Christopher Lawford has tragically passed away. If you only know him as JFK’s nephew, click here for more details on the actor and his life.
2018 has taken too many too soon — and John F. Kennedy‘s nephew Christopher Lawford joins the list at 63 years old. But while his family has lived under the shadow of the so-called “Kennedy Curse,” facing tragedy after tragedy, Christopher lived a long and fruitful life before passing away on Sept. 4 after a medical emergency at a yoga studio. Successes aside, his loved ones are so sad to see him go so soon. “My dad has always been my hero and he has always shown me the light,” his daughter, Savannah Rose Lawford, tweeted. “When I was down he made me laugh, when I was a brat he let me know it, when I needed him he was always there. I wish I got to see you and talk to you one last time daddy!” Read below for more info on the man she — and so many others — looked up to!
1. Christopher died of a medical emergency. While an autopsy still needs to be conducted to determine Christopher’s exact cause of death, it is believed that JFK’s nephew died of “natural causes,” according to TMZ. He was in a yoga studio on Tuesday, Sept. 4 when he suffered some kind of medical emergency and later passed away. It is unclear what exactly happened, but his cousin Kerry Kennedy was the one to announce his death on social media with a photo of him with his son David, along with another shot of their family at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.
2. He was very well educated. Not only did Christopher earn his Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University in 1977, but he went on to get a J.D. from Boston College Law School — and didn’t stop there! The Kennedy also earned a Master’s in clinical psychology at Harvard University and lectured in the Psychiatry department.
3. Christopher also had a career in Hollywood. On top of his interest in psychology, Christopher also wanted to be an actor. He most notably appeared in two of his cousin-in-law, Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s, movies, Terminator 3 and The 6th Day. He also appeared on multiple TV shows from All My Children to General Hospital to Frasier. He also produced movies, two of which were selected for the Sundance Film Festival.
4. He turned his drug and alcohol addiction around for the better. After battling addiction in the ’70s and ’80s — and even being arrested for impersonating a doctor to fill prescriptions — Christopher sobered up when his cousin David Kennedy overdosed at 28. He went on to publish a book in 2009 called Moments of Clarity: Voices From the Front Lines of Addiction and Recovery, which featured essays from public figures who had formerly been addicts themselves.
5. Christopher was a family man. After falling in love with Jeannie Olsson, who sold ads for New York magazine, Christopher tied the knot with her in 1984 and had three children — David, Savannah and Matthew — before divorcing in 2000. From there, the Kennedy married Lana Antonova in 2005. She was an actress and entrepreneur, and the two were married until 2009. Christopher’s last marriage was to Mercedes Miller, a yoga teacher, in 2014.