Alcoholism has been a serious problem ever since alcoholic drinks were invented. Many people decide to ignore their problem by using opiates such as alcohol. And that can lead to serious health and mental problems, which has been proven many times over.
But to drink yourself to death, you really have to love drinking (or have some serious issues). And here are 10 people who did exactly that. Without further ado, let’s take a look at 10 people who literally drank themselves to death, one way or another.
10) Amy Winehouse (1983-2011)
Amy Winehouse was known for her deep contralto vocals and expressive lyrics. A singer ever since she was a young girl, she went on to sign her first record deal at the age of 19. Her debut album Frank was later released in the fall of 2003. Three years later, she dropped her second album Back to Black, which topped the music charts in the UK, France, Germany, and New Zealand, among several other countries.
By the end of the 2000s, she had become an international star with numerous awards to her name including five Grammys (Record of the Year, Best New Artist, Best Pop Vocal Album, Song of the Year)
At the same time, she struggled with substance abuse and mental illness. In 2007, she was hospitalized after experiencing an overdose of cocaine, heroin, ketamine, ecstasy, and alcohol. She also admitted to having problems with depression and self-harm.
Unable to fight her demons, she later died from alcohol intoxication on July 23, 2011, at the age of 27. According to the coroner, her blood alcohol content was more than five times the legal amount at the time of her death. Many musical artists went on to pay tribute to Winehouse including Lady Gaga, Bruna Mars, Rihanna, Adele, and Nicki Minaj.
9) Francis Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940)
F. Scott Fitzgerald is considered one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. During his lifetime, he published several novels including, ‘The Great Gatsby’, which has since become a classic American title. It wasn’t until his death, however, that he received critical acclaim.
Born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, he and his family lived in New York for a few years before moving to New Jersey, where his literary potential first became apparent. After graduating from secondary school, he enrolled at Princeton University and began writing stories and poems on the side.
His first novel, ‘This Side of Paradise’ was published in 1920. Two years later, he released his second title, ‘The Beautiful and Damned’, which allegedly was based on the early years of his marriage. During that period, he also wrote for numerous popular magazines including Collier’s Weekly, Esquire, and The Saturday Evening Post.
And in 1925, he wrote the American classic, ‘The Great Gatsby’. While it received positive reviews, however, it was a commercial failure. The Great Depression didn’t help either and Fitzgerald soon found himself struggling financially.
Desperate to get himself back on his feet, he moved to Hollywood, where he worked as a screenwriter. He also indulged himself in alcohol. At one point, he drank nearly 40 beers a day.
And that took a toll on his health. On December 20, 1940, Fitzgerald lapsed into consciousness during the premiere of This Thing Called Love. He was later pronounced dead by officials. He was 44 years old.
8) Verne Troyer (1969-2018)
Verne Troyer is best known for portraying Mini-Me in the spy film series Austin Powers. Born with cartilage-hair hypoplasia, he stood 2 ft 8 inches tall. However, his parents never treated him any different than his siblings.
In 1994, he made his acting debut as a stunt double in the film Baby’s Day Out. He also appeared in the movies Jingle All the Way, My Giant, Dunston Checks In, and Men In Black.
Several years later, he was asked to portray the role of Mini-Me in the second Austin Power film. Impressed by his acting, Mike Myers, the co-creator of the series actually rewrote the script to give him more screen time. Troyer later reprised his role in the sequel Powers in Goldmember, which came out in 2002.
He also played supporting roles in the popular films The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus and Harry Potter and the Sorcerous Stone. He made several appearances as himself as well in the reality series Welcome to Sweden and The Surreal Life.
Health-wise, however, he’d struggled with depression and alcohol abuse for many years. In fact, he had talked about it several times on television.
On April 21, 2018, Troyer died at a Los Angeles hospital. He was 49 years old. According to the LA coroner’s office, his official cause of death was suicide secondary to alcohol poisoning.
7) Cory Monteith (1982-2013)
Cory Monteith is best known for his portrayal of Finn Hudson in the musical drama Glee. He also appeared in the films Sisters & Brothers and Monte Carlo.
Growing up, however, he had a troubled adolescence. By the time he was 13, he was using both marijuana and alcohol. And by the time he was 16, he had dropped out of school altogether. Dependant on drugs and alcohol, he turned to petty crimes to fund his addictions. Fortunately, he was able to turn things around after attending a rehabilitation program.
After working various jobs here and there, he made his acting debut in the TV series Stargate Atlantis. He also played minor roles in Smallville, Flash Gordon, and Supernatural.
It wasn’t until 2009, when he was cast in Glee, that he rose to stardom. He ultimately played the role of the star quarterback for four seasons, up until his death.
In July 2013, just a few months after another stay in rehab, he was found dead in his hotel room in Downtown Vancouver. According to reports, hotel staff had entered his room after he failed to check out after a seven-night stay. His official cause of death was later determined to be ‘mixed drug toxicity’ consisting of alcohol and heroin.
The following September, an extended tribute for the actor played during the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards.
6) Dolores O’Riordan (1971-2018)
Dolores O’Riordan was the lead singer for the alternative rock band the Cranberries. Known for her deep mezzo-soprano voice, she had released several albums with the group including No Need to Argue, To the Faithful Departed, and Bury the Hatcher, all of which topped multiple music charts. By the mid-90s, they had reached international stardom with millions of record sales worldwide.
