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SAWYER SWEETEN, 19
He'd stepped back from the spotlight after appearing as one of the blond Barone twins on Everybody Loves Raymond, but sadly, the child star's name resurfaced in April 2015 after he reportedly shot himself on his family's front porch. His sister Madylin, who co-starred with him on the sitcom (along with his twin brother, Sullivan), posted on Facebook that day, "At this time I would like to encourage everyone to reach out to the ones you love. Let them have no doubt of what they mean to you." His TV parents Ray Romano and Patricia Heaton also expressed their shock and sadness in statements to PEOPLE.
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DIEM BROWN, 32
The MTV reality star, best known for her time on the Real World/Road Rules Challenge, died on Nov. 14, 2014, after a very public and lengthy battle with cancer. She was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 23, and ultimately battled the disease three times – yet remained positive with each diagnosis. She chronicled her ups and downs for PEOPLE. "It sounds like a cliché, but I've only got this one life, and I need to live every day to the fullest. I'm a lot more appreciative of things now," she said in October, the same month she confirmed that her cancer had spread to her liver and lymph nodes following a colon cancer diagnosis in August. Even in the final stages of her fight, she stayed strong, telling PEOPLE, "I want people to know that the fight is worth it. And that's something that's so important for me."
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ROBIN WILLIAMS, 63
Whether he was bringing the laughs voicing a genie in Aladdin (1992) or moving audiences to tears playing a therapist in Good Will Hunting (his only Oscar win, in 1997), Williams's talents earned him more than 100 acting credits in a decades-spanning career. "I dread the word 'art,'" Williams, who died in a suicide on Aug. 11, 2014, at age 63, told the Associated Press in 1989. "That's what we used to do every night before we'd go on with Waiting for Godot.' We'd go, 'No art. Art dies tonight.' We'd try to give it a life."
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MICHAEL JOHNS, 35
The season 7 American Idol contestant wanted to show the world that he had "something to say" – but sadly, he never fully got the chance. Australian-born Johns, 35, died on Aug. 1, 2014, from a blood clot in his ankle. "He was a special guy for sure," friend Kevin Haaland told PEOPLE. "He was also just genuinely one of the funniest people … He loved to laugh and to make other people laugh, and people just wanted to be his friend."
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L'WREN SCOTT, 49
Her designs regularly made statements on runways and red carpets alike, whether she was showing at Fashion Week or dressing Nicole Kidman at the Oscars. "It's fun to see the ideas in your head spring to life," Scott, who was found dead March 17 of an apparent suicide, said in a 2009 interview with The Daily Beast. "Because it all starts in your mind." The model-turned-stylist's legacy also includes a romance with Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger.
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PAUL WALKER, 40
When the first Fast & Furious film arrived in theaters in 2001, it was the blue-eyed star's portrayal of undercover police officer Brian O'Conner that helped drive the franchise to blockbuster success. More than a decade later, Walker, 40, was working on the seventh installment of the street-racing action series before he died on Nov. 30, 2013, when a car he was in crashed and exploded in Santa Clarita, Calif. After his passing, the quiet father was remembered by friends and family alike as a caring guy who didn't care about fame but rather, helping others.
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WHITNEY HOUSTON, 48
Known simply as The Voice, Houston ruled the pop charts with such hits as "The Greatest Love of All" and "I Wanna Dance with Somebody." But the troubled star, whose struggles with addiction and tumultuous marriage to Bobby Brown often overshadowed her talent, will best be remembered for her cover of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" – the mega-selling track from her 1992 film debut in The Bodyguard. Fittingly, it was that Houston classic that played nearly 20 years later during her funeral at her childhood church in Newark, N.J., where the 48-year-old was laid to rest after being found dead from accidental drowning in the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Feb. 11, 2012.
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JAMES GANDOLFINI, 51
Known most famously for his role as mobster Tony Soprano on the HBO smash The Sopranos, Gandolfini was "a great talent," HBO execs said in a statement following the actor's shocking death on June 19, 2013, at age 51. "He touched so many of us over the years with his humor, his warmth and his humility." Gandolfini, who also appeared in Zero Dark Thirty, The Mexican and All the King's Men, died of an apparent heart attack while in Sicily for the Taormina Film Fest.
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CORY MONTEITH, 31
"I don't want kids to think it's okay to drop out of school and get high, and they'll be famous actors, too," Monteith once said about being a troubled role model who first entered rehab at age 19. In 2013, the adored Glee star with the swoon-worthy voice and boyish good looks again sought treatment for substance abuse. Just months later, on July 13, 2013, Monteith was found dead at 31 in a Vancouver hotel room. "Have no words," Monteith's costar Dot-Marie Jones Tweeted. "My heart is broken."
