Some of beloved celebrities had hidden lives that were only revealed after their deaths. From a kinky Kung Fu star to a closeted Hollywood heartthrob, here are some of the most surprising secrets of the stars who passed away.
- David Carradine, who was best known for playing Shaolin priest Kwai Chang Caine in the Kung Fu series, died in 2009 in a Bangkok hotel. His death was initially reported as a suicide, but later it was found that he had died from a dangerous sex practice called auto-erotic asphyxiation. His ex-wife Gail Jensen told Radar Online that he had “his kinky moments” and that he was into bondage and role-playing. His former wife Marina Carradine also accused him of practicing “deviant sexual behavior which was potentially deadly” in a court document from 2003.
- Rock Hudson was one of Hollywood’s sexiest leading men from the ’50s and ’60s, starring in films like Giant and Pillow Talk. He died in 1985 from AIDS, becoming the most famous person afflicted with the disease at the time. His death also confirmed that he was a gay man, something that he had kept secret from the public for his entire career. He had married his agent’s secretary Phyllis Gates in 1955 to avoid rumors about his sexuality, but they divorced three years later. He also had a long-term relationship with his partner Marc Christian, who sued his estate for emotional distress after learning that Hudson had concealed his diagnosis from him.
- Brian ‘Brizz’ Gillis, an original member of LFO, died in March at age 47. His death was confirmed by his former bandmate Brad Fischetti on Instagram, who said he was “struggling to process this tragic loss”. He also revealed that Gillis had been secretly battling leukemia for two years and that he had undergone a bone marrow transplant in 2022. Gillis was part of the pop group that rose to fame in the late ’90s with hits like Summer Girls and Girl on TV.
- Paul Cattermole, a member of S Club 7, died at age 46 in April. The UK pop group announced his death on Instagram, saying they were “truly devastated by the passing of our brother Paul”. They also asked for privacy for his family and the band. Cattermole had been secretly struggling with alcoholism and depression for years, according to his ex-girlfriend Hannah Spearritt. She told The Sun that he had “a lot of demons” and that he had tried to get help several times.
- Frank Sinatra was one of the most influential and popular singers of the 20th century, known for his smooth voice and charismatic persona. He died in 1998 from a heart attack at age 82. He had been married four times and had many affairs with famous women like Ava Gardner and Marilyn Monroe. He also had a secret son named Ronan Farrow, who was born in 1987 to his third wife Mia Farrow. Although Mia was married to Woody Allen at the time, she later admitted that Ronan could be Sinatra’s child. Ronan inherited Sinatra’s blue eyes and became a journalist and activist.
These are just some of the celebrities who had hidden lives that were only revealed after their deaths. Their stories show that fame and fortune can come with a price that is often paid in secrecy and pain.