Fast forward to the 2000s and she had released two solo albums: Are You Listening and No Baggage, both of which received favorable reviews.
Her success came with a cost, however. In addition to depression, which she’d struggled with for many years, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2015. And her mental health issues were only made worse with alcohol use.
In January 2018, she traveled to London to meet with the representatives of BMG to talk about a new Cranberries album. Ultimately, it was during that trip that she was found unresponsive in her hotel room. She was later pronounced dead by officials.
The official cause of death was determined to be accidental drowning caused by alcohol intoxication. Several prescription drugs were found in her system as well.
She was later buried at Saint Ailbe’s Roman Catholic Church in County Limerick.
5) Billie Holiday (1915-1959)
Billie Holiday is considered to be one of the greatest jazz singers of all time. As a child, however, she lived a difficult life. A child of poverty, she was raised mainly by her mother-in-law and frequently skipped school.
After a difficult childhood, she began singing in various nightclubs as a teen. Ultimately, it was there that she caught the attention of John Hammond, who liked her voice. She subsequently landed a recording deal with Brunswick Records in 1935. By the 1940s, she had recorded numerous hits, most of which had found their way onto music charts.
While she was a talented singer, however, she was also a hardcore alcoholic (her drink of choice was gin and port wine). She also smoked and used heroin throughout her life. And in 1959, her lifestyle had caught up to her; she was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis.
That same year, she was diagnosed with heart disease and on July 17, 1959, she died of heart failure and pulmonary edema, both of which were caused by the cirrhosis.
Following her death, she received four posthumous Grammy Awards for Best Historical Album. She was also inducted into the National Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame and Grammy Hall of Fame.
4) Alexi Laiho (1979-2020)
Alexi Lailo was best known as the lead singer of the death metal band Children of Bodom. He also played the guitar for Bodom After Midnight, which they’d put together just a few months prior to his death.
Born in Espoo, Finland, Lailo had always been one for music. He took up violin at the age of 7 and began playing the guitar at the age of 11. After a short stint with an experimental band, he formed Children of Bodom (then known as IneartheD) with Jasaka Raatikainen in 1993. Some of their best hits include Downfall, Hate Me!, You’re Better Off Dead!, In Your Face, and Blooddrunk, all of which peaked at number one in Finland. He’d also recorded three albums with Sinergy, a Finnish heavy metal band whom he’d played the guitar for.
However, he’d always had a rocky relationship with alcohol. While he swore off drinking while on tour, he’d still drink when he’s not on the road.
On December 29, 2020, it was announced that he had died of alcohol-induced liver degeneration, something that was caused by his years of excessive drinking. Several songs that he’d recorded with Bodom After Midnight were later released posthumously. Instead of replacing Laiho, however, it was announced that the group would be disbanding.
3) Peter Cook (1937-1995)
Peter Cook was a comedic actor and satirist. Born in Torquay, he attended college in Cambridge and after graduating, created the comedy stage revue Beyond the Fringe. He also started a comedy club in Soho, Central London, which remained open until 1964.
However, he’s perhaps best known for his television projects. Aside from Not Only…But Also, which earned him a British Academy Television Award, he also appeared in the films Bedazzled and The Wrong Box. At one point in the late 1970s, he even co-presented Saturday Night Live.
While he’d always been a drinker, it wasn’t until the 70s that his problems became apparent. According to his wife, he would be drunk every night. Aside from wine, which he would drink several bottles of, he would also drink vodka and several glasses of lager a day.
The long-term drinking took its toll, however, and on January 9, 1995, he died from a gastrointestinal haemorrhage, a complication that likely resulted from his years of drinking. He was 57 years old. He was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium and his ashes were buried in an unmarked plot not far from his Perrins Walk home.
2) Veronica Lake (1922-1973)
Veronica Lake was a television and film actress. During the 1940s, she played numerous femme fatale roles with Alan Ladd, which brought her to stardom. She also appeared in in the films I Married a Witch and Sullivan’s Travels and had many stage credits to her name.
Due to her alcoholism, however, her career began to decline by the late 1940s. As a result, she only appeared in one film in the 1950s. She later returned to the big screen in the thriller Footsteps in the Snow, but it would fail to restart her career. In 1970, she played her final film role in the horror movie Footsteps in the Snow.
A few years later, after returning from an autobiography tour, she visited the doctor for stomach pains. She was subsequently diagnosed with liver cirrhosis and checked into the University of Vermont Medical Centre. Despite the doctor’s best efforts, she died of acute kidney injury and acute hepatitis on July 7, 1973. A memorial service was held and her ashes were scattered in the waters off Miami.
1) Jeff Hanneman (1964-2013)
Jeff Hanneman was the lead guitarist of the thrash metal brand Slayer, which he’d helped establish back in 1981. Born in Oakland, California, he grew up in Long Beach where he often joined his brothers in constructing plane models. He was later introduced to heavy metal music through his sister Mary, who was a fan of Black Sabbath.
By the time he was 17, he’d formed the Slayers with Kerry King, Tom Araya, and Dave Lombardo. The group started out as a cover band before starting to compose their own music. Their debut album Show No Mercy was later released in 1983. They eventually recorded several others, many of which have received gold certification in the US. They later disbanded in 2019 after embarking on a farewell tour.
In May 2013, it was announced that Hanneman had died in a hospital near his home. The official cause of death, according to reports, was alcohol-related cirrhosis. While he’d always been a drinker, his family and friends had been unaware of the severity of his condition.