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Hollywood Body Count

“I know those paths of excess, drugs, sex and alcohol - all those experiences can be funky.”

“His drugs killed him. What do you think, he died from a cold? ... But how pathetic that he killed himself.”
Gene Simmons on Prince

“I abused prescription drugs and battled addiction. If I hadn't gotten the help I needed when I needed it, I might not be here today.”

“Before we had some high profile people die, no one really took much notice. It really started becoming prominent with Anna Nicole Smith's, then you had Heath Ledger, Michael Jackson and recently Brittany Murphy and Corey Haim.”
Dr. Gregory Smith, Comprehensive Pain Relief Group, Los Angeles, Author of American Addict

“Being a celebrity can be dangerous. Nobody says 'no.' That's why so many end up overdosing and dying. It could definitely have happened to me.”
Demi Lovato on Cory Monteith.

There’s a serial killer in Hollywood and its name is Fame. Its weapon of choice is a prescription pad. You can be rich and famous in La-La land, change your name, your nose, your bra size, but you can’t escape the pressure of trying to get to the top, and staying a star. The Fame Game has no rules and just one end.

Isn’t it odd that stars can drive luxury foreign cars, live in multi-million dollar homes, but when it’s time to ease the pain, many resort to the most common of prescription drugs – something any of us can get access to? So it’s newsworthy when a celebrity goes into rehab or dies of an overdose.

The fascination is part shock and sorrow. When it’s a famous victim who starred in your favorite TV show or movie, or whose music was part of your life, their misfortune is a reminder that we’re all human beings with foibles and lives not too different from our own. Celebrities are family by proxy, so we are interested in knowing what the rich and famous eat, drink, wear, or love, but we are also curious about how they died.

“Celebrity coexists with addiction. It's the perfect storm. There are certain dynamics at play in the addicted celebrity that make recovery exceptionally challenging: entitlement, self-centeredness, self-absorption.”
Huffington Post, Aug. 8, 2012

We connect with celebrities. We buy what they endorse. We want to know about the details of their lives. We cheer turnarounds like Robert Downey Jr. but can’t look away at train wrecks. Hollywood Body Count invites the reader to look at the lives of celebrities who have tragically died not because of some exotic behaviour but because of what you might find in your own medicine cabinet.

About the Authors
Nicola Pittam and Harrison Cheung are the authors of the well-reviewed, award- winning biography, Christian Bale: The Inside Story of the Darkest Batman (BenBella, 2012, ISBN 1936661640).

The two are fast becoming their own dynamic duo of the Hollywood scene.