Death, like taxes, is one of the few guarantees in life. There will come a day when the Grim Reaper turns up like a bad host of a terrible reality show and says to you, “It’s time to go [insert name].” Death is at its most tragic when it visits at an early age, when the person is young, beautiful and has everything to live for. These 13 ladies, whose lives were tragically cut short will always be remembered because they were hot and “a thing of beauty is a joy forever.”
13. Lisa "Left Eye" Lopez, 30
Why she’s hot: Lisa was the “L” in R&B girl super group TLC, who were responsible for such hits as Waterfalls and No Scrubs. Lisa gave herself the nick-name "Left Eye" as someone once told her she had beautiful eyes, particularly the left one. In concerts she would wear glasses with a condom over the left lens, to promote safe sex – a cause she was passionate about.
How she died: Lisa was the sole fatality of a car crash in Honduras in 2002. She was in the middle of recording both her second solo album and the fourth TLC album titled 3D.
How long she stayed hot: Fans were devastated. At the time of her death, she was the subject of a documentary, which was later released as The Last Days of Left Eye and chronicled her final 26 days.
12. Jean Harlow, 26
Why she’s hot: With nick-names such as the “Platinum Blond” and the “Blond Bombshell,” Jean Harlow was Marilyn Monroe before Marilyn Monroe. She stared in many films including Howard Hughes’ Hell Angels and several films with Clark Gable. She was loved by audiences for her “magnetic sex appeal” and on-screen presence.
How she died: Jean died of renal failure at the tender of age of 26. It is thought that the thrice married movie star suffered a bad case of influenza the year she died, which weakened her body. Also, kidney transplants and dialysis had yet to be invented.
How long she stayed hot: Jean was buried in a sexy negligee in a private room lined with marble in the Great Mausoleum, which is part of Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. Marilyn Monroe was set to play Jean in a biopic before her own early death.
11. Anna Nicole Smith, 39
Why she’s hot: Anna Nicole Smith gained widespread fame after appearing in Playboy magazine and marrying an 89 year old Texan oil billionaire. The voluptuous blond was named 1993’s Playmate of the Year and planned on being “the next Marilyn Monroe.”
How she died: Anna Nicole Smith died at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. She was found unresponsive in room 607 by a friend. Her death was later ruled an accidental drug overdose after traces of 11 different drugs were found in her body.
How long she stayed hot: It is reported that Smith’s body started decomposing at a faster-than-normal pace. This was due to a combination of the drugs found in her body and the warm tropical weather. Smith’s body was embalmed a week later due to a court order and she was finally buried a month later in a closed-casket funeral.
10. Princess Diana, 36
Why she’s hot: Diana, the Princess of Wales, was the first wife of Prince Charles who is next in line to the throne of the United Kingdom. She was famous around the world for her compassion, charity work and regal beauty.
How she died: Diana died as a result of a car crash in a tunnel in Paris, France. She was killed alongside her boyfriend, Dodi Al-Fayed and the car’s diver, Henri Paul. At the time of the crash the car was being chased by paparazzi. It was later confirmed that the driver, Henri Paul was way over the legal blood alcohol limit.
How long she stayed hot: It’s hard to say if Diana’s hotness will ever fade. Her death resulted in a massive outpouring of public mourning in the United Kingdom and around the world.
9. Dorothy Stratten, 20
Why she’s hot: Dorothy was born in Canada and rose to prominence after being name Playmate of the Month for August 1979 and Playmate of the year in 1980.
How she died: Dorothy was murdered by her estranged husband, Paul Snider. The two were in the middle of a divorce and Dorothy was then living with director Peter Bogdanovich. The couple had met to iron-out a financial settlement and she was later found dead in Snider’s bedroom. Dorothy died from a gunshot to the head and Snider had then shot himself.
How long she stayed hot: Her memory lives on in countless films, books and songs.
8. Selena, 23
Why she’s hot: Known as the “Mexican Madonna,” Selena was a prolific Mexican-American singer who dominated the Latina music scene. She found success at an early age and released nearly a dozen albums.
How she died: Selena was gunned down by the President of her fan club, Yolanda Saldivar. Saldivar was also the manager of Selena’s Texas clothing boutiques, Selena Etc. The two had met at a Days Inn in Corpus Christi, Texas to hand over paperwork after Saldivar had been fired for embezzling money. An argument broke out and as Selena walked away, Saldivar shot her in the back. Selena managed to hobble to reception, but later died in the hospital due to massive blood loss.
How long she stayed hot: Her death resulted in an outpouring of emotion. Then Governor of Texas, George W. Bush declared Selena’s birthday, April 16th, as "Selena Day." A few years later Jennifer Lopez starred as Selena in a biopic of her life.
7. Edie Sedgwick, 28
Why she’s hot: Edie Sedgwick is best known for being a socialite, actress and Andy Warhol’s muse. She gained fame during Warhol’s Factory days and appeared in several of his underground films.
