Celebrities who died too young

POSTED: 07:16 AM PDT Apr 04, 2012    UPDATED: 11:00 PM PDT May 12, 2016 

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.

James Dean
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Warner / MPTV

Actor James Dean's short-lived career ended with his death in a car crash near Cholame, California, at age 24 on Sept. 30, 1955. He is best known for his starring role in "Rebel Without a Cause," in which he personified the restless American youth of the mid-50's. His acting career only lasted a little over a year, but his three films and tragic car crash death made him an American legend.

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