Death in Hollywood: Ladd, Alan–Accidental Death (Drug Overdose), Age 50

In January 1964, after injuring his knees, Alan Ladd was recuperating at his house in Palm Springs.

On January 29, 1964, his butler said he saw Ladd on his bed at 10am; when he returned at 3:30pm Ladd was still there, dead.

Ladd’s death due to cerebral edema caused by an acute overdose of “alcohol and three other drugs,” was ruled accidental.

Ladd suffered from chronic insomnia and used sleeping pills and alcohol to induce sleep. While he had not taken a lethal amount of any one drug, the combination apparently caused a synergistic reaction that proved fatal.[9] Suicide was ruled out.

Ladd’s funeral was held on February 1, 1964 with Edmond O’Brien giving the eulogy. He was buried with his wedding ring and a letter his son David (who later on became producer) had written him.