1980, he came back with his album Double Fantasy. After three weeks of its release, on December 8 at 10.50 pm, Lennon was shot in the back four times at the entrance of the building he lived. Lennon was shot by Mark David Chapman, a deranged fan for whom Lennon had autographed a copy of Double Fantasy a few hours earlier. Lennon was pronounced dead at 11.15 pm at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center. Read: Ryan Dunn Dead or Alive: Top Reasons the Jackass star could be making a jackass of you
12. Kurt Cobain - Top 20 controversial celebrities deathKurt Cobain (1967-1994), an American singer-songwriter, musician and artist, gained the tremendous popularity as being the lead singer and guitarist of the grunge band Nirvana. His albums were sold more than 25 million copies in U.S. and over 50 million worldwide. In the early years of his life, Cobain's parents divorced, which gave a profound influence on his life. On April 8, 1994, amid rumors that Nirvana was breaking up, an electrician who had arrived at Cobain's house to install a security system found his body at his Lake Washington home. The electrician initially thought Cobain was asleep till he saw a shotgun pointing at his chin. A suicide note was found at the spot. It read, "I haven't felt the excitement of listening to as well as creating music, along with really writing . . . for too many years now." It was addressed to Cobain's imaginary friend 'Boddah.' Toxicology report said a high concentration of heroin and traces of Valium were found in his body. The police said Cobain's body had been lying there for days and the coroner's report estimated that Cobain had died on April 5. Cobain's fans feel he was always struggling with drug addiction, sickness and depression, his reputation and public image. The professional and lifelong personal pressures surrounding Cobain and his wife took its toll. Read: Ryan Dunn Dead or Alive: Top Reasons the Jackass star could be making a jackass of you
8. Steve Fossett - Top 20 controversial celebrities deathSteve Fossett (1944-2007) was an American businessman, aviator, and adventurer, who achieved fame for being the first person to travel solo around the world in a balloon. Fossett went missing after he took off on September 3, 2007 with fuel enough to fly five hours. The search began six hours after his departure, but his body could not be found. Google helped in the search by providing satellite imageries from for Google Earth software. Over 50,000 people joined the search but without much success. On February 15, 2008, he was officially declared dead. Some believed Fossett has faked his own death. Lt-Col Cynthia Ryan said he believed Fossett did not crash but rather faked his own death. There was a rumor that Fossett had lived a "secret double life," cheating on his wife. Fossett’s unusual careless acts of not taking first-aid kit, emergency kit, and GPS watch on the flight also fueled this theory. Other conspiracy theories suggest Fossett, who had accumulated great wealth but may have hit difficulties, had a $52 million motive for going missing: a life insurance policy that would secure his wife's financial future. The speculations were debunked when the wreckage of the plane was discovered on October 1, 2009, more than a year after the disappearance. His bones were discovered later that month and the DNA testing result matched Fossett’s DNA. Read: Ryan Dunn Dead or Alive: Top Reasons the Jackass star could be making a jackass of you
11. Alexander McQueen - Top 20 controversial celebrities deathBritish fashion designer and couturier Alexander McQueen (1969-2010) is renowned for his in-depth knowledge of bespoke British tailoring, his tendency to juxtapose female strength and sensuality with fragility in his collections, as well as the emotional power and raw energy of his provocative fashion shows. McQueen won four British Designer of the Year awards (1996, 1997, 2001 and 2003) and the Council of Fashion Designers of America's (CFDA) International Designer of the Year award in 2003. On February 11, 2010, just nine day after his mother's death, McQueen was found dead. His housekeeper saw his body body hanging in his wardrobe. Paramedics were called to McQueen's home on Green Street, London W1 and they pronounced him dead at the scene. On February 17, 2010, Westminster Coroner's Court was told that a post-mortem examination found that McQueen's death was due to asphyxiation and hanging. Coroner Dr. Paul Knapman reported finding "a significant level of cocaine, sleeping pills, and tranquilisers in the blood samples taken after the designer's death." McQueen's death was officially recorded as suicide. Prior to hanging himself with his "favourite brown belt", the inquest recorded that he had slashed his wrists with a ceremonial dagger and a meat cleaver. Read: Ryan Dunn Dead or Alive: Top Reasons the Jackass star could be making a jackass of you
