The final years of Marilyn Monroe's life were marked by depression, personal problems and a laundry list of drug and alcohol abuse. The blonde bombshell was found dead Aug. 5, 1962, in the bedroom of her Brentwood, Calif., home at the age of 36. Her death was ruled "acute barbiturate poisoning" and listed as "probable suicide" by the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office. Monroe's toxicology report showed high levels of Nembutal and chloral hydrate, both commonly used to treat sedation. The dosage in the actress' blood was reportedly high enough to kill more than 10 people.
U.S. guitarist, singer and songwriter Jimi Hendrix was widely known as an abuser of hallucinogenic drugs, especially LSD, as were many other musicians during his time. Hendrix also frequently used amphetamines. He was also a rumored heroin addict, but his heroin use was widely debated because of the lack of needle marks on his body. On Sept. 18, 1970, Hendrix was found dead in the basement of a London hotel after choking on his own vomit during an overdose of alcohol and sleeping pills. Theories still linger over whether Hendrix committed suicide after a sad poem was found in his apartment later, or even murdered, according to some sources. In May 2009, a book written by James Wright, a former Animals band "roadie," claimed Hendrix's manager, Mike Jeffery, admitted to him that he had Hendrix killed because the rock star wanted to end his management contract.
Funnyman Chris Farley struggled with alcohol and drugs for years before his untimely death at age 33. In the years before his death, Farley attempted to seek treatment for alcohol and drug abuse on 17 separate occasions and made several visits to weight-loss centers. Farley was found dead Dec. 18, 1997, in the John Hancock center in Chicago from a lethal combination of heroin and cocaine, with atherosclerosis cited as a "significant contributing factor to his death." At the time of his death, it was reported that there were only prescription painkillers found in Farley's apartment. But in the 2008 official biography, "The Chris Farley Show: A Biography In Three Acts," author and brother Tom Farley wrote that there were actually several bags of cocaine found in the apartment.
At 6-feet tall, model Margaux Hemingway had it all, appearing on covers of the biggest fashion magazines and scoring the first million-dollar contract ever awarded to a fashion model. The granddaughter of writer Ernest Hemingway, Margaux also struggled with epilepsy, dyslexia, alcoholism and bulimia throughout her life. On July 1, 1996, one day before the anniversary of her grandfather's own suicide, Margaux was found dead at her apartment in Santa Monica, Calif. The 41-year-old beauty had overdosed on phenobarbital, a sedative. Her death was ruled a suicide.
Actor Chris Penn, who starred in "Reservoir Dogs" and "True Romance," was found dead in his Santa Monica, Calif., apartment Jan. 24, 2006. Although Penn had used multiple drugs in the past, an autopsy revealed the primary cause of death was heart disease. But Penn's history of use with the prescription drug promethazine with codeine were listed as possible contributing circumstances. Brother Sean Penn said in a TV interview that his brother died because of his weight.