“The tricky thing in the ‘last word’ business, as in so much else, is timing. Do you think of something clever years before and try and remember it to trot out at the appropriate time? Do you rely on last-minute inspiration?” writes Sir Richard Stilgoe in the introduction to The Bedside Book of Final Words by Eric Grounds. “How can you control your last seconds so that you say your pithy sentence, check that someone’s got it down accurately, then die?” Fortunately for biographers and collectors of last words, many famous people have said some very interesting things — some a bit haunting — that were actually recorded in one form or another for posterity. And, of course, with the prevalence of social media, we now have a record of final tweets or emails. Here are famous last words of celebrities:
David Cassidy: “So much wasted time.”
Kurt Cobain: “I love you. I love you.”
Princess Diana: “Oh my God, what is happening?”
Whitney Houston: “I’m gonna go see Jesus, want to see Jesus.”
Michael Jackson: “More milk.” [By milk, Jackson was referring to propofol]
Steve Jobs: “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.”
Heath Ledger: “Katie, Katie, look…it’ll be fine, you know, I just need to get some sleep.” [Speaking to his sister over the phone.]
Leonard Nimoy: “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. [Live Long and Prosper]” [His last tweet]
Bill Paxton: Thanks for the good wishes. It will help me face this ordeal. [Final email before heart surgery.]
Elvis Presley: “”I’m going to the bathroom to read.” [Spoken to fiancé Ginger Alden; Elvis was reading The Scientific Search for the Face of Jesus by Frank Adams published in 1972]
Frank Sinatra: “I’m losing it.”
Paul Walker: “We’ll be back in five minutes.”
Amy Winehouse: “I don’t want to die.”
Read related posts: How Many Words Does the Average Person Speak in a Lifetime?
Writers’ Deaths that are Stranger than Fiction
How Long Does it Take to Read a Million Words?
How Many Words in the English Language?
How Many Books Does the Average American Read?
For further reading: The Bedside Book of Final Words by Eric Grounds (2014)
What Book Was Elvis Reading When He Died?