Comedian Freddie Prinze began his career in New York City performing at The Improv, though his big break came in 1973 with a set on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Just a year later he landed the lead role on Chico and the Man, which became hugely successful. In 1975, he got married and the couple had their son, Freddie Prinze Jr., just a year later.
Though they were considered newlyweds, their marriage came to a halt when his wife filed for divorce. This sent Prinze into a catastrophic state of depression. On January 28, 1977, after calling friends and family, Prinze shot himself. Authorities recovered his suicide note, which read, “I must end it. There’s no hope left. I’ll be at peace. No one had anything to do with this. My decision totally – Freddie Prinze. P.S. I’m sorry. Forgive me. Dusty’s here. He’s innocent. He cared.”