10. Gianni Versace - Top 20 controversial celebrities deathGianni Versace (1946-1997) was an Italian fashion designer, known for his close associations with Madonna, Elton John, and Princess Diana. He was the founder of Gianni Versace S.p.A., an international fashion house, which makes accessories, fragrances, makeup, home furnishings and clothes. Versace was shot dead by Andrew Cunanan on July 15, 1997, just outside of his Miami Beach mansion. Cunanan subsequently killed himself eight days after. The association between Versace and Cunanan seemed random, thus creating speculation. Some claim Cunanan was jealous of Versace's role as a "gay icon." Giuseppe Di Bella, a former member of mafia N’drangheta, also wrote in his book Metastasi that Versace was killed due to the "debts" he owed to the Mafia. Read: Ryan Dunn Dead or Alive: Top Reasons the Jackass star could be making a jackass of you
9. John F. Kennedy - Top 20 controversial celebrities deathJohn F. Kennedy (1917-1963) served as the 35th President of the United States from 1961 until 1963 when he was assassinated. Kennedy, the youngest elected President, was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald around 12:30 p.m. on November 22, 1963 in Dallas while travelling in a Presidential motorcade. Kennedy was shot once in the upper back and was killed with a final shot to the head at 12.30 pm. He was pronounced dead half an hour later. Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested and charged with the assassination of Kennedy. Oswald asserted his innocence and two days before his trial was supposed to begin, Oswald was shot dead by Jack Ruby. Ruby, who was arrested and convicted for the murder of Oswald, died of cancer on January 3, 1967, while the date for his new trial was being set. Warren Commission, which carried out the investigation, concluded that both Oswald and Ruby acted alone, but poll results showed that as much as 80 percent of Americans suspected that there was a cover-up. Read: Ryan Dunn Dead or Alive: Top Reasons the Jackass star could be making a jackass of you
7. Bruce Lee - Top 20 controversial celebrities deathBruce Lee (1940-1973), a San Francisco-born Chinese descendent, was one of the most celebrated martial artists, appearing in numerous action films such as Fist of Fury, Way of the Dragon, Enter the Dragon, and Game of Death. A couple months before his death, Lee suffered seizures and headaches, sometimes collapsing and losing consciousness. On July 20, 1973, Lee died in Hong Kong and his body was transferred to Seattle to be buried. At the time of his death, his brain was found to have swollen by 13 percent and analgesic Equagesic was discovered in his system during the autopsy. In 2005, movile producer Raymond Chow stated in an interview that Lee had died from a hypersensitivity to the muscle relaxant (meprobamate) in Equagesic, which he described as a common ingredient in painkillers. However, Lee’s personal physician in Hong Kong said Equagesic was “not at all involved in Bruce’s first collapse,” causing controversy. Some suggested that Lee, who loved to ingest hashish and meditate, may have gotten "bad hash" from his supplier, stuff that was loaded with opium, and because of the large amounts he ate, this "caused him to develop an aneurysm from the side effects of the powerful opium in the hash." Adding to the drug controversy were various theories, presumably due to his iconic statue as an Asian martial artist, including being murdered by an underground Chinese triad, rival martial arts masters, receiving a curse on his family (his son Brandon Lee also died at a young age in a freak accident), or having a delayed reaction to a Dim Mak strike. Read: Ryan Dunn Dead or Alive: Top Reasons the Jackass star could be making a jackass of you
6. Marilyn Monroe - Top 20 controversial celebrities deathMarilyn Monroe (1926-1962) was a successful actress, singer, and model. When she died at the age of 36, the cause of death was officially recorded as “acute barbiturate poisoning” which resulted from “probable suicide”. However, the news of her death became one of the most debated conspiracies. Some said her death was due to a mistake by her physicians. Some said mafia had killed her. Some said John F. Kennedy or one of his associates murdered her to silence the secret affair between the U.S. President and Monroe.
5. Anna Nicole Smith - Top 20 controversial celebrities deathAmerican model, actress and television star Anna Nicole Smith (1967-2007) married oil business mogul J. Howard Marshall in 1994 and it sparked a lot of controversy as Marshall was 62 years older than Smith and many people believed she married him for his money. Smith denied the allegations and following Marshall's death in 1995, she began a lengthy legal battle over a share of his $1.6 billion estate. On February 8, 2007, Anna was found dead in Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. A seven-week investigation led by Broward County Medical Examiner and Forensic Pathologist Dr. Joshua Perper concluded that Smith had died of "combined drug intoxication" with the sleeping medication chloral hydrate as the "major component." No illegal drugs were found in Anna's system. The official report stated that her death was not considered to be due to homicide, suicide, or natural causes.
