Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, and Jimi Hendrix’s Deaths All Had 1 Tragic Thing In Common

It’s always a tragic event when the public learns that a much-loved celebrity has died. But the story instantly becomes worse when it’s learned that the death was due to something that could have been prevented. Though celebrity deaths aren’t something entirely uncommon, they are devastating — and celebrities Judy Garland, Jimi Hendrix, and Marilyn Monroe all shared the same dangerous cause of death within a decade of each other.

Judy Garland (top); Marilyn Monroe; Jimi Hendrix
Judy Garland (top); Marilyn Monroe; Jimi Hendrix | Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images; Sunset Boulevard/Corbis/Getty Images; Icon and Image/Getty Images

Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her LA home in 1962

Marilyn Monroe didn’t have the easiest upbringing. According to, Monroe, who was born Norma Jean Mortenson, was raised mostly by foster parents and spent time in orphanages as a child. A modeling career transitioned into an acting career, and Monroe quickly became known for her beauty.

In the early 1960s, despite a thriving career, Monroe dealt with depression and was often under the watch of a psychiatrist. Monroe started avoiding other people as her depression worsened, and she became a recluse. On Aug. 5, 1962, Monroe’s maid and psychiatrist discovered her dead in her California home. The autopsy revealed Monroe had a “fatal” amount of barbiturates in her system, and the death was ruled a suicide.

There have been conspiracy theories that one of the Kennedys killed Monroe, though no theories have ever been proven. Monroe’s maid claimed Robert Kennedy was in Marilyn’s home the night of her death, though the maid’s statements have never been confirmed.  

Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe | Baron/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Judy Garland struggled with drug use from a young age

Judy Garland was another successful actress with a difficult upbringing. Garland, who was best known for her role as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” grew up with parents whose marriage was greatly strained. After losing her father, who was also her biggest supporter, at a young age, Garland went into acting without much guidance.

Ray Bolger, who starred alongside Garland in “The Wizard of Oz” once referred to her as “a child who never had any childhood.” According to Los Angeles Times, Garland attempted suicide when she was 28. She was married five times, and on June 22, 1969, her husband found her dead. Garland’s death was ruled an accidental overdose after a fatal amount of barbiturates were found in her system.

Judy Garland
Judy Garland | MGM Studios/Getty Images

Judy Garland Had Only One Friend While Filming ‘The Wizard of Oz’ — and It Wasn’t Any of Her Fellow Leads

Jimi Hendrix’s death has always been surrounded by conspiracies

Jimi Hendrix hardly lived long enough to see his own fame, but decades later, he’s still regarded as one of the greatest musicians of all time. The guitarist only spent about four years in the spotlight before he died, but in that time, he left an impact.

Hendrix spent time in the military before becoming famous, and after he was discharged, he formed a band along with a friend. Soon, he started playing bigger gigs, become notable for his guitar skill. But the life of being a successful musician introduced him to new kinds of drugs.

On Sept. 18, 1970, Hendrix was with his girlfriend when she awoke to find him unresponsive around 11 a.m. She called an ambulance, and Hendrix was pronounced dead at a hospital outside London at 12:45 p.m. The autopsy found that Hendrix had aspirated on his own vomit after using barbiturates. Hendrix’s girlfriend later said that he took nine sleeping pills before his death.