Celebrity deaths are always tragic. But every now and then, a celebrity death ends up saving lives. Whether it's drawing attention to a certain disease or leading to new safety measures or simply getting thousands of people to go to their doctor, the impact of a celebrity death can be unexpectedly wide-ranging.

Rock Hudson made people care about AIDS

Actor Rock Hudson was like the George Clooney of his day. His charm, dashing good looks, and virile masculinity made him one of the biggest movie stars of his time. Then in the 1980s, people started noticing the former heartthrob looked skeletally gaunt. Finally, he released a statement: He was dying of AIDS.

According to CNN, after his announcement, media coverage of the epidemic tripled. Doctors call Hudson's announcement ‘the single most important event in the history of the epidemic.’

Despite his wonderful filmography, Hudson's greatest legacy was all the lives saved by being honest about what was killing him.

Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain made others reach out for help

On June 5, 2018, designer Kate Spade killed herself in her apartment. Only three days later, Anthony Bourdain took his life in France. The two suicides of famous, beloved figures made other people reach out for help. Unlike after Robin Williams took his own life, when suicides spiked 10 percent, Spade and Bourdain's passing may have saved lives.

According to the Good News Network, calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline went up 65 per cent in the month the two celebrities died.

Lawrence of Arabia made motorcycles slightly less deadly

Lawrence of Arabia was a real guy who had retired from the Royal Air Force and was living a pretty boring life in 1935. He spent a lot of time driving around on his motorcycle. On May 13 he got into an accident and fractured his skull. He lost consciousness and died slowly over the next six days. He was attended by many doctors in his last week, including a young neurosurgeon, Hugh Cairns who did research and concluded that if you get on a motorcycle, you need a helmet. In the decades since, Cairns, and through him Lawrence of Arabia, saved countless lives.

to be continued...