Where the Stars Died - the 1980's


Seeing Stars in Hollywood

A list Hollywood locations of famous celebrity deaths,
crimes, murders, & suicides.

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    8221 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood: the Chateau Marmont hotel, Bungalow #2: where comedian/actor John Belushi died of an overdose of heroin and cocaine on March 5,1982, at the age of 33. Belushi had been a regular on TV's "Saturday Night Live," then went on to star in movies such as "Animal House" and "The Blues Brothers."

    2101 S. Gramercy Place, Los Angeles: the family home where singer Marvin Gaye ("I Heard It Through the Grapevine," "Let's Get It On") was shot to death by his minister father, Marvin Gaye Sr., during an argument at their home in April 1984. The father pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, but received only five years' probation.

    10881 Clarkson Road, West Los Angeles: the two story home where "Star 80" centerfold Dorothy Stratten was murdered on August 14, 1980 by her jealous husband after he learned of her relationship with director Peter Bogdanovich ("The Last Picture Show"). It's located just northwest of where Westwood Blvd. meets the Santa Monica (10) Freeway, just three blocks south of the Westside Pavilion mall.  

    In Basin C-1100 of Marina del Rey: where "Beach Boys" drummer, Dennis Wilson, died (at age 39) in a drowning accident off a friend's boat, on Dec. 28, 1983. With his brothers and Mike Love, Dennis helped the Beach Boys turn out such hits as "California Girls," "Fun, Fun, Fun" and "Wouldn't It Be Nice."

    535 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica: actor William Holden (star of "Sunset Boulevard" and "Network") was found dead in his apartment on the fifth floor of the Shorecliff Towers in Santa Monica in 1981. He had been drinking, and apparently fell, struck his head on an end table, and bled to death. Ironically, this apartment building, about a mile and a half north of the Santa Monica Pier, overlooks the former beach homes of such celebrities as Peter Lawford and Marion Davies.

    8723 Rangely Ave., West Hollywood: the home of 22-year-old actress Dominique Dunne, who played the older sister, 'Dana', in the "Poltergeist." movies; she was murdered here by her estranged boyfriend on Oct. 30, 1982. A chef at the popular restaurant Ma Maison, John Sweeney became abusive, and when Dominique ended the relationship, he came to her home and strangled her in the driveway of the house. She died several days later at Cedars-Sinai. Her father, author Dominick Dunne, later became an outspoken commentator during the O.J. Simpson trial.


    722 N. Elm Drive, Beverly Hills: the site of the infamous Menendez murders, in August of 1989. Brothers Lyle & Erik Menendez admitted that they murdered their parents, Kitty & Jose Menendez, while the couple was watching TV and eating ice cream, blowing them away with multiple shotgun blasts. The juries in the first trials of their cases were deadlocked - but a new jury found them both guilty of first degree murder. The murders were the subject of two 1994 made-for-TV movies: "Menendez: A Killing in Beverly Hills" and "Honor Thy Father and Mother: The True Story of the Menendez Murders."

    The Spanish-style house is located about a mile east of the famous Beverly Hills Hotel, and was previously home to Michael Jackson, Prince and Elton John.

    9402 Beverly Crest Drive, in Beverly Hills: the home where actor Rock Hudson died in 1985. Hudson had starred with Doris Day in such comedies as "Pillow Talk," and as Commissioner McMillan on TV's "McMillan & Wife." He was the first major star to die of AIDS.  

    8433 Harold Way, West Hollywood (about three blocks east of La Cienega Blvd., just above the House of Blues): pianist and master showman Liberace died of AIDS in Palm Springs in 1987, but he lived at this home above the Sunset Strip for almost 20 years. His death, along with Rock Hudson's, helped bring the disease to the attention of the public.

    The Esplanade at Sapphire Street, in Redondo Beach (just south of the Redondo Beach Pier): Mötley Crüe member Vince Neil had been partying at his beach home for three days, when he decided to make a run to a local liquor store for more booze. Joined by Nicholas ‘Razzle’ Dingley (a member of the Finnish punk band "Hanoi Rocks"), Neil was heading back home with a couple hundred dollars of beer and alcohol in the car - and a personal blood alcohol level almost twice the legal limit. He swerved around a parked fire truck, lost control of his red '72 Ford Pantera, and ended up on the wrong side of the road, where his car smashed into a white Volkswagon. His passenger, 'Razzle' Dingley, was killed. A young man in the Volkswagon was left with brain damage and paralysis. Neil escaped with minor injuries, and was arrested for vehicular manslaughter. Amazingly, he got off with just a 30-day jail sentence, to be served after finishing a rock tour.

    625 Orange Drive, Hollywood: Tim Hardin, the singer/songwriter who wrote Rod Stewart's "Reason to Believe" and "If I Were A Carpenter" and performed at Woodstock, died of a drug overdose in this Hollywood apartment on Dec. 29, 1980.

    * locations marked by an asterisk could be located in a high-crime district. Exercise reasonable caution.

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A list Hollywood locations of famous celebrity crimes,
sex scandals, arrests, misbehavior... and occasional celebrity heroics.

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