Ray Combs was a famed American comedian and actor who became the host of Family Feud on CBS from 1988 to 1994.
His decline began in July of 1994 when he was involved in a car accident that left him with a spinal disc injury. He began having intense pain that impacted his daily life. During this time frame, he also began having major financial problems when two comedy clubs he had invested in failed and he was forced to foreclose on his home.
When September 1995 rolled around, his personal life was in such turmoil that he and his wife Debbie separated. They had been married for 18 years and were the parents of six children.
The end of his life began on June 1, 1996 when police were called to Combs’ home. Combs had reportedly lost control and destroyed the interior of his home. He was also harming himself by banging his head against the wall.
Combs was admitted to the psychiatric ward of the Glendale Adventist Medical Center for attempting to commit suicide. While at the hospital, he called his parents in a panic and asked for them to fly out to California as quickly as possible.
They followed his request, but would never see him alive. Combs hanged himself inside his hospital room with a sheet.
Following his death, there was much discussion as to how a man on a 72-hour suicide watch could commit suicide. Where was the staff when he needed them the most?
Regardless, the suicide of Ray Combs is a reminder of the fragility of life. One minute we human beings can have everything going in a positive and right direction, and in the next, challenges can arise.
Those close to Combs say his poorly managed pain led to his demise.
According to the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention, Combs isn’t alone. There is an undeniable link between suicide and unmanaged pain. Additionally, it isn’t uncommon for those with chronic pain to develop substance abuse problems that can wreak even more havoc.
The following video explains is an extensive E! True Hollywood special on what happened: