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Gossip & Rumors: Stars From The Show Who Died

GOSSIP & RUMORS: Stars from the show who died

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The “Celebrity Rehab” curse is real.

Nearly a dozen stars who appeared on “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” have died, including most recently Shifty Shellshock, 49, the frontman of Crazy Town.

The VH1 reality series premiered in 2008. Each season followed a different group of celebrities being treated for their addictions by Dr. Drew Pinsky and his staff at the Pasadena Recovery Center in California.

The show ran for six seasons until it was canceled in 2013 after several former cast members died.

Dr. Drew Pinsky. Getty Images

“It’s very stressful and very intense for me,” Pinsky, 65, said at the time in an interview with Zach Sang.

“To have people questioning my motives and taking aim at me because people get sick and die because they have a life-threatening disease, and I take the blame?” he added. “I don’t have plans to do that again. I’m tired of taking all the heat. It’s just ridiculous.”

Five “Celebrity Rehab” alums died by the time the show was canceled. Six more stars who appeared on the series have passed away since then.

Here are all the stars who died after going on “Celebrity Rehab.”

Shifty Shellshock

Shifty Shellshock. Getty Images for Rockefellas Studio

Crazy Town frontman Shifty Shellshock died on June 24, 2024. He was 49 years old. A cause of death has yet to be confirmed.

Shellshock, whose real name was Seth Binzer, appeared on Seasons 1 and 2 of “Celebrity Rehab.” He was addicted to cocaine when he first appeared on the show. He returned for Season 2 after he relapsed. He was addicted to stimulants on Season 2.

The musician also appeared on both seasons of the “Celebrity Rehab” follow-up show, “Sober House,” in 2009 and 2010.

Tom Sizemore

Tom Sizemore. WireImage

“Saving Private Ryan” star Tom Sizemore was on “Celebrity Rehab” Season 3. He publicly struggled with cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine addictions and ran into legal trouble for drug possession and domestic abuse

The actor was arrested several times, including twice in 2009 for suspected battery of a former spouse and for allegedly transporting or selling a controlled substance, according to the Los Angeles Times.

He also appeared on an episode of “Dr. Phil” in 2013 where he discussed his substance abuse.

Sizemore died at age 61 on March 3, 2023 of a brain aneurysm as the result of a stroke that happened one month earlier.

He fought for his life in the intensive care unit at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California, after an unidentified person found Sizemore unconscious and called 911. He remained in a coma until his death.

Tawny Kitaen

Tawny Kitaen. Getty Images

“Bachelor Party” actress Tawny Kitaen was on Season 2 of “Celebrity Rehab” in 2008. She was addicted to painkillers and cocaine.

She was arrested in 2009 for a DUI. She was reportedly sentenced to two days in jail and had to attend an alcohol program and complete 64 hours of community service.

Kitaen got another DUI in 2019. She died before the hearing for the trial could take place.

The “Malibu” star died on May 7, 2021 at age 59 in Newport Beach, Calif. The determined cause of death was dilated cardiomyopathy, according to TMZ. Other contributing factors included clogged arteries, antidepressants, sedatives, nerve pain medication and opioids.

Nikki McKibbin

Nikki McKibbin. WireImage

“American Idol” Season 3 contestant Nikki McKibbin was a cast member on “Celebrity Rehab” Season 2. She was addicted to cocaine, alcohol, Adderall, painkillers and ecstasy. She also appeared on “Sober House.”

The singer was open about her addiction battle.

“I’ve battled substance abuse and I’m winning, but it’s still a struggle every day,” she told People in August 2019. “For a long time, I wasn’t taking care of myself. I wasn’t being the person I should be. I’m in a better place now.”

McKibbin died on November 1, 2020 at age 42 after suffering a brain aneurysm.

Jason Davis

Jason Davis. Getty Images

“Recess” star Jason Davis was on Season 4 of “Celebrity Rehab.” He was addicted to heroin, OxyContin and Xanax.

The actor was the co-founder of Cure Addiction Now, which helped fund research for people suffering from substance abuse.

Davis died on February 16, 2020 at age 35 from fentanyl effects. The death was ruled an accident by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner.


Chyna. Getty Images

Actress and professional wrestler Chyna, whose real name was Joanie Laurer, was on Season 1 of “Celebrity Rehab.” She was an alcoholic.

Chyna was found dead by her manager in her bed on April 17, 2016. She was 46.

The WWE star died of a lethal combination of muscle relaxers, painkillers and alcohol, a coroner’s report confirmed.

Chyna’s mother told investigators her daughter was an “alcoholic and drank cheap wine, and she was addicted to prescription medication,” according to Page Six.

Mindy McCready

Mindy McCready. Getty Images

Country singer Mindy McCready was on “Celebrity Rehab” Season 3. She was addicted to OxyContin and alcohol.

McCready was hospitalized for an overdose before she went on the show. Her personal struggles led to her attempting suicide several times, including when she slit her wrists in December 2008.

McCready died by suicide on February 17, 2013 at age 37. She shot herself on her front porch at her home in Arkansas.

“Celebrity Rehab” was canceled after McCready’s death.

Joey Kovar

Joey Kovar. FilmMagic

“The Real World” star Joey Kovar was on “Celebrity Rehab” Season 3. He was addicted to alcohol, cocaine, ecstasy, methamphetamine and steroids.

Kovar left “The Real World” in 2008 to enter rehab. That led to him being on “Celebrity Rehab” in 2010.

He died of opiate intoxication on August 17, 2012 at the age of 29.

Rodney King

Rodney King. Getty Images

Rodney King was a victim of police brutality, which sparked the 1992 Los Angeles riots. He was on “Celebrity Rehab” Season 2 for his alcoholism.

Before his death, King was arrested several times, mostly for alcohol-related crime.

King died on June 17, 2012 at the age of 47. He accidentally drowned in his swimming pool and alcohol, cocaine, and PCP were found in his system.

Jeff Conaway

Jeff Conaway. WireImage

“Grease” and “Taxi” actor Jeff Conaway was on the first two seasons of “Celebrity Rehab.” He was addicted to alcohol, cocaine and painkillers.

He died at age 60 on May 27, 2011, over two weeks after he fell into a coma from an apparent drug overdose. His family decided to take him off life support.

Conaway’s causes of death, including aspiration pneumonia and encephalopathy, were attributable to drug overdoses, the autopsy found.

Mike Starr

Mike Starr. Getty Images

Alice in Chains musician Mike Starr was on Season 3 of “Celebrity Rehab.” He was addicted to heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana.

Starr died of a prescription drug overdose on March 8, 2011 at age 44. He was found dead by police in his Salt Lake City home.  He was arrested on suspicion of drug possession in Utah less than a month before his death.

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