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J. Paul Getty dead at 54

Kristin Watson is no stranger to the world of entertainment, having worked with both NBC and The History Channel. As a Chicago-based writer, Kristin provides SheKnows readers on both coasts with the hottest celebrity and entertainment ne...

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J. Paul Getty III has died at the age of 54 after a battle with an unknown illness.

J. Paul Getty III passed away at his Buckinghamshire, England home on February 5 with family and friends at his side. He was the grandson of oil tycoon J. Paul Getty and father to Balthazar Getty.

J. Paul Getty dead at 54

The 54-year-old's son, actor Balthazar Getty, released the following statement regarding his death. "(He) never let his handicap keep him from living life to the fullest and he was an inspiration to all of us, showing us how to stand up to all adversity. We will miss him terribly."

Balthazar Getty wasn't kidding when he said his father had faced adversity in his life. J. Paul Getty III was kidnapped in Rome in 1973 when he was just 16. He was held for ransom and is family ended up complying after his ear was cut off and mailed.

J. Paul Getty spent time trying to adjust to the family business but eventually turned to drugs that included cocaine and heroin. In 1981, Getty became paralyzed and partially blind after suffering a life changing stroke.

J. Paul Getty III is survived by his two children including Balthazar Getty and six grandchildren. No official cause of death was immediately given at the time of this report.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to J. Paul Getty III's family and friends during this difficult time.

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