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List of celebrities who died from sleep apnea including Carrie Fisher

By newadmin / Published on Tuesday, 02 Jul 2024 14:41 PM / No Comments / 14 views

Sleep apnea has claimed the lives of several well-known celebrities. From the iconic actress Carrie Fisher to the legendary musician Jerry Garcia, the list of celebrities who died from sleep apnea is a sobering testament to the severity of this condition. But which other celebs died in their sleep?

A collage of Carrie Fisher at the 7th annual Governors Awards and the late US Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia
Carrie Fisher attends the 7th annual Governors Awards (L) and the late US Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia (R). Photo: @Jason LaVeris, CNP (modified by author)
Source: Getty Images


Sleep apnea can be dangerous due to its links to various serious health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, mental health impacts, daytime fatigue, and sleepiness.

Untreated sleep apnea can lead to these complications and significantly impact daily life, making it essential to seek proper treatment and adhere to it closely. Unfortunately, several famous people with sleep apnea have died after struggling with the disorder for a while.

Celebrities who died from sleep apnea

Many celebrities have suffered from sleep apnea for a long time. Unfortunately, some passed away because of the disorder or a different condition associated with the disorder. Here is a list of the celebrities who have died from sleep apnea:

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1. Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher at the US-Ireland Aliiance's Oscar Wilde Awards event
Carrie Fisher at the US-Ireland Alliance’s Oscar Wilde Awards event. Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez
Source: Getty Images

Carrie Fisher was an actress and writer. She was born on 21 October 1956 in Burbank, California, United States. Fisher was best known for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise.

She also wrote several novels, non-fiction, screenplays, and plays, including Postcards from the Edge (1987), Hollywood Moms (2001), The Wedding Singer (1998), and A Spy in the House of Me (2008).

Unfortunately, Fisher died on 27 December 2016 at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Carrie Fisher’s cause of death was not exactly determined, but the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office said that sleep apnea and the buildup of fatty tissue on the walls of arteries were among the contributing factors.

2. Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia performing with the Grateful Dead at the Greek Theater in Berkeley
Jerry Garcia performing with the Grateful Dead at the Greek Theater in Berkeley. Photo: Clayton Call
Source: Getty Images

Jerry Garcia was an American musician. He was born on 1 August 1942 in San Francisco, California. Garcia was best known as the principal songwriter, lead guitarist, and vocalist of the rock band Grateful Dead. His most notable songs include Touch of Grey, Foolish Heart, Ripple, and Sugaree.

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Unfortunately, Jerry Garcia passed away on 9 August 1995 in his room at the rehabilitation clinic in Lagunitas-Forest Knolls, California, United States. His cause of death was a heart attack.

Jerry was among the top celebrities with sleep apnea. Thus, doctors attributed his death in part to his long-standing sleep apnea, his struggle with drug addiction, weight problems, heavy smoking, and diabetes, all of which contributed to his physical decline.

3. Antonin Scalia

Antonin Scalia testifies before the House Judiciary Committee's Commercial
Antonin Scalia testifies before the House Judiciary Committee’s Commercial. Photo: Chip Somodevilla
Source: Getty Images

Antonin Scalia was an American Supreme Court Justice. He was born on 11 March 1936 in Trenton, New Jersey, United States. Antonin Scalia served on the United States Supreme Court from 1986 until his death on 13 February 2016 at 79.

Unfortunately, Scalia died in his room at Cibolo Creek Ranch in Shafter, Texas. After his death, Scalia’s family refused to have an autopsy done on him. Therefore, his death was ruled by natural causes. Antonin Scalia was among a few celebrities who died in their sleep.

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Scalia had a history of heart trouble, including high blood pressure. Also, several medical experts suspected he had sleep apnea, given his neck circumference was at least 18+ inches before his death.

4. Bappi Lahiri

Bappi Lahiri during the Christmas New Year theme carnival lunch
Bappi Lahiri during the Christmas New Year theme carnival lunch. Photo: Pramod Thakur
Source: Getty Images

Bappi Lahiri was a renowned Indian singer, composer, and record producer. He was born on 27 November 1952 in Jalpaiguri, West Bengal, India. Lahri was well known for popularising synthesised disco music in the Indian music industry and sang some of his compositions.