How she died: Sedgwick battled drugs and alcohol for most of her adult life. In late 1971 she was sober, but had been prescribed barbiturate to treat a physical illness. On November 15th, 1971 she attended a fashion show in Santa Barbara and was shaken up after a guest called her a “heroin addict.” That night she took her prescribed amount of barbiturate and never woke up. The coroner ruled her death as "undetermined/accident/suicide."
How long she stayed hot: Edie’s beauty still haunts from the grave and she has been the subject of numerous songs and films, including the recent Sienna Miller vehicle Factory Girl.
6. Krissy Taylor, 17
Why she’s hot: Krissy shot to fame in the modelling world as the sister of supermodel Niki Taylor. At age 11 she started appearing with Niki in photo shoots, and from there her career took off.
How she died: Krissy was found by her sister Niki lying unconscious on the floor of their family home in Florida. Attempts to revive her were unsuccessful. Her cause of death was an acute asthma attack complicated by a sudden cardiac arrhythmia. She was not known to have any heart problems.
How long she stayed hot: Krissy's memory is carried on by her mother, who has worked tirelessly with the Cardiac Arrhythmia Research and Education (CARE) Foundation.
5. Gia Carangi, 26
Why she’s hot: Gia was considered one of the first supermodels and is credited with bringing a new modeling style to high-end fashion.
How she died: Gia’s life started to unravel in the early 1980s when she became addicted to heroin. Her career started to stall, her behavior became erratic, and her temper became violent. Gia’s track marks are visible in the November 1980 issue of Vogue, even after considerable airbrushing. As a result of her intravenous drug use, Gia contracted HIV and died in 1986 of AIDS related complications. She is considered one of the first high profile women to die as a result of AIDS.
How long she stayed hot: Gia died practically a hermit. Her mother allowed virtually no visitors whilst she was hospitalized; nor did a single person from the fashion world attend her funeral. A film about her life starring Angelina Jolie was made in 1998.
4. Jayne Mansfield, 34
Why she’s hot: Jayne Mansfield was a peer of Marilyn Monroe and a leading blond sex symbol of the 1950s. Like Monroe, she was a Playmate of the Month and appeared regularly in Playboy magazine. She was also known for “accidentally” exposing her breasts in public appearances. Mansfield is the mother of Law and Order: SUV star Mariska Hargitay.
How she died: Jayne died in a car crash on US Highway 90 in Mississippi in 1967. She was travelling with her boyfriend Sam Brody, their driver, and three of her 4 children when their car crashed into the rear end of a tractor-trailer that had slowed down. Only the children survived.
How long she stayed hot: The car crash resulted in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) enforcing tractor-trailers to be installed with an under-ride guard, a sort of rear bumper bar. It is known as the Mansfield bar.
3. Aaliyah, 22
Why she’s hot: Aaliyah, whose name means "Highest, Most Exalted, The Best" in Arabic, was a Grammy nominated singer, actor and model. Introduced to the world by R. Kelly, she frequently collaborated with Missy Elliot and Timbaland. She also starred in the films Romeo Must Die and Queen of the Damned.
How she died: Aaliyah had just finished shooting a music video for her song Rock the Boat on the island of Abaco in the Bahamas. She boarded a twin Cessna 420b headed for Florida, which then crashed on take-off, killing everyone on-board. Subsequently, it was discovered that the plane’s pilot fudged his flying credentials and the plane was carrying way to much heavy cargo.
How long she stayed hot: After her death, Rock the Boat reached number 14 on the Hot 100 and the film Queen of the Damned opened at number one at the box office. Aaliyah also has one of the most popular pages on Myspace.
2. Sharon Tate, 26
Why she’s hot: Sharon Tate was a Golden Globe nominated actress and the wife of director Roman Polanski. She was a beautiful woman, known for her comedic performances and kind nature.
How she died: Sharon was eight and a half months pregnant when she and 4 others were murdered by four of Charles Manson’s followers in her Los Angeles home. She pleaded with her attackers to spare the life of her unborn child. The group ignored her pleas and stabbed her 16 times.
How long she stayed hot: These days Sharon Tate is seen as a symbol of victim rights. In the early 1980s, when it looked like one of her killers would be granted parole, Sharon’s mother, Doris mounted a campaign to stop it. As a result, California enacted an amendment that allows families to make victim impact statement during sentencing and parole hearings. Doris Tate was the first person to make such a statement. She says the change in law "help transform Sharon's legacy from murder victim to a symbol of victim's rights."
1. Marilyn Monroe, 36
Why she’s hot: Marilyn Monroe is a true Hollywood icon. She is the original sex symbol who entranced a President, playwrights and the public with her beauty and sex appeal.
How she died: Marilyn died as a result of “acute barbiturate poisoning,” which is a kind way of saying she overdosed on sleeping pills. Her death was classified as “probably suicide,” though a supposed suicide note is missing. There are rumors that the Kennedys, the CIA or the mafia were involved in her death.
How long she stayed hot: The myth and legacy of Marilyn Monroe will continue forever, as will young starlets trying to emulate her.