Celebrities who lost a brother or sister

Sofia Vergara
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Davina McCall
Ella Bleu Travolta
Kim Cattrall
Mark Ruffalo
Chelsea Handler
Louis Tomlinson
Blake Shelton
Jennifer Hudson
Johnny Cash
George Shelley
Shirley Ballas
Stephen Colbert
Carla Bruni
Kelsey Grammer
Queen Latifah
Nick and Aaron Carter
Mark Wahlberg
Ice Cube
Venus and Serena Williams
Luke Bryan
Julia Roberts
Nelly
Joaquin Phoenix
Sofia Vergara

Long before achieving fame with projects like 'Modern Family,' actress Sofía Vergara suffered great trauma in her native country of Colombia. Her brother Rafael, aged 27, was shot and killed in 1996.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

The actor lost his older brother Daniel (36) when he was 29 years old. Looking up to Daniel, Joseph denied in several interviews that there was substance abuse involved in his death. "All the big things that I ever had to do, he did 'em first," The New York Daily News quoted the actor as saying. Dying first was one of them. "Frankly, it makes it less scary in a way, too, knowing that he’s done it."

Davina McCall

British TV presenter Davina McCall had to say goodbye to her half-sister Caroline in 2012. The cause of death was lung cancer.

Ella Bleu Travolta

The actress and daughter of John Travolta and Kelly Preston lived through an awful tragedy in 2009 when her older brother Jett was found lifeless in a bathtub in their hotel in the Bahamas. The boy, 16 years old, had had a seizure and hit his head. Ella was 10 years old at the time.

Kim Cattrall

In 2018, actress Kim Cattrall took to social media to ask for help finding her missing brother in Canada. Five days later, she returned to the same platforms and reported that he had been found dead. The cause of his death was not revealed.

Mark Ruffalo

Scott Ruffalo (39), the older brother of Hulk interpreter Mark Ruffalo, was found dead in 2008 from a gunshot wound to the head. The police ruled it murder but were never able to charge anyone with the killing.

Chelsea Handler

Chelsea Handler's brother had a tragic hiking accident, falling off an 80 ft. cliff when Chelsea was just 10 years old. She would later explain on 'The Rosie O'Donnell Show' that she was too young to really face the situation at the time.

Louis Tomlinson

The 'One Direction' star suffered a tough loss when his 18-year-old sister Félicité died from heart failure in 2019. Their mother had passed away three years later from leukemia, so the singer and his sister had already been through a very difficult period.

Blake Shelton

The singer and 'The Voice' coach was just 14 years old when he lost his older brother to a car accident. Richie Shelton, 24 years old, died in 1990. Blake would write a song about him: 'Over You.'

Jennifer Hudson

The award-winning actress and singer experienced a tragedy in 2008. She lost her brother, mother, and a cousin (still a child) all at once when her brother-in-law committed an act of violence against them.

Johnny Cash

The story of the Cash family's terrible loss in 1944 is part of the biopic about the famous musician. When Johnny was 12 years old, his 14-year-old brother Jack had a fatal work accident with the saw of the local woodshop. Cash would write in his 2003 autobiography: "Losing Jack was terrible... It was awful at the time and it's still a big, cold, sad place in my heart and soul."

George Shelley

'X Factor' star George Shelley lost his 21-year-old sister Harriet to a car accident in Bristol, UK, in 2017. He would later recount in the TV program 'Learning to Grieve' that he had been very close to his sister who was four years younger than him. "We just have to learn how to live with the void," he remarked, as quoted by 'Hello' magazine.

Shirley Ballas

Former dancer and UK's 'Strictly Come Dancing' judge Shirley Ballas suffered a tough blow when her brother David took his own life in 2003. He was 44 years old. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Shirley set up The Ballas Foundation to educate people about the life-threatening risks of mental illness.

Stephen Colbert

Two brothers of Stephen Colbert boarded an airplane with his father in 1974 and never came back. Their flight, Eastern Airlines 212, crashed in North Carolina. Stephen was 10 years old and his brothers were 15 and 18. The comedian later told 'GQ' that it took him 25 years to come to terms with the accident.

Carla Bruni

Carla Bruni has been a fervent advocate for research and prevention of AIDS. The actress and singer lost her brother, Virginio, in 2006 to the disease.

Kelsey Grammer

The actor had a lot to process while he was in his 20s. First, his 18-year-old sister was murdered in 1975. The violent act, whose perpetrator was caught and prosecuted for a series of killings, made many headlines. Five years after the dramatic loss, two half-brothers of Kelsey Grammer would die in a scuba-diving accident.

Queen Latifah

In 1992, the rapper was making a name for herself and she decided to buy her brother Lance a motorcycle for his birthday. In a sad twist of fate, the 23-year-old would get into a fatal accident with that motorcycle.

Nick and Aaron Carter

Backstreet Boy Nick and his singing brother Aaron lost their sister Leslie (second-left in the photo) to an overdose in 2012. She was just 25 years old. Nick would later admit on the 'Dr. Phil' show that all of the Carter siblings had been struggling with substance abuse at that time.

Mark Wahlberg

As the first episode of the reality show 'Wahlburgers' would recount, actor Mark Wahlberg welcomed his first child and lost his sister on the same day in 2003. Deborah Donnelly-Wahlberg had a heart attack at age 43.

Ice Cube

When Ice Cube was 12 years old, he lost his older sister, Beverly Jean. She was the victim of deadly domestic violence by her husband in the apartment where they lived.

Venus and Serena Williams

The story of the Williams sisters' rise in tennis is well-known. Behind the glory on the courts, however, there has been a tragedy for the family as well. In 2003, their 31-year-old sister Yetunde Price was shot and killed while sitting in her car in Compton.

Luke Bryan

Right before 20-year-old Luke Bryan was headed to Nashville to make a career as a country singer, his older brother Chris (26) died in a car accident. The tragedy happened in 1996.

Julia Roberts

The half-sister of Julia Roberts, Nancy Motes, took her own life in 2014. She was 37 years old and had worked as a production assistant on the show 'Glee.'

Nelly

Rapper Nelly lost his sister Jackie to leukemia in 2005. He has been very active in supporting research and treatment of the disease as well as education about its early detection.

Joaquin Phoenix

River Phoenix, the brother of Joaquin Phoenix, was a very promising name in his generation of Hollywood stars. Sadly, his life was cut short in 1993 when he overdosed at age 23. Joaquin was there with him when it happened.

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