Famous people's final words should be, well, famous. But since most people don't know which words will be their last, those final utterances can be revealing, touching or just plain odd.
1. "I hope the exit is joyful and I hope never to return" — Frida Kahlo
Beset with medical problems throughout, Frida's life was as explosive as her art. Her early death is often rumoured to be a suicide, compounded by the fact that there was no official autopsy. Her last words - "I hope the exit is joyful and I hope never to return" - were actually a diary entry, spurring the suicide rumors along.
2. "Money can't buy life" — Bob Marley
Suffering from cancer, but true to his rastafarian beliefs and refusing western medicine right till the end, reggae icon Bob Marley told his son Ziggy "Money can't buy life" just moments before he died.
3. “You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can get with a kind word alone” — Al Capone
There is absolutely no proof to suggest that these were the dreaded gangster's last words, specially considering by the time he died, his body was racked with syphilis, pneumonia, a stroke and a cardiac arrest. Moreover, a few months before his death, his psychiatrist concluded that Capone's illnesses had left him the mental capability of a 12-year-old child. However, the legend of the man's life lives on and so does the belief that his last words were “You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can get with a kind word alone.”
4. "I'm shot" — John Lennon
Mark Chapman, the man who shot Lennon, met the Beatles' singer just hours before shooting him and asked him to sign an album outside the Dakota building in New York City. As Lennon and Yoko retuned after a stint at the recording studio, Chapman shot Lennon and then calmly walked to the side and flipped open a copy of JD Salinger's Catcher in the Rye. A bloodied Lennon staggered into the building saying "I'm shot", and that was the last time anyone heard him speak.
5. "OK, I won't" — Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley's then fiancé Ginger Alden recounted that the rock legend couldn't sleep and told her that he was going to the bathroom to read. Elvis was heavily abusing prescription drugs at the time and she says she knew 'reading' was a euphemism for popping pills as he walked into the bathroom with three packets of those. She then called out to him, "Don't fall asleep in there". Assured by his response: "OK, I won't", Alden crashed. A few hours later Alden woke up to find Presley dead on the bathroom floor from an overdose.
6. "Say goodbye to Pat, say goodbye to the president, and say goodbye to yourself, because you're a nice guy" — Marilyn Monroe
The mysteries and conspiracy theories surrounding Monroe's death have only grown with time. And by most verifiable accounts, no one really knows what were her last words. The oft quoted line "Say goodbye to Pat, say goodbye to the president, and say goodbye to yourself, because you're a nice guy" has been discredited by most sources as Peter Lawford never mentioned these words to the public or press till 1972. By then he had started suffering the effects of alcohol and drug abuse, and Lawford's wife also called him a 'pathological liar', am impression solidified by the fact that Lawford's version of Monroe's last words would keep changing over the years.
7. "She won't think anything about it" — Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln's last words were to his wife. They were watching the play 'Our American Cousin' and his wife Mary was worried what the couple next to them might think of their public display of affection (they were holding hands). She whispered to him, "What will Miss Harris think of my hanging on to you so?" The President replied "She won't think anything about it", laughed at some line in the play and was assassinated moments later.
8. "No, you certainly can't" — John F. Kennedy
There is some argument over what exactly did Kennedy say just moments before his death. What is known for sure is that he responded to Mrs Connolly's comment with either "No, you certainly can't" or "That's very obvious." The confusion exists because Jacqueline Kennedy testified on June 5, 1964 that the former is what her husband said -- or "something" to this effect. Some sources have also claimed that just as the bullet struck him, JFK exclaimed "My God, I've been hit." However, that theory was discounted by one of the Secret Service guys who was in the car with the President.
9. "Is everyone else all right?" — Bobby Kennedy
Bobby Kennedy had just won the primary and there was a celebration in full swing. A Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan shot him multiple times and despite taking a bullet to the head, Kennedy spoke to his wife Ethel Skakel Kennedy asking "Is everyone else all right?" He was rushed to the Good Samaritan Hospital for brain surgery, but died over the course of the day.
10. "I'm bored with it all" — Winston Churchill
Considered one of the greatest wartime leaders of the 20th century, Winston Churchill reportedly said "I'm bored with it all" just before slipping into a coma. He died nine days later.
11. "I finally get to see Marilyn" — Joe DiMaggio
Joe DiMaggio's lawyer, Morris Engelberg was the one who revealed his final words - "I finally get to see Marilyn" - saying that even moments before his death, the Yankee great was pining for his one true love - Marilyn Monroe. Joe was married to Marilyn Monroe for all of nine months way back in 1954, but the legend goes that he never stopped loving her. After her death/suicide, Joe would get so depressed that his associates would have to scout for restaurants that didn't have Monroe's pictures on their walls.
12. "That guy's got to stop... He'll see us" — James Dean
Out for a ride in his beloved Porsche 550 Spyder (which he had nicknamed Little Bastard) with close friend and mechanic Rolf Wütherich, James reportedly said "That guy's got to stop… He'll see us" after Wutherich asked him to slow down. Moments later, Dean died in a head-on collision while Wutherich survived. However, as with any massive crash, Wütherich also maintains that he doesn't remember much of what happened that afternoon, giving rise to an urban legend which claims that James' actual last words were "My fun days are over."
13. "Brothers! Brothers, please! This is a house of peace!" — Malcolm X
Even though "Brothers! Brothers, please! This is a house of peace!" are considered Malcolm X's last words by most, there are a few who think he may have said: "Now, now, brothers, break it up, be cool, be calm," or "Let's cool it, brothers," in an attempt to calm down what turned out to be a staged disturbance at Manhattan’s Audubon Ballroom. Malcolm X was due to give a speech and as he and his bodyguards tried to get the gathering in order, he was assassinated by three men working in tandem.
14. "Make sure you play 'Take My Hand, Precious Lord'. Play it real pretty" — Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr’s last words were to ask musician Ben Branch "Make sure you play 'Take My Hand, Precious Lord'. Play it real pretty." Branch was to perform at an event King was going to attend later in the night. Just minutes later King was shot and never regained consciousness. Incidentally, 'Take My Hand, Precious Lord' was King's favorite song. Gospel singer Mahalia Jackson would often sing it at civil rights rallies and decided to sing it at King's funeral in April 1968. She later revealed that King had once told her that he wanted this song at his funeral.
15. "Jesus, I love you. Jesus, I love you" — Mother Teresa
A Nobel Peace Prize winner and founder of the Missionaries of Charity, Mother Teresa said "Jesus, I love you. Jesus, I love you" before she breathed her last, after battling multiple health issues over a decade.
16. "Greetings to you" — Indira Gandhi
Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her own bodyguards on October 31, 1984 in response to Operation Bluestar, a military action that almost destroyed Sikhism's holiest shrine, the Golden Temple at Amritsar. She had greeted her bodyguards with the customary Hindi greeting 'Namaste' which means 'greetings to you', before being gunned down. Ironically, her last speech, delivered just two days past signed off with the following words, "I don't mind if my life goes in the service of the nation. If I die today every drop of my blood will invigorate the nation."
17. "I'm going to get my things and get out of this house. Father hates me, and I'm never coming back" — Marvin Gaye
Saying "I'm going to get my things and get out of this house. Father hates me, and I'm never coming back," Marvin Gaye stepped out of his parents house and was fatally shot by his father, Marvin Gay, Sr. on April 1, 1984 in Los Angeles. He was 44 years old at the time. The shooting followed an altercation with his father after he intervened in an argument between his parents.
18. "I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can't go through another of those terrible times..." — Virginia Woolf
Author Virginia Woolf committed suicide in March 1941, in the grip of a recurrence of mental illness. A suicide note found on the mantelpiece by her husband on March 28th included the phrase "I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can't go through another of those terrible times..." Her body was found weeks later in the River Ouse, her coat pockets filled with heavy rocks.
19. "Damn it... Don't you dare ask God to help me" — Joan Crawford
Fiery on screen and even more so in life, Joan Crawford was suffering from cancer and had a cardiac arrest. But her fighting spirit lived on and she lingered for two days after the heart attack. As her struggle for life became more apparent one of her housekeepers started praying. The gutsy Crawford got quite miffed and ticked off the housekeeper, saying "Damn it... Don't you dare ask God to help me." And that was the last the world heard from her.
20. "My God, what's happened?" — Princess Diana
Trapped in her car after a high-speed chase trying to evade paparazzi ended in a crash, the Princess was reeling in shock after realising the horror of the accident she'd been in. Her last conscious words - "My God, what's happened?" - were to the paramedic Xavier Gourmelon.
21. "You are only going to kill a man" — Che Guevara
Said by Che Guevara right before his execution in Bolivia.
22. "One never knows the ending. One has to die to know exactly what happens after death, although Catholics have their hopes" — Alfred Hitchcock
Hitchcock was the Master of Suspense, directing film masterpieces including Vertigo, North By Northwest and Psycho, among others too numerous to mention. He died in April of 1980 in Los Angeles; his funeral was held at the Good Shepherd Catholic Church.
23. "I should never have switched from Scotch to martinis" — Humphrey Bogart
Said by Humphrey Bogart just before dying from cancer of the esophagus in 1957. Perhaps best known for his performance in "Casablanca," Bogart was a heavy smoker much of his life. He won his only Oscar for his role in the 1951 film "The African Queen."
24. "I'm going away tonight" — James Brown
Said by James Brown to his longtime manager Charles Bobbit just before dying of congestive heart failure. Considered "the Godfather of Soul," Brown passed away on Christmas morning in 2006 at the age of 73.
25. "I've had a hell of a lot of fun and I've enjoyed every minute of it" — Errol Flynn
Said by Errol Flynn just before dying from a massive heart attack in 1959. The swashbuckling actor, dead at 50, was buried with six bottles of whiskey.
26. "Is everybody happy? I want everybody to be happy. I know I'm happy" — Ethel Barrymore
Said to her housekeeper Anna Albert just before dying in 1959 at the age of 79. The actress had been ill for some time from rheumatism and heart troubles. She took interest in all aspects of show business; a popular theater in New York City is named after her.
27. "I've had 18 straight whiskies... I think that's the record" — Dylan Thomas
Said by Dylan Thomas as he returned to the Hotel Chelsea in New York. Thomas died in 1953 at the age of 39, after succumbing to pneumonia. Although always a heavy drinker, his final words remain the subject of debate.
28 "Why not? After all, it belongs to him" — Charlie Chaplin
Said by Charlie Chaplin after a priest told him, "May the Lord have mercy on your soul." The major star of the silent film era died in 1977 of natural causes. In a bizarre twist, Chaplin's body was stolen from a cemetery in Switzerland by men who demanded a $600,000 ransom from Chaplin's widow. The men were arrested and the body was recovered.
29. "Kurt Russell" — Walt Disney
Written by Walt Disney on a piece of paper just before he died of lung cancer. To this day, no one knows why he wrote Russell's name. At the time, Russell was a child star working for the Disney studio. Disney died in 1966 at the age of 65.