Suicide in the Entertainment Industry

An Encyclopedia of 840 Twentieth Century Cases


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About the Book

This work covers 840 intentional suicide cases initially reported in Daily Variety (the entertainment industry’s trade journal), but also drawing attention from mainstream news media. These cases are taken from the ranks of vaudeville, film, theatre, dance, music, literature (writers with direct connections to film), and other allied fields in the entertainment industry from 1905 through 2000. Accidentally self-inflicted deaths are omitted, except for a few controversial cases.
It includes the suicides of well-known personalities such as actress Peg Entwistle, who is the only person to ever commit suicide by jumping from the top of the Hollywood Sign, Marilyn Monroe and Dorothy Dandridge, who are believed to have overdosed on drugs, and Richard Farnsworth and Brian Keith, who shot themselves to end the misery of terminal cancer. Also mentioned, but in less detail, are the suicides of unknown and lesser-known members of the entertainment industry. Arranged alphabetically, each entry covers the person’s personal and professional background, method of suicide, and, in some instances, includes actual statements taken from the suicide note.

About the Author(s)

David K. Frasier is a reference librarian at the Lilly Library at Indiana University Bloomington. He is the author of several books.

Bibliographic Details

David K. Frasier
Foreword by Kenneth Anger
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 440
Bibliographic Info: photos, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2005 [2002]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2333-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0807-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     vii

Foreword     1

Preface     3

The Cases     5

Bibliography     357

Appendix I: Occupations     365

Appendix II: Methods of Suicide     375

Index     381

Book Reviews & Awards

“morbidly fascinating”—Choice; “recommended”—Catholic Library World; “fascinating”—C&RL News; “everyone interested in the lives of entertainers will enjoy this book…much popular appeal ”—Public Library Quarterly; “filled with fascinating stories…all aspects of show business are covered…mesmerizing reading, alluring”—Classic Images; “invaluable”—Mondo Cult.