The Heartbreaking Final Posts Celebrities Made Right Before Their Deaths

Content warning: This article references addiction and suicide.

For as long as there have been celebrities, fans have mourned their deaths as a personal loss. When silent film star Rudolph Valentino died in 1926, tens of thousands of fans showed up at the funeral home trying to get a glimpse of his body. The New York Times reported that there was a full-on riot at the location and that more than 100 people had been hurt in the ensuing chaos. "In the judgment of the police on the scene," the paper reported, "the rioting was without precedent in New York, both in the numbers concerned and in the behavior of the crowd." The Washington Post report on the same event included a detail not covered by The Times; The Post reported on Valentino's last words, which were said to be a pleasant conversation with a doctor about an upcoming fishing trip.

These days, fans don't have to rely on newspapers to report on the last words uttered by dearly departed stars. Thanks to social media, a celebrity's final posts are often preserved online, standing on Twitter or Instagram as a monument to what they were doing or thinking about as their time on Earth drew to a close. Often, these final posts were not intended as such, and they seem particularly moving in retrospect, knowing they likely serve as the last time we'll ever hear from those stars. Read on for a look at some heartbreaking final posts celebrities made right before their deaths.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat

Jerry Springer's New Year's wishes

In life, Jerry Springer was known for his often-controversial television show, where he invited all manner of people on TV to duke it out in front of a live studio audience that was all too happy to jump into the fray. Toward the end of his life, Springer wasn't too proud of his legacy. He appeared on the "Behind the Velvet Rope" podcast and had some harsh words for himself. "I just apologize," he said, chuckling. "I'm so sorry. What have I done? I've ruined the culture. I just hope hell isn't that hot, because I burn real easy; I'm very light-complected, and that kinda worries me."

Aside from an ad for his radio show, Springer's final post on Twitter was a New Year's wish for his followers to have "a happy and healthy 2023, full of hope, love, joy, and laughter." He died a few months later, in April 2023. The Guardian reported that the cause of death was pancreatic cancer.

"It's a false vanity, to be remembered, you know?" Springer said on an earlier appearance on the "Behind the Velvet Rope" podcast. "You want to be remembered by your kids and your grandparents because you were in their life. And you hope you set a good example for them, and you taught them things, and ... you know, we've had wonderful moments together."

Sinéad O'Connor struggled without her son

Irish singer Sinéad O'Connor experienced a tragedy in early 2022 when her son Shane died by suicide. According to People, she tweeted the news, announcing, "My beautiful son, Nevi'im Nesta Ali Shane O'Connor, the very light of my life, decided to end his earthly struggle today and is now with God." He was only 17.

Understandably, O'Connor took the news hard. On July 17, 2023, she tweeted a link to what she called a "Great Tibetan compassion mantra," dedicating it to mothers who have lost children to suicide. She followed it up with a heartbreaking tweet about her loss, sharing a photo of herself and her son hugging. Alongside the hashtag "#lostmy17yrOldSonToSuicidein2022," the "Nothing Compares 2 U" singer wrote, "Been living as undead night creature since. He was the love of my life, the lamp of my soul. We were one soul in two halves. He was the only person who ever loved me unconditionally. I am lost in the bardo without him."

O'Connor died nine days after that tweet. As of press time, O'Connor's cause of death has not been made public, though The New York Times reported that police did not consider her death suspicious.

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Bob Saget was loving being back on stage

In the first few days of January 2022, "Full House" star Bob Saget was embarking on a stand-up comedy tour for the first time in a while. After a show in Florida, Saget took to Instagram to express his gratitude for the way his tour was going. "Really nice audience. Lots of positivity. Happened last night in Orlando last night at the Hard Rock Live too," he wrote. "Very appreciative and fun audiences." Saget went on to reflect, "I'm back in comedy like I was when I was 26. I guess I'm finding my new voice and loving every moment of it. ... Goin' everywhere until I get the special shot. And then probably keep going cause I'm addicted to this s***. Peace out."

The post is especially heartbreaking in retrospect because Saget died less than 24 hours later. According to an autopsy report detailed in The New York Times, Saget fractured his skull in what authorities determined was an accidental fall with no suspected foul play, and he died in his hotel room after his show.

