George Reeves

George Reeves

Hollywood is not all glitz and glam as there have been some infamous deaths that still cause as much discussion now as they did at the time.

Was it suicide? Was it murder? Was it an accident? Are questions that are still asked about the deaths of some of cinema's biggest stars.

Therefore, we take a look at some of the most infamous celebrity deaths.

- George Reeves

George Reeves is just one of the actors to have played Superman over the years, and it was a role that made him a star.

Reeves took on the role of Superman in the fifties as Adventures of Superman came to the small screen - he became one of the most recognised television stars.

On June 16, 1959, Reeves was found dead at his home from a gunshot wound to the head. While his death was treated as suicide, there has been much speculation over the years that he was murdered.

Fingerprints were never found on the gun - however, it was too thickly covered in oil - and gunshot residue wasn't found on the actor's hands.

The death of Reeves remains a mystery and a source of fascination, with film Hollywoodland exploring a trio of theories.

The film explores suicide - he was struggling to land the types of roles he wanted - being murdered by a hitman, and being accidentally shot by fiancée Leonore Lemmon.

- Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe is one of the most iconic actresses of all time, and her star shines as much today as it did when she was appearing on the big screen.

With the likes of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Some Like It Hot, Seven Year Itch and The Prince and the Showgirl, she was the biggest star of the fifties.

However, her private life was turbulent and she struggled with illness.

Much like her life, her death was also surrounded in intrigue when she was found dead on August 5, 1962 - aged just thirty-six.

It was ruled that she died from an overdose of barbiturates - but that has been subject to much discussion over the years.

Conspiracy theories of murder have circulated for many years. Some suggested that John and Robert Kennedy were somehow involved; it was reported that President Kennedy was the last call that Monroe made.

It has also been suggested that the CIA or the Mafia played a role in her death.

- Natalie Wood

Natalie Wood was another actress of the fifties and sixties, who starred in the likes of Rebel Without A Cause, West Side Story, and Gypsy.

At the age of forty-three, Woody drowned near Santa Catalina Island, California. At the time, her death was ruled as accidental drowning and hypothermia.

However, the case was reopened in November 2011, after the captain of the ship admits that he lied to police during the first investigation.

He went on to say that Wood and husband Robert Wagner had fought on the evening of her death; something that Wagner does admit.

Alcohol and two types of medication were found in her bloodstream: a painkiller and a motion sickness pill.

When the investigation closed, the cause of death was changed to 'drowning and other undetermined factors'. How she actually ended up in the water has never been established.

- Thelma Todd

Thelma Todd was one of the most famous actresses of the mid-twenties to mid-thirties, appearing in over a hundred films.

She was best known for her comic performances, with credits in Speak Easily and Horse Feathers.

Sadly, her acting career was cut short in 1935, when she was found dead in her car. Her car was found in the garage of actress Jewel Carmen: the former wife of Todd's lover, Roland West.

One suggestion for her death was accidental, due to warming up the car. Other suggested suicide; but no reason to take her own life of note was ever found.

At the time of her death, Todd also had a bloodied lip - but that was never accounted for. The case was closed with a death "accidental with possible suicide tendencies”.

However, some have always thought there was more to this case.

- Elizabeth Short

Elizabeth Short was the victim of one of Hollywood's most famous crimes in 1947.

Short was found mutilated and sliced in half at the waist on January 15th; she was just twenty-two.

She became known as the Black Dahlia, and is Los Angeles' longest unsolved murder.

During the investigation over sixty people confessed to the murder, but the LAPD was never able to catch the killer.

Over the years, there has been speculation that Short's death was linked to the Cleveland Torso Murders, which took place between 1934-1938 in Cleveland.

Over four years, twelve people were killed and dismembered by the killer. However, a link between the two cases was denied.

- Bob Crane

Bob Crane was a disc jockey turned actor, who really made his name in sitcom Hogan's Heroes.

The series ran from 1965 to 1971 and saw Crane pick up two Emmy Awards for his work on the show.

His career when into decline after the end of Hogan's Heroes, after his show The Bob Crane Show was a flop.

In 1978 he was found bludgeoned to death in his apartment - he was forty-nine.

The weapon that was used to kill him was never found - it was believed to be a tripod. The case was closed.

In 1990, the case was reopened and evidence was retested. Photographs showing a piece of brain tissue in John Henry Carpenter's car.

The tissue samples had been lost, but Carpenter was arrested and put on trial. Carpenter was found not guilty, and Crane's murder remains unsolved.

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