Touched By an Angel star John Dye's passing from an apparent heart attack was sudden--and seemingly too soon.
Here are five other TV stars who, like Dye, died of natural causes before age 50:
1. GIlda Radner: The heart of the original Saturday Night Live cast--her characters included brash Roseanne Roseannadanna, and sweet, but deaf Emily Litella--the comic and wife of Gene Wilder was 43 when she succumbed to ovarian cancer in 1989, the same day as SNL's 14th season finale.
2. Diana Hyland: The veteran prime-time actress, who was romantically linked to the 18-years-younger John Travolta after playing his mother in the 1976 TV-movie, The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, lost a battle to breast cancer at age 41, just two weeks after the premiere of her new series, Eight Is Enough.
3. David Bloom: Called a "rising star" at NBC News, the weekend coanchor of Today was 39, and covering the initial stages of the fighting in Iraq in 2003 when he died of a blood clot.
4. Danitra Vance: Acclaimed for her performance art, but best known for a brief stint on SNL where she became the first African-American woman to break into the show's regular cast, Vance died in 1994 at age 35 of breast cancer.
5. Jennifer Lyon: In 2005, Lyon placed fourth on Survivor: Palau--and was diagnosed with breast cancer. She died last year at age 37.
Also remembered: John Candy (SCTV), Heather O'Rourke (Happy Days), Richard Long (Nanny and the Professor, Big Valley), Wally Cox (Hollywood Squares, Mr. Peepers, Underdog), Pedro Zamora (The Real World: San Francisco).