The SNL Curse

John Belushi: Member of the original "Saturday Night Live" cast, 1975-79; manic energy provided some of the old show's best moments and characters. Died at age 33 on March 5, 1982 of a cocaine and heroin overdose.

Andy Kaufman: Although not an "SNL" cast member, he came to prominence on the show, making several memorable guest spots and appearing as a special guest (mouthing the Mighty Mouse theme) on the very first show. Died at age 35 on May 16, 1984 of cancer.

Gilda Radner: Member of the original "SNL" cast, 1975-80; the show's first female star, a fine mimic and a loving, gleeful spirit. Died at age 42 on May 20, 1989 of ovarian cancer.

Michael O'Donoghue: Wrote for the show from 1975-78, and again in the early 1980s; spoke the very first words in the first "SNL" sketch, teaching Belushi nonsense English phrases. Died at age 54 on November 8, 1994 of a brain hemorrhage.

Chris Farley: "SNL" cast member from 1990-95, specializing in high-energy characters. Like Belushi, died of a drug overdose, in Farley's case of cocaine and morphine. Died, like Belushi, at age 33 on December 18, 1997.

Phil Hartman: A member of the cast from 1986-94, giving him as long a stint with the show as any other cast member. A brilliant mimic, reliably and invaluably versatile. Died at age 49 on May 28, 1998, shot to death by his wife.

Danitra Vance: A member of the cast during the 1985-86 season; its first black woman member. Like many "SNL" stars, she had performed with Chicago's famous Second City troupe. After her season on "SNL," she appeared off-Broadway in "The Colored Museum" and "Spunk." Died on August 21, 1994 of cancer; she was 35.