4. Jim Morrison - Top 20 controversial celebrities deathThe Doors frontman Jim Morrison (1943-1971) is one of the most iconic singers in rock music history. The lyrics and songs of Morrison, who was ranked by Rolling Stone at No.47 in its 100 Greatest Singers of All Time list, were inspired by the writings of philosophers and poets such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Arthur Rimbaud, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Jean Cocteau. On July 3, 1971, Morrison was found dead in a Paris apartment bathtub by his long-term companion, Pamela Courson. As the medical examiner did not find any sign of foul play, no autopsy was performed on Morrison by the French authorities. The decision made many people wonder about the cause of Morrison's death. Later accounts reveal that Morrison had died of a brain hemorrhage following heroin overdose. Courson allegedly told Morrison's friends later that she and Morrison had taken heroin after a night of heavy drinking. Morrison was allegedly coughing badly after taking the heroin and while taking bath, he had vomited blood. However, Morrison appeared to recover and Courson went to sleep. Sometime later, when Courson woke up, she found Morrison was lying motionless and she failed to wake him up. Courson then called for medical assistance and when the doctors arrived, they pronounced Morrison dead. Read: Ryan Dunn Dead or Alive: Top Reasons the Jackass star could be making a jackass of you
3. Princess Diana - Top 20 controversial celebrities deathDiana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997), died in a fatal car crash on August 31, 1997 in the Pont de l'Alma road tunnel in Paris. The crash also claimed the life of her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed and their driver, Henri Paul. Princess Diana's death shocked the world. Initial investigation by French authorities revealed that Henri was drunk and lost control of the car. However, Dodi's father, Mohamed Al-Fayed (the owner of the Paris Ritz and former owner of Harrods) said in February 1999 that his son and Diana were killed in a crash that was meticulously planned, accusing MI6 as well as Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. There were also rumors that Diana was pregnant with Dodi Fayed's child and Al-Fayed asserted in television interviews that the couple were going to announce their engagement on the Monday after the accident: September 1, 1997. It was alleged that the crash was planned as the British Royal Family disliked the idea of Diana marrying Dodi Fayed, a non-Christian. Inquests in London during 2004 and 2007 had attributed the crash to Henri's grossly negligent driving and to the paparazzi that were pursuing the car. A letter hand-written to Paul Burrell, Diana's butler, by the princess said, "This particular phase in my life is the most dangerous - my husband is planning 'an accident' in my car, brake failure and serious head injury in order to make the path clear for him to marry Tiggy (Legge-Bourke). Camilla (Parker-Bowles) is nothing but a decoy, so we are all being used by the man in every sense of the word." Later, Al-Fayed said he has dropped his accusations for the sake of Diana's children. Read: Ryan Dunn Dead or Alive: Top Reasons the Jackass star could be making a jackass of you
2. Michael Jackson - Top 20 controversial celebrities deathPop star Michael Jackson (1958-2009) died on June 25, 2009 at his rented home in Los Angeles from an overdose of the powerful anesthetic drug propofol, according to autopsy reports. The pop star died just weeks before his much-anticipated "This Is It" comeback tour was scheduled to kick off. Dr. Conrad Murray, a cardiologist, was hired as Jackson's personal physician while the pop star prepared for his comeback tour. He became the prime suspect after the "Thriller" singer died and was subsequently accused of gross negligence for administering Jackson an overdose of the powerful anesthetic propofol and other sedatives, which led to the pop star's death by heart failure. Later, the doctor was charged with involuntary manslaughter of the pop star. Read: Ryan Dunn Dead or Alive: Top Reasons the Jackass star could be making a jackass of you
1. Ryan Dunn - Top 20 controversial celebrities deathAmerican reality TV star and daredevil Ryan Dunn (1977-2011) was an original crew member of MTV's Jackass show. The Jackass star spent his entire career performing ridiculous, crude and dangerous pranks in Jackass, Viva La Bam, Homewrecker, and Proving Ground. On Monday, June 20, Dunn was driving his Porsche 911 GT3 at a speed of nearly 140 mph when suddenly his car veered off the road, struck the side railing, flew into the air and crashed into a patch of trees. The car immediately burst into flames and Dunn and his friend, co-star and former Navy SEAL Zachary Hartwell died instantly. Preliminary investigations revealed that Dunn was drunk - police said Dunn's blood alcohol content (BAC) was 0.196, or almost 2.5 times the state legal limit of 0.08 at the time of the crash. Many of Dunn's fans believe that the Jackass star is playing an elaborate hoax on them to promote his next movie 'Living Will,' where he is supposed to come back from dead as a "ghost" to hang out with his friends. Read: Ryan Dunn Dead or Alive: Top Reasons the Jackass star could be making a jackass of you
Jackass star Ryan Dunn died in a fatal car crash on Monday but many people think that Dunn is alive and is playing a joke, possibly to promote his next movie 'Living Will.'
Dunn had lived his entire career life, performing ridiculous, crude and dangerous pranks in Jackass, Viva La Bam, Homewrecker, and Proving Ground. Hence, when news spread that he had died in a car crash, it stirred a controversy and many people think it is a hoax.
Dunn is not the only one whose death has stirred shock, disbelief and controversy. Click on the slideshow to see the top 20 celebrities whose deaths were surrounded in controversy, shock and disbelief.