We all look up to our favorite stars, and when one of them sadly passes, it leaves us all with a heavy heart. There’s never truly a good time to say goodbye to a loved one, and the same is somehow true for people we only know from afar, whether they were actors, musicians, or sports legends. Many of these names you will recognize, some you may not, but each of these people left an undeniable mark on our lives and the world we know today. Some were cut short in their prime while others led long, fulfilled lives before leaving the mortal coil, and some stars may have faded in recent years, but they all have one thing in common: They will be missed. Join us as we take a look at these stars, how we lost them, and the accomplishments or feats we’ll always remember them for.
Family Matters star Michelle Thomas died on Dec. 28th, 1998 after battling a rare form of stomach cancer. She was just 30 years old. Thomas played Steve Urkel’s perky girlfriend Myra Monkhouse on the series from 1993 until 1998. Following Family Matters, she joined the cast of the daytime soap opera The Young and the Restless in August 1998. She left the soap to go on medical leave in October of that year, according to her obituary in The New York Times.
Ashleigh Aston Moore
Ashleigh Aston Moore was known to practically every young girl who grew up in the ’90s for playing the neurotic, food-loving, little Chrissy in the coming-of-age drama Now and Then. Details of her death are vague. However, Life and Style magazine said she died from an alleged drug overdose in December 2007 at age 26.
Her Now & Then co-star, Thora Birch, confirmed Moore’s death in a 2015 interview with ABC News. “Ashleigh [Aston-Moore] was a really cool kid,” she said. “She had a great personality and I remember making fun of ‘Chrissy’s’ lines with her from time-to-time because neither of us could believe that Chrissy was so clueless. I had not heard about her passing until a couple of years ago and was saddened by the news. She still lives on as Chrissy to me”
Stuart Scott, one of the most iconic ESPN anchors of all time, died Jan. 4, 2015 after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was just 49 years old. Scott joined ESPN in 1993 and quickly became one of the network’s most popular and beloved personalities, due in great part to spirited catchphrases, such as “Boo-Yah!”
In 2014, Stuart spoke about his battle with cancer—which began in 2007 after an emergency appendectomy revealed a malignancy—at the ESPY Awards, telling the audience, “When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.”
Actress Natasha Richardson died March 18, 2009, after injuring her head during a ski accident. Richardson’s husband, Liam Neeson, spoke about her death in a 2014 interview on 60 Minutes, revealing, “I spoke to her [after the accident] and she said, ‘Oh darling. I’ve taken a tumble in the snow.’ That’s how she described it.'”
Neeson, who was filming a movie in Toronto at the time, flew to a hospital in Montreal, where he received the terrible news. “I was told she was brain dead,” he said. “…And I went into her and told her I loved her. Said, ‘Sweetie, you’re not coming back from this. You’ve banged your head. It’s—I don’t know if you can hear me, but that’s—this is what’s gone down. And we’re bringing ya back to New York. All your family and friends will come.’ And that was more or less it.” She was 45.
Troubled country singer Mindy McCready was found dead on her front porch from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound on Feb. 17, 2013, according to CNN. She was 37. McCready’s death occurred about a month after her boyfriend, David Wilson, shot and killed himself. At the time of her death, it was reported that she also shot and killed Wilson’s dog.