As I read the headlines about Mike Tyson’s daughter, Exodus, dying after being strangled by the cord on a treadmill, it made me realize that celebrities don’t always have the charmed lives we believe they do. Many have suffered what many consider the worst thing that can happen – the loss of a child.
One of the most recent celebrity child tragedy was that of John and Kelly Travolta’s son Jett, who died of a seizure in January 2009, but there have been plenty more. Some were results of accidents, some of overdoses, and some of diseases, but all were still tragic.
I guess the first time I remember hearing about a celebrity losing a child was when television personality Art Linkletter’s daughter Diane died after jumping out of a window in 1969. It was unclear whether drugs were to blame for her jumping or not. Linkletter also lost his son Robert in an automobile accident.
Motley Crue lead singer Vince Neil is a hardcore rock n’ roller, but he showed a tender side when his daughter Skylar was diagnosed with cancer. She died at the age of four, but if any good can come from something so tragic, it did when Neil set up the Skylar Neil Memorial Foundation, which raises millions each year for children with cancer.
No matter what the age, if the parent is still alive, they can suffer the death of a child. Mia Farrow learned this recently when her adopted daughter Lark Previn died at the age of 35. Mia also lost her daughter Tam in 2000 when she died of heart failure at the age of 19. Carroll O’Connor’s son Hugh committed suicide in 1995 at the age of 32.
Rapper Dr. Dre’s son Andre died last year at the age of 20 due to a heroin and morphine overdose. Anna Nicole Smith’s son Daniel also died of a drug overdose in 2006, just days after his mother had given birth to his baby sister. Anna died only five months later of an overdose as well.
Actress Hunter Tylo’s 19 year old son Michael suffered a seizure, fell into the family pool, and drown in 2007. O.J. Simpson lost his toddler daughter Aaren after she fell into the family pool and drown in 1979.
Few people can forget a couple of high profile celebrity children deaths. Bill Cosby’s son Ennis was murdered in 1997 after he stopped to help Mikail Markhasev on a freeway. Eric Clapton’s four year old son Connor fell from a Manhattan high rise in 1991. His death inspired Clapton to write the hit song “Tears in Heaven.”
Like him or not, you certainly have to feel for Mike Tyson and his family right now for the loss of his young daughter. Accidents happen each day and reading a story like this makes you realize just how precious life is.