15 Celebrities Widowed Young

June 19, 2014  |  
1 of 15

Whether they’re actors or artists, politicians or great thinkers, most famous people who are extremely good at their craft have had some difficult experiences in their life, which breathes passion into their work. For the people on this list, those somber experiences came in the form of losing a spouse at a young age. Here are 15 celebrities widowed young.


Joe Biden

Today we know the Vice First Lady as Jill Biden, but Joe Biden had a previous marriage to a Neilia Hunter. Hunter died in a car accident in 1972. In that same accident, Biden lost a daughter, but his two sons survived.

Coretta Scott King

King lost her husband Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when she was just 41. Her husband was assassinated when he was only 39.

Roy Rogers

Rogers lost his wife of 10 years, Grace Arline Wilkins, to complications in childbirth. The two had three children before Wilkins passé away.

Courtney Love

Love’s second husband was a rocker who lived hard and fast like herself, Kurt Cobain. The rocker lifestyle took the ultimate toll on Cobain, driving him to suicide in 1994. Love was only 30.


Thomas Jefferson

One of our founding fathers became a widow at the age of 41. His wife, Martha Wayles Skelton, died during childbirth.

Faith Evans

Evans lost her husband Christopher “The Notorious B.I.G.” when she was only 24. “The Notorious B.I.G.” was shot and killed, also at the age of 24. He left Evans with one son.





Katie Couric

We are all excited for the journalist and TV host’s upcoming marriage to John Molner, but this isn’t her first time walking down the isle. When she was 41, Couric lost her husband of nine years—Jay Monahan—who died of colon cancer.


Elizabeth Taylor

With the number of husbands Taylor went through, it almost beats the odds that she didn’t lose more to some tragedy. When Taylor was 26, her third husband Mike Todd died in a plane crash. Each of Taylor’s other marriages ended in divorce.

Henry Fonda

Fonda became a widower when he was just 45 years old. After asking his second wife Frances Ford Seymour for a divorce, Seymore spiraled into a depression and entered a psychiatric hospital where she slit her own throat.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The famous author lost his wife when he was only 28 years old. He had been married to Ellen Louisa Tucker for just two years when she died of tuberculosis.


Pierce Brosnan

When Brosnan was only 38 years old his wife of 17 years, Cassandra Harris,  lost her battle with ovarian cancer. Harris was a widow herself, and came to her marriage with Brosnan with two children from her previous marriage, both of which Brosnan adopted.


Anna Nicole Smith

Smith became a widow at age 28 when her 90-year-old millionaire husband J. Howard Marshall II died of natural causes. Of course, many believe becoming a young widow was Smith’s plan all along.

Nigella Lawson

Lawson lost her husband of nine years, John Diamond, when she was 41 years old. Diamond died of throat cancer and left Lawson with their two children.

Jean Harlow

The actress became a widow at the young age of 21. She had been married to MGM producer Paul Bern just two months before he committed suicide. Bern was 42 at the time of his death.


Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt lost his wife of four years, Alice Hathaway Lee, when he was just 26 years old. Lee died after complications during childbirth at the age of 22. Roosevelt tragically lost his mother on that very same day to typhoid fever.

Trending on MadameNoire

Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN