Brittany Murphy, Simon Monjack

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Simon Monjack's sudden death so soon after wife Brittany Murphy's makes for a tragic story that, tragically, isn't unprecedented.

Here are five other celebrity couples, both of the personal and professional variety, who died within years, if not months, of each other:

Nancy Spungen, Sid Vicious

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Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen: The namesakes of the punk-rock cautionary tale—and biopic—known as Sid and Nancy, Spungen, the girlfriend, was found stabbed to death on Oct. 12, 1978. Vicious, the boyfriend and Sex Pistols bassist, was arrested. He maintained his innocence for more than three months—or right up until the day he died, on Feb. 2, 1979, of a heroin overdose. She was 20; he was 21.

Anna Nicole Smith, Dannie lynn, Daniel

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Anna Nicole Smith and Daniel Smith: They were the mother and son who grew up together, traveling from nowhere Texas to Hollywood. Their tight twosome ended Sept. 10, 2006, when 20-year-old Daniel died of an accidental overdose in the Bahamian hospital room where Anna Nicole was resting after giving birth to her daughter (and Daniel's half-sister). The tragedy compounded when, five months later, on Feb. 9, 2007, the 39-year-old Anna Nicole likewise succumbed to an accidental overdose.

Caroline Bessette, John F. Kennedy Jr.

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John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette: The Camelot scion and perennial paparazzi favorite, 38, and his wife, 33, were killed July 16, 1999, when the small plane Kennedy was piloting plunged into the waters off Martha's Vineyard, Mass. An older sister of Bessette's, Lauren Bessette, 34, also died in the crash.

Sydney Pollack, Anthony Minghella

Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella: The Oscar-winning directors—Pollack won for Out of Africa, Minghella for The English Patient—became producing partners in 2000. Together, they made films such as Cold Mountain and Michael Clayton. On March 18, 2008, Minghella, 54, died unexpectedly following surgery. Two months later, on May 26, 2008, Pollack, 73, succumbed to cancer. The following spring, their movie, The Reader, earned them posthumous Best Picture Oscar nominations, and brought star Kate Winslet a Best Actress statuette.

Dana Reeve, Christopher Reeve

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Christopher Reeve and Dana Reeve: Christopher Reeve, the Superman star turned real-life inspiration, died Oct. 10, 2004, at age 52, nearly a decade after a horse-riding accident left him paralyzed. After his passing, his widow, Dana, continued to press for his causes, and pursued anew her own signing ambitions. But then, less than a year after Christopher's death, Dana announced that she'd been diagnosed with lung cancer. She died March 6, 2006, at the age of 44.

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See the celebs who have left us this year in our Fallen Stars gallery.

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