Celebrities who died too young

Published On: Apr 04 2012 09:16:54 AM CDT   Updated On: May 13 2016 01:00:00 AM CDT

Friday marks what would have been Ritchie Valens' 75th birthday had the rock icon not died at age 17 in the same 1959 plane crash that claimed Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper. In his honor, take a look at Valens and other stars who died too young.

River Phoenix
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Photo by Alan Light via Wikimedia Commons

River Phoenix, the older brother of actor Joaquin Phoenix, collapsed and died of drug-induced heart failure on the sidewalk outside the West Hollywood nightclub The Viper Room at age 23 on Oct. 31, 1993. He began acting at age 10, and was nominated for an Academy Award for his role as Danny in "Running on Empty" in 1988.

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