Saget's former "Full House" co-star Candace Cameron Bure told Us Weekly that she had grown closer with Saget's wife in the wake of his death, sharing that she, too, was struggling with the loss. "I will really greatly miss his friendship and the laughs and the hugs," she said.

Robin Williams' last post paid tribute to his daughter

In August 2014, The New York Times reported that iconic actor and comedian Robin Williams had died. The Marin County Sheriff's Office released a statement reporting that it "suspects the death to be a suicide." That suspicion was later borne out by an investigation, according to autopsy results. Doctors had diagnosed Williams with Parkinson's disease to explain his symptoms, but his autopsy revealed he had actually been experiencing the onset of Lewy body dementia. Susan Schneider Williams, the "Mrs. Doubtfire" star's widow, told CNN, "When that was revealed, that was like essentially finding out the name of my husband's killer."

In the wake of Williams' death, many fans turned to Instagram to see what the beloved actor's final statement online had been. What they found was a post made weeks before his death in honor of his daughter, Zelda, celebrating her 25th birthday. Alongside a fittingly black-and-white throwback photo of himself holding his daughter as a child, Williams had written, "Quarter of a century old today but always my baby girl." He concluded, "Happy Birthday @zeldawilliams Love you!"

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Leonard Nimoy wanted his fans to live long and prosper

Leonard Nimoy, best known for playing Spock on "Star Trek," passed away in late February 2015. According to his obituary in The New York Times, his death was due to "chronic obstructive pulmonary disease," commonly called COPD. The year before he died, Nimoy tweeted, "I quit smoking 30 yrs ago. Not soon enough. I have COPD. Grandpa says, quit now!!"

Nimoy was quite active on Twitter, so when he passed away, fans turned to his timeline to see what pearls of wisdom the actor had imparted to his followers. A few days before he died, the "Fringe" star shared a poignant, sentimental look back on his life. "A life is like a garden," he wrote. "Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP." The acronym, of course, means "Live long and prosper," a "Star Trek" quote that Nimoy frequently used to sign off his tweets. The catchphrase took on new meaning in the wake of his death, as fans like Marvel star Simu Liu noted. "I can't remember the last time a celeb death hit me so hard." he wrote. "He was such a big part of my childhood."

Kobe Bryant was gracious to the end

On January 25, 2020, LeBron James passed Kobe Bryant's NBA point-scoring record. James' 33,644th point put him ahead of Bryant, knocking the latter down to fourth on the all-time scoring list. After the historic game, James told, "I'm just happy to be in any conversation with Kobe Bryant, one of the all-time greats to ever play."

True to form, Bryant was gracious about his record being broken. He shouted out the younger player on Twitter, writing, "Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother #33644." Unfortunately, that would prove to be Bryant's last tweet. The following morning, the NBA legend was killed in a tragic helicopter crash that also took the life of his daughter Gianna.

Bryant's widow, Vanessa, paid tribute to her husband and daughter on Instagram a few days after the accident. In a post memorializing her lost loved ones and thanking fans for their support, Vanessa wrote, "There aren't enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever."

Debbie Reynolds thanked everyone for their prayers

"Star Wars" star Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds, of "Singin' in the Rain" fame, were one of the most beloved mother-daughter duos in all of Hollywood. Unfortunately, we lost them both in the space of two days over the holidays in 2016. First, the news broke on December 23 that Fisher had been hospitalized after experiencing a cardiac arrest while aboard a flight. "Paramedics standing by upon arrival provided advanced life support and aggressively treated and transported patient to local hospital," an LAFD spokesman told CNN in a statement.

A few days later, on Christmas, Reynolds tweeted that her daughter was in stable condition. She promised to provide updates in case something changed, writing, "For all her fans & friends. I thank you for your prayers & good wishes." Unfortunately, it would prove to be Reynolds' final tweet. According to People, Fisher died on December 27. Her daughter, Billie Lourd, told the outlet in a statement, "She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly."

