Celebrities Who Suffered the Tragic Loss of a Child

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Eric Clapton
> Child: Conor Clapton (1987-1991)
> Cause of death: Fall from a window

In 1991, Conor Clapton, the 4-year-old son of rock superstar Eric Clapton, fell to his death from a New York City apartment building after a window had been accidentally left open during janitorial work. Clapton channeled his grief into the song “Tears in Heaven,” which won multiple Grammy awards.

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Loretta Lynn
> Child: Jack Benny Lynn (1949-1984)
> Cause of death: Drowning

Jack Benny Lynn, country star Loretta Lynn’s eldest son, drowned trying to ford the Duck River in Tennessee on horseback. Authorities believe the young man fell off his horse and hit his head on a rock. The tragedy occurred near the family’s ranch.

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Carol Burnett
> Child: Carrie Hamilton (1964-2002)
> Cause of death: Lung and brain cancer

Comedian and television star Carol Burnett suffered a tragedy in 2002 when her daughter Carrie Hamilton passed away after cancer had spread from her lungs to her brain. Hamilton, an actress/singer who appeared in the movie “Fame,” had struggled earlier in life with alcohol and drug addiction.

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Mary Tyler Moore
> Child: Richard Meeker Jr. (1954-1980)
> Cause of death: Gunshot

Richard Meeker Jr., son of television icon Mary Tyler Moore, died following an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound in 1980. Ironically, that same year, Moore starred in the movie “Ordinary People” in which her character deals with the loss of a son who accidentally drowns.

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Marlon Brando
> Children: Cheyenne Brando (1970-1995)
> Cause of death: Suicide by hanging

Iconic actor Marlon Brando’s son, Christian, the oldest of Brando’s 11 biological and adopted children, died of complications from pneumonia in 2008 (Brando died in 2004). He had led a complicated life that included killing the boyfriend of his half-sibling Cheyenne, for which he served five years in prison, and being implicated in the death of actor Robert Blake’s wife. Cheyenne, an actress and model who lived a troubled life, hanged herself in 1995.

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