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NATASHA RICHARDSON, 45
While taking a private ski lesson at the Mont Tremblant resort in Québec, the actress, 45, fell down in what appeared to be a minor incident. Two days later, on March 18, 2009, she died from what was later ruled "blunt trauma" to her head, leaving behind her husband of 14 years, actor Liam Neeson, and two sons. "She was an adoring and loving wife and mother," family friend Ralph Fiennes said. "I cannot imagine a world without her wit, her love, her mischief, her great, great talent and her gift for living."
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Though he completed rehab in spring 2013, the acclaimed actor, 46, was found dead of an apparent drug overdose in his New York City apartment on Feb. 2, 2014. Academy Award winner Hoffman was a father of three and known for his work in such movies as Doubt, Boogie Nights, Capote and, most recently, The Hunger Games franchise. In addition to daughters Tallulah and Willa and son Cooper, he's survived by his longtime partner, Mimi O'Donnell.
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BRITTANY MURPHY, 32
Her star-making turn was as the charmingly goofy Tai in the 1995 comedy Clueless – but Murphy had a striking talent for drama, churning out jaw-dropping performances in Girl, Interrupted (as a suicidal mental patient) and Don't Say a Word. But after reportedly battling the flu, the 32-year-old actress died of cardiac arrest after collapsing on Dec. 20, 2009, at her Los Angeles home. Although Murphy was rumored to have battled anorexia and drugs, her husband Simon Monjack – who died somewhat mysteriously in 2010 – dismissed the talk, telling PEOPLE, "We want to know why we lost our baby."
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ADAM YAUCH, 47
One-third of the Beastie Boys, Yauch – simply known as MCA – died May 4, 2012, after a long battle with cancer at age 47. Along with Mike "Mike D" Diamond and Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz, Yauch put out groundbreaking albums, including Licensed to Ill (the first-ever rap album to top the charts), Ill Communication and Hello Nasty. "Adam was incredibly sweet and the most sensitive artist who I loved dearly," music mogul Russell Simmons said. "I was always inspired by his work. He will be missed by all of us."
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MICHAEL CLARK DUNCAN, 54
Two months after being treated for a heart attack, Clark Duncan died Sept. 3, 2012, in Los Angeles at age 54. The 6 ft., 5-in., 300-lb. actor worked as a bodyguard to stars including Jamie Foxx and Will Smith before his breakout role in The Green Mile, which earned him an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor in 1999. He also appeared in such films as Sin City, Daredevil and Planet of the Apes. "I am terribly saddened at the loss of Big Mike," costar Tom Hanks said. "He was the treasure we all discovered on the set of The Green Mile. He was magic. He was a big love of man and his passing leaves us stunned."
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AMY WINEHOUSE, 27
"A voice that was filled with such power and pain that it was at once entirely human yet laced with the divine" – that's how longtime pal Russell Brand described the British soul icon's undisputed talent. Achieving international fame after sweeping the 2008 Grammys with her breakthrough album Back to Black, Winehouse's musical acclaim was marred by her ongoing battle with drugs and alcohol addiction. The 27-year-old singer was found dead in her London home on July 23, 2011 – the result of accidental alcohol poisoning.
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JENNI RIVERA, 43
The Mexican singing star was known as the Diva of Banda with more than 20 million albums sold worldwide; in 2012, she was named one of People En Español's 25 most powerful women. But her popularity was attained through more than music: Rivera was the star of Telemundo mun2's I Love Jenni, a reality show that documented her life as an entertainer and mother of five. She was even set to appear on small screens in the States: ABC had reportedly tapped Rivera to star in her own comedy, about a middle-class single Latina woman raising her family. Those plans never came to fruition, though: Rivera was killed in a plane crash on Dec. 9, 2012, at 43 years old.
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HEATH LEDGER, 28
The rising star and devoted dad was only 28 when he was found dead of an accidental overdose in his Manhattan residence on Jan. 22, 2008. The Australia native left behind his young daughter Matilda (with ex-girlfriend Michelle Williams) and a groundbreaking performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight, for which he won a posthumous Academy Award.
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MICHAEL JACKSON, 50
Just weeks before he was to kick off his London comeback concerts, the 50-year-old was rushed to UCLA Medical Center on June 25, 2009, after he was found unresponsive in his Hombly Hills, Calif., home. While the coroner and LAPD worked to uncover a cause of death (it was ruled a homicide), Jackson's family, friends and millions of fans were left to mourn the passing of an icon. But it was Jackson's daughter Paris, taking hold of the mic at his public memorial, who reminded the world that the King of Pop was more than a larger-than-life figure: "Daddy has been the best father you can ever imagine. And I just want to say I love him so much."
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