From world famous actors to the world’s first supermodel, below are some of the renowned celebrities who have died of AIDS. Read on.
Faroukh Balsara, aka Freddie Mercury, was born in the then British Protectorate of Zanzibar, which is now a part of Tanzania. In 1970, he formed the band Queen with guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor. Mercury chose the band name even though some band members were not up for it. He was extremely well-known for his flamboyant personality and his powerful vocals of over four-octave range, which is extremely uncommon. Mercury was known for his livewire performances. He was the one to pen 10 of the 17 evergreen hits of the band, which included “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Somebody to Love,” etc.
Mercury was a shy and introvert bisexual. He had a lot of affairs with men mostly, but he always liked to keep things a secret. He was diagnosed with AIDS in April 1987. He kept his condition for years. On Nov. 23, 1991, Mercury issued a public statement, in which he mentioned he was dying of AIDS. Just hours later on the evening of Nov. 24, 1991 he passed away at his Kensington home. He was just 45.
One of the handsomest stars of Hollywood in the ’60s. He was a heartthrob of millions. He stood at 6 ft and 5 in. He played the lead role in a number of romantic comedies. One of his most memorable films would be “Doris Day.” His film and television careers spanned over four decades. During the 1970s, Hudson was the highest paid TV star. During the early ’80s, his health started to get worse. His deteriorating health was attributed to heavy smoking and drinking. To recuperate from a cardiac arrest, he underwent a heart surgery. After which, he was diagnosed with HIV on June 5, 1984. He kept it a secret and continued to work and attended award functions and other gatherings. When he was flown to Paris for treatment on July 25, 1985, he issued a public statement, which declared he was dying of AIDS. He died on Oct. 2, 1985. The revealing of his condition brought his hidden sexual orientation into the open. It was alleged that he tried to hide his gay status with his marriage, which too was dragged into public scrutiny. It was stated that he contacted AIDS due to his homosexual alliances with many men. He was the first major celebrities from Hollywood to have died of AIDS.
Perkins, who was born in New York, was an actor and musician by profession. He debuted with a 1953 film called “The Actress,” for which he received an Academy Award nomination. He is well-known for his stellar performance as Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock’s unforgettable classic “Psycho.” Known to one and all, “Psycho” was a critical and commercial success, and it gave Perkins his international fame as the homicidal owner of he Bates Motel. In 1961, he won the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival for his role in the film “Goodbye Again.” He made a “Psycho” trilogy, which earned him a lot of money and fame. He was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to honor his exceptional contributions to the motion picture industry.
Perkins was diagnosed with AIDS in 1989. He kept his illness in secrecy for the fear of getting no more acting roles. AIDS could not stop him from working to his very last. After his death on Sept. 12, 1992 from AIDS-related complications, he was survived by his wife photographer Berry Berenson and two children. He was known to be bisexual and his affairs with the multiple men in the film industry, including his close relationship with Rock Hudson and Tab Hunter, was not a secret to the industry insiders.
Gia Marie Carangi
The world’s first supermodel Gia was a phenomenal beauty. An American by birth, she was the raw personification of sex herself. She was every photographer’s delight. She was featured on the cover of fashion magazines, including four international editions of Vogue and multiple issues of Cosmopolitan. She was also the choice of all the major fashion houses including Armani, Dior, Versace and Yves Saint Laurent. She was a free-spirited girl who was always high on life. She liked speed and fun. She was a regular at clubs, where she used a lot of cocaine. She was the favorite of her agent and mentor Wilhelmina Cooper and was the main girl of the Wilhelmina Girls’ modelling agency. After Cooper’s death, Gia was devastated and extremely depressed. That’s when she started abusing drugs and got addicted to heroin. Her drug abuse got the better of her work and her career was in for a steep decline. In June 1986, she was diagnosed of Bilateral Pneumonia. Not much later, she was diagnosed with AIDS-related complications. She died on Nov. 18, 1986. She was only 26. Carangi was considered a lesbian icon and had epitomized lesbian chic more than a decade ago the term was coined.
There you have it for the celebrities who died of AIDS. For more entertainment features, keep tabs on Movie News Guide (MNG).
Photo source: Wikimedia Commons/Trailer screenshot