Reynolds died the day after her daughter, on December 28, 2016. TMZ broke the news, reporting that she passed away after a likely stroke. Her son, Todd Fisher — Carrie's brother — gave a moving statement to the outlet, saying simply, "She's with Carrie."

Mac Miller's last Instagram story was haunting

Throughout his life and career, in both interviews and his music, rapper Mac Miller was open about his experience with addiction. While speaking to Billboard in 2015, Miller reflected, "It just eats at your mind, doing drugs every single day, every second. It's rough on your body." He said he was doing better than he had a few years earlier, and that he had once been afraid of where his life was headed. "I'm not 100 percent clean, but I'm not a piece of s*** anymore," Miller revealed. "I can look in the mirror and be like, 'I look OK.'"

A few years and several albums later, in September 2018, Miller shared a video on his Instagram story of his own music playing on a record table. The story has since expired, but TMZ captured a recording of the song, which was called "So It Goes." That story was posted on the night of September 6. On the afternoon of the 7, news broke that Miller had been found dead. Ultimately, an autopsy released by the County of Los Angeles Medical Examiner revealed that Miller died from an accidental overdose due to "mixed drug toxicity," which included a combination of fentanyl, cocaine, and ethanol.

Considering his cause of death, fans noticed how eerie the Instagram story videos seemed. Earlier in the same song (though not playing on the video), Miller raps, "Nine lives, never die, f*** a heaven, I'm still gettin' high."

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Betty White celebrated her birthday too early

Betty White outlived all of her costars from "The Golden Girls" by a considerable margin. That surprised no one more than White herself, who wrote in her 2011 memoir, "If You Ask Me," that she wasn't sure why she was the one to last while Rue McClanahan, Bea Arthur, and Estelle Getty had preceded her in death. "I always thought I would be the one who would go — particularly with The Golden Girls, because I was the oldest," she wrote. "... But then we lost all of them, and I'm the only one left and I'm still functioning. I think, How did that happen?"

White lived an entire decade more after she wrote those words. On December 28, 2021, Betty White celebrated her upcoming 100th birthday on social media. In a since-deleted tweet, she wrote, "My 100th birthday ... I cannot believe it is coming up, and People Magazine is celebrating with me." The tweet also included a link to the corresponding cover story, which on People's website was headlined, "Betty White Reveals Her Secrets to a Happy Life at 100: 'I'm So Lucky to Be in Such Good Health.'"

She didn't ultimately live to see her 100th birthday, dying three days after posting the now-ironic tweet. Fans appreciated the legendarily funny star's parting words; as one person tweeted alongside a photo of the now-incorrect People cover still on shelves, "I think Betty White would enjoy having made one last epic joke."

Naya Rivera was thinking of her son

"Glee" star Naya Rivera was reported missing on July 8, 2020, after taking a boating trip out onto Lake Piru in California. "This is considered to be a horrible accident," a Ventura County Sheriff's Department official told NBC Los Angeles, noting that Rivera's son, Josey, had been found asleep on a pontoon boat alone. He was wearing a life jacket, and an adult-sized jacket was still on the boat, suggesting that Rivera would not have had one on when she went overboard.

Rivera's body was found six days later, according to CNN. Sheriff Bill Ayub told the outlet that she died saving her son from the same fate. "She mustered enough energy to get her son back onto the boat, but not enough to save herself," he revealed.

Fans took to social media after the tragic accident and discovered proof that she had her son on her mind in her final hours. Rivera's final tweet was a heartbreaking photo of herself and her child, captioned "just the two of us." Fans congregated in the replies to the post, expressing their shock and sadness. One fan summed up everyone's thoughts, writing, "rest in [peace] queen, you've changed a lot of lives."

Linkin Park's Chester Bennington loved his fans

Chris Cornell, lead singer of Soundgarden, died on May 18, 2017. "The cause of death has been determined as suicide," a medical examiner said in a statement published by Variety. His good friend Chester Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park, posted a heartbreaking note on Instagram in the wake of his death. Bennington wrote, "You have inspired me in many ways you could never have known ... I can't imagine a world without you in it. I pray you find peace in the next life." Bennington wound up performing at Cornell's funeral, singing a cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" in memory of his friend.

