List of celebrities who died from sleep apnea, including Carrie Fisher

List of celebrities who died from sleep apnea, including Carrie Fisher

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

A collage of Carrie Fisher at the 7th Annual Governors Awards and the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
Carrie Fisher attends the 7th Annual Governors Awards (left) and the late Associate Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court (right). Photo: @Jason LaVeris, CNP (edited by author)
Source: Getty Images


  • Celebrities Who Died From Sleep Apnea
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Sleep apnea can be dangerous because it is linked to several serious health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, mental health problems, daytime fatigue, and sleepiness.

Untreated sleep apnea can lead to these complications and have a significant impact on daily life, making it essential to seek the right treatment and follow 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 have died from the disorder or other conditions related to the disorder. Here is a list of celebrities who have died from sleep apnea:

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1. Carrie Fisher

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

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

She also wrote several novels, nonfiction, screenplays and plays, including Postcards from the edge (1987), Hollywood moms (2001), The Wedding Singer (1998), and A spy in my house (2008).

Sadly, Fisher passed away on December 27, 2016 at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Carrie Fisher’s cause of death has not been determined, but the Los Angeles County coroner’s office said sleep apnea and the buildup of fatty tissue on the walls of her arteries were among the contributing factors.

2.Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia performs with the Grateful Dead at the Greek Theater in Berkeley
Jerry Garcia performs 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 August 1, 1942, in San Francisco, California. Garcia was best known as the primary songwriter, lead guitarist, and vocalist of the rock band Grateful Dead. His most notable songs include A touch of gray, foolish heart, wrinkle, And Candy.

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Sadly, Jerry Garcia passed away on August 9, 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 one of the top celebrities with sleep apnea, so doctors attributed his death in part to his long-term sleep apnea, his struggles 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 Commercial Committee
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 March 11, 1936, in Trenton, New Jersey, United States. Antonin Scalia served on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1986 until his death on February 13, 2016, at the age of 79.

Sadly, Scalia died in his room at Cibolo Creek Ranch in Shafter, Texas. After his death, Scalia’s family refused to have an autopsy performed on him. Therefore, his death was ruled as natural causes. Antonin Scalia was one of the few celebrities who died in their sleep.

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Scalia had a history of heart problems, including high blood pressure. Several medical experts also suspected that he had sleep apnea, as his neck circumference was at least 18+ inches before his death.

4. Bappi Lahiri

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

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

In 1986, Guinness World Records recognized Lahri for recording more than 180 songs in a single year. Sadly, Bappi Lahiri passed away on February 15, 2022 in Mumbai at the age of 69. He collapsed in the arms of his daughter.

Lahri had contracted COVID-19 in 2021, which worsened and never recovered. He was also treated for multiple other illnesses. His cause of death was determined to be obstructive sleep apnea and complications post-COVID-19.

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5. Amanda Peterson

Amanda Peterson was an American actress. She was born Phyllis Amanda Peterson on July 8, 1971, in Greeley, Colorado, United States. Amanda Peterson was best known for her role as Cindy Mancini in the 1987 comedy film You can’t buy me love.

She also played the role of Sawyer in Beans (1983) and Sunny Sisk in A year in the life (1988). Peterson began acting at age 11 when she appeared as a dancer/singer in the 1982 American musical comedy-drama film Annie.

Amanda Peterson died on July 3, 2015 at the age of 43 in her hometown of Greeley, Colorado, United States. Peterson had long struggled with obstructive sleep apnea.

After her death, the Weld County Coroner revealed that her death was the result of an accidental drug overdose and attributed her death to respiratory failure caused 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 August 30, 1953, in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Harris was best known for his recurring comedy sketch about Bébé’s childrena 1992 American animated comedy film for adults.

He also appeared in several films, including I’m gonna get you, motherfucker (1988), Do the right thing, Harlem Nights, And House party (1990) and had a small role as an MC in a jazz club More Better Blues.

Harris died on March 18, 1990, in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois, at the age of 36. He died of cardiac arrhythmia at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago after collapsing in his hotel suite while performing at the Regal Theater.

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

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7. John Snoep

John Candy Receives Scleroderma Research Foundation Founders Award
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 October 31, 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 Space balls.

He also played supporting roles in The Blues Brothers, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Little Shop of Horrors, And Home aloneCandy died in his sleep in Durango City, Durango, Mexico, on March 4, 1994, at the age of 43. A spokesman suggested his cause of death was a heart attack.

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

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8. Reggie White

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

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

Reggie died on December 26, 2004 at the age of 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. Sleep apnea, which he had been diagnosed with, may also have contributed to his death.

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The list of celebrities who have 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 to address sleep apnea at an early stage to reduce serious health risks and prevent further loss of life.

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