The Tragic Death Of Bing Crosby's Son Lindsay

The iconic Bing Crosby lent his rich, smooth voice to immortal classics such as "White Christmas" (though the titular movie is more than a little troublesome). He rose to superstardom as an actor, too. Despite this wholesome veneer, though, his personal life was marred by tragedy. Crosby had six children from two marriages. His first wife was Dixie Lee, to whom he was married from 1930 until her death in 1952. The pair's youngest son, Lindsay Crosby, was born on January 5, 1938. He would go on to have a very turbulent life that came to an awful, abrupt end at his own hand. 

Lindsay Crosby's greatest blessing — and greatest curse — was that his father was the legendary Bing Crosby. This opened doors for the young man as a performer (as IMDb reports, he would go on to appear in movies such as Bigfoot in 1970 and The Mechanic in 1972) but left him to languish in the long shadow cast by his famous father.

The woes of the Crosby family

The Crosby Boys — a singing quartet consisting of Lindsay and his elder brothers Gary, Dennis, and Phillip Crosby — disbanded after Lindsay suffered a nervous breakdown in July of 1962. Finding limited success in other ventures, he had a tumultuous personal life himself, marrying three times and having five children.

Unable to find a steady manner of supporting his third wife Susan Marlin and his family, he became reliant on other sources. According to AP News, mother Dixie Lee Crosby had ensured that her sons would be financially secure through "investments in crude oil." On November 30, 1989, the Crosby brothers learned that this source of money had dried up. The long-suffering Lindsay, who had battled bitter divorces, drinking problems, and his own mental health, couldn't accept this.

On December 11 that year, at the age of just 51, he died from a reported self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head at his home in Calabasas. This crisis rocked the family to its core. Dennis Crosby, stricken by his brother's death, took his own life at his own home just two years later, AP news reports, shooting himself with a shotgun.

Sadly, tragedy seemed to run in the family. Lindsay's mother, Dixie Lee, passed away years earlier, at just age 42, from ovarian cancer, after reportedly suffering from alcoholism and poor mental health herself. This experience surely also contributed to Lindsay's mental anguish.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.