A few months later, on July 20, 2017 — what would have been Cornell's birthday — Bennington died as well. A few days later, according to Us Weekly, his death was ruled a suicide, just as his friend's death had been.

As fans often do, they turned to Bennington's social media to see what his last public words were. While Bennington retweeted several posts in the days leading up to his death, his last actual tweet was a photo of himself under a spotlight, surrounded by adoring fans. He captioned the photo simply, "Me and my peeps." For years after his passing, fans continued to reply to the photo, letting the "In the End" singer know they were still thinking of him. In 2019, one fan wrote, "It is impossible not to miss you."

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat

Nipsey Hussle's bitterly ironic last tweet

Back in 2018, Los Angeles rapper Nipsey Hussle told the LA Times about what it was like for him growing up. "I grew up in gang culture," he said. "We dealt with death, with murder. It was like living in a war zone, where people die on these blocks and everybody is a little bit immune to it." As a result, as his fame increased, Hussle tried to give back to the community as much as possible.

On March 31, 2019, Hussle was at his Marathon Clothing store on Crenshaw Boulevard when he was shot and killed. The Associated Press later reconstructed a timeline of events, detailing how the rapper came into contact with Eric Holder Jr., a fellow member of the Rollin' 60s gang. They had a conversation about Holder's reputation as a snitch, which led to Holder returning with a gun and shooting the "Victory Lap" rapper at least 10 times.

After the news broke of Hussle's death, fans noticed that he had tweeted just minutes before he was killed. According to the AP's timeline, just one minute after he arrived at the strip mall where his store was located — where he would soon be killed — Hussle tweeted, "Having strong enemies is a blessing." Considering what would happen just moments later, it's a heartbreaking sentiment.

Elizabeth Taylor loved being alive

Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor suffered from numerous health problems throughout her life, becoming famous for her many hospital stays just as she was known for her many husbands and many critically-acclaimed acting roles. The star of films like "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" passed away in March 2011 at the age of 79. Her publicist told The New York Times she died from congestive heart failure.

Aside from promoting a joint article with Kim Kardashian, the last time the prolific Twitter user spoke to her followers was in July 2010, when she offered some reflections on humility and the act of giving. Some of the tweets have since been deleted, but The Wrap rounded them up at the time of her death, collecting the "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" star's final reflections on her life. Apparently, in reaction to speculation that either Angelina Jolie or Catherine Zeta-Jones would be playing Taylor in a biopic about her legendary romance with actor Richard Burton, Taylor tweeted, "No one is going to play Elizabeth Taylor, but Elizabeth Taylor herself." A follow-up tweet continued, "Not at least until I'm dead, and at the moment I'm having too much fun being alive...and I plan on staying that way."

She added a few further thoughts to her thread, reminding her followers to "always keep love and humility in your heart." The glamorous star finally concluded, "Every breath you take today should be with someone else in mind. I love you."

Bobbi Kristina Brown felt alone without her mother, Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston died in February 2012. According to NBC News, Los Angeles County Chief Coroner Ed Winter confirmed at a press conference that the "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" singer had been found unresponsive in a bathtub. The day after Houston died, her daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown was hospitalized for what CBS News confirmed was an anxiety-related episode. Later that fall, Brown starred as herself on "The Houstons: On Our Own," a docuseries that chronicled the family's time grieving and processing of Houston's loss.

Three years later, approaching the anniversary of her mother's death, Brown shared a selfie on Twitter that she captioned, "miss you mommy ..:') SOmuch.. loving you more every sec." A few days later, she followed it up with a heartbreaking tweet that read simply, "On my own." However, another tweet followed; this time, Brown engaged in some self-motivation, talking about her plans for the future. "Let's start this career up&&moving OUT to TO YOU ALLLL quick shall we !?!???!" she wrote, including a bunch of music-related emojis.

That would turn out to be Brown's final tweet, aside from a few retweets. She was found unresponsive in a bathtub two days later, just like her mother had been. According to The New York Times, Brown was in a coma for six months, and she died that July. She never had a chance to get her own music career going, so her tweets remain as a memorial to her ambition.