In 1986, Guinness World Records recognised Lahri for recording more than 180 songs in one year. Unfortunately, Bappi Lahiri died in Mumbai on 15 February 2022 at the age of 69. He collapsed in his daughter’s arms.

Lahri had contracted COVID-19 in 2021, which worsened and never recovered from it. Also, he was undergoing treatment for multiple other illnesses. His cause of death was ruled as obstructive sleep apnea and post-COVID-19 complications.

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5. Amanda Peterson

Amanda Peterson was an American actress. She was born Phyllis Amanda Peterson on 8 July 1971 in Greeley, Colorado, United States. Amanda Peterson was most known for her role as Cindy Mancini in the 1987 comedy film Can’t Buy Me Love.

She also starred as Sawyer in Boone (1983) and Sunny Sisk in A Year in The Life (1988). Peterson started acting at age 11 when she appeared as a Dancer/Singer in the 1982 American musical comedy-drama film Annie.

Amanda Peterson died on 3 July 2015, aged 43, in her hometown of Greeley, Colorado, United States. Peterson struggled with obstructive sleep apnea for a long time.

After her death, the Weld County coroner revealed that her death resulted from an accidental drug oversupply and attributed her death to respiratory failure triggered by a painkiller effect. The actress had recently undergone a hysterectomy and was prescribed Gabapentin for pain management.

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6. Robin Harris

Robin Harris was an American comedian and actor. He was born Robin Hughes Harris Sr. on 30 August 1953 in Chicago, Illinois, United States.  Harris was best known for his recurring comic sketch about Bébé’s Kids, a 1992 American adult animated comedy film.

He also appeared in several films, including I’m Gonna Git You Sucka (1988), Do the Right Thing, Harlem Nights, and House Party (1990) and had a small role as a jazz club MC in Mo’ Better Blues.

Harris died on 18 March 1990 in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois, aged 36. He died from cardiac arrhythmia at Chicago’s Four Seasons Hotel after collapsing in his hotel suite, where he was staying while he performed at the Regal Theater.

His brother found him unresponsive. After several tests, medical reports revealed that he had long battled with sleep apnea and finally died from cardiac arrest. He was one of the young celebrities with sleep apnea.

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7. John Candy

John Candy receives the Founders Award from the Scleroderma Research Foundation
John Candy receives the Founders Award from the Scleroderma Research Foundation. Photo: Joan Adlen
Source: Getty Images

John Candy was a Canadian actor and comedian. He was born on 31 October 1950 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. John was best known for his work in Hollywood films, including roles in comedic films such as Stripes, Splash, Brewster’s Millions, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, and Spaceballs.

He also appeared in supporting roles in The Blues Brothers, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Little Shop of Horrors, and Home Alone. Candy died in his sleep in Durango City, Durango, Mexico, on 4 March 1994, aged 43. A spokesperson suggested that his cause of death was a heart attack.

The heart attack is believed to be caused by the sleep apnea he suffered from during most of his adult life. He also had other risk factors for heart attack, including strong family history (his father had died prematurely of a heart attack), smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, obesity, alcohol abuse, and coke use.

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8. Reggie White

Reggie White was an American football defensive end who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 15 seasons. He was born Reginald Howard White on 19 December 1961 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States.

Reggie played college football for the Tennessee Volunteers. After two seasons for the Memphis Showboats of the United States Football League (USFL), he was selected in the first round of the 1984 NFL Supplemental Draft and then played for the Philadelphia Eagles, the Green Bay Packers and the Carolina Panthers.

Reggie died on 26 December 2004 at 43 in Cornelius, North Carolina, United States. Although his cause of death was arrhythmia, the most likely cause of arrhythmia was cardiac and pulmonary sarcoidosis. Also, sleep apnea, which he had been diagnosed with, may have contributed to his death.

Wrapping up

The list of celebrities who died from sleep apnea includes Carrie Fisher, Jerry Garcia, John Candy, Robin Harris, Amanda Peterson, Bappi Lahiri, Antonin Scalia, and Jerry Garcia. These high-profile cases highlight the need for addressing sleep apnea in its early stages to mitigate serious health risks and prevent further loss of life.

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