There's an actor in Bull Durham named Trey Wilson, whom, like John Cazale had a premature ending to his life. When your doing your IMDB homework, and you scroll through all the roles an actor played, and every now and then, one comes along and you can see their career just ends. There's no Dieseling down into smaller roles or television like most actors on fame's backside, or multiple decade long list that accompanies aging, there's just an abrupt end. This usually means death, as it does in the case of Trey Wilson.
Almost as unfortunate as death for Trey, was that the 80s were our last "No Internet Media" decade, so a death as his for the most part went under the radar. If it happened in the 2000s, it may not have been as big as Heath Ledger, but it would've at least been news people would've water cooler discussed, and you never know, Bill Maher may have dressed up like him for Halloween with really tight jeans on.
What's crazy about the 80s, is that things like CNN started to blow up, but they still weren't crazy. Paparazzi wasn't nearly as crazy. Journalists were employed by reputable newspapers and magazines and actually had to have factual knowledge of things to have their opinion count. During the 80s, people were already using phrases like, "the media is blowing it out of proportion" and looking back, it's not even close to how it is now, which makes me think, how crazy will the media be in another 20-30 years? Yipes! Stripes! Fruit Stripe Gum!!!!