History: 11 Famous People Who Perished in the Restroom

Mozelle Martin

To the best of my research, there are at least 8 famous people who died in the bathroom:

(1) Elvis Presley: The King of Rick 'n Roll was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, in January 1935. He was discovered in Memphis by Sam Phillips of Sun Records. Sam was looking for a caucasian singer with an African-American style and sound. Elvis captured his attention and hurled to fame after appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1956 and 1957. Although Elvis was pushed off the charts by "The British Invasion" in the early 1960s, he still sold more than a billion records in his lifetime, and, as of 2011, that was more than any other recording artist in history. His movie career kept him in the public eye until his comeback album in 1968. By the 1970s, Elvis sold out shows in Las Vegas. Elvis's addiction to prescription drugs was common knowledge and, in August 1977, he was found dead on the bathroom floor in his Graceland Mansion. A vomit stain on the carpet revealed he was sick while pooping. The cause of death was listed as cardiac arrhythmia. However, there are also reports that he had an intestinal blow-up as he pushed for that final floater. Either way, I'm sure many have heard the conspiracy theory regarding Elvis still being alive. However, I know someone personally whose father was there with him when he was found in the restroom without a heartbeat.

(2) Lenny Bruce: was a controversial comedian whose name was Leonard Alfred Schneider. He was born in October 1925. Bruce was famous in the 1950s and 1960s for his satirical routines about social issues of the time from politics, religion, race, abortion, drugs, and everything else. He used profanity and it got him arrested many times. He was eventually convicted for obscenities before being freed on bail. In August 1966, Bruce - a known drug addict - was found dead in the bathroom of his Hollywood Hills home. He was lying there with a needle, burned bottle cap, and other drug paraphernalia. The cause of death was ruled acute morphine poisoning by accidental overdose. A movie was made with "him" in it.

(3) Elagabalus: a scandalous Roman Emperor of the 3rd Century, who was married and had divorced five women including a Vestal Virgin (holy priestess) who was to be buried alive for losing her virginity. Elagabalus was also said to be an epicene person. Objecting to his carnal behavior and habit of forcing others to follow his religious customs, his grandmother (Julia Maesa) and Aunt Julia Avita Mamaea murdered Elagabalus and his mother (Julia's own daughter) in the emperor's bathroom. Their bodies were dragged through the streets of Rome before being tossed flippantly into the Tiber River.

(4) Robert Pastorelli: born in 1954, this actor was a former boxer and best known for his role as Candace Bergen's housepainter on the 1980s sitcom Murphy Brown. He had numerous minor roles on TV and also appeared in movies such as Sister Act 2, Michael, and Dances with Wolves. Pastorelli struggled with drug use and in 2004 was found dead on the floor of his bathroom from a suspected heroin overdose.

(5) Orville Redenbacher: yep - the popcorn guy - was born in 1907 in Brazil, Indiana. After millions of households made Orville a household name (and snack), he sold the company to Hunt-Wesson Foods in 1976, remaining their spokesperson until 1995. He was then found dead in his whirlpool bathtub after suffering a heart attack and related drowning.

(6) Claude Francois: a French pop singer in the 1960s who made a hit of the former Trini Lopez song, "If I Had a Hammer". In March 1978, Claude's obsession with cleanliness did him in when he was electrocuted in the bathroom of his apartment in Paris. It is speculated that he tried to fix a broken lightbulb while standing in a water-filled bathtub.

(7) Albert Dekker: was a known actor in movies such as The Killers, Suddenly, Last Summer, and Kiss Me Deadly. He was blacklisted in Hollywood after criticizing anti-Communist Senator Joe McCarthy. After several years, he made a comeback. However, in May 1968, he was found strangled to death in the bathroom of his Hollywood home. He was naked, bound hand and foot, with a hypodermic needle sticking out of each arm. Obscenities were written all over his body. The official cause of death though was eventually ruled as accidental asphyxiation. Hmmm...

(8) Jim Morrison: was born in December 1943 and was best known as the lead singer for The Doors, a top 1960s rock band. His sultry looks, suggestive lyrics, and onstage antics brought him to fame. But drugs and alcohol ended his life. In July 1971, he was found dead in his bathtub in Paris where he reportedly had dried blood around his mouth and nose, bruising on his chest, and more... suggesting he suffered a mass hemorrhage due to tuberculosis. The official cause of death was heart failure but no autopsy was performed.

(9) Shikha Singh: supposedly self-induced her last breath. I'm not elaborating because there is speculation that she was actually murdered.

(10) Michael Jackson: per Wikipedia, "on June 25, 2009, he died of acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication at his home. Dr. Conrad Murray said that he found Michael in his room not breathing and with a weak pulse; he administered CPR with no luck. Paramedics treated Michael at the scene; he was pronounced dead at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. I included him here because there is speculation he actually died in his bathroom at home and not at the hospital.

(11) Whitney Houston: was found submerged in the bathtub. Per Wikipedia, "On March 22, 2012, the L.A. County Coroner's Office reported that she died by drowning after the effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use. However, the manner of death was listed as an accident."

While all of these individuals supposedly took their last breath in the restroom, I am hoping to depart on my birthday while peacefully asleep. If past luck is any indicator, I'll likely perish in the bathroom, too.

What about you - would you want to take your last breath in the restroom?

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Hollywood Style BathroomPhoto byVictoria Plum

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