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Thomas Kinkade's Death

Thomas Kinkade Death Page


The Death of Thomas Kinkade


The recent Thomas Kinkade death of 2012 has left many in the art world reeling.  His wonderfully inspirational portraits of nostalgic and simplistic American values are seemingly in direct contradiction to the secret and sometimes dark personal life that the artist endured.  Although he was perhaps the world's most financially successful artist of all time, the Kinkade death is painting a somewhat bleaker picture.


Cause of Death


Within days of his passing, the Santa Clara, California Coroner announced the cause of death.   This ethereal artist of snow capped churchyards, of mid-century trolley cars, of lighthouses and cottages in beautiful forestry settings was said to have died from an accidental overdose of Valium and alcohol.


 Who could ever imagine that such beautiful visions of artistry could be created from the very same hand that abused the same types of drugs as rock legends and movie stars?  His pictorial images of peace, harmony and Christian goodness seemed to mask a more deceptive and disappointing everyday life. 


The Warning Signs


Hindsight is 20-20.  There were many warning signs in the years preceding the Kinkade death.  He had recently separated from his wife, Nannette, the very woman in whom he was so very mesmerized that he consistently hid her name and initials in numerous of his paintings.  He had been arrested for driving under the influence, and had endured countless legal battles after taking his company public in 1994.


Before the Thomas Kinkade death, he had been reported to have urinated on a Winnie the Pooh character at a Disney amusement park and was even witnessed heckling Siegfried and Roy at one of their Las Vegas events.  He apparently sounded the word "codpiece" several times consecutively.  It seems that artists really are "tortured souls".   


Financial Struggles and Legal Woes


Even though Kinkade was in the midst of severe financial issues, even filing bankruptcy, there seems to be a battle beginning for the rights to his name and future profits.  


Kinkade was always under attack from art critics who deemed his style unworthy of his impressive financial success.  The added stress of these remarks and his constant court dealings with his franchisees left him paying millions in legal fees and judgments.  In one case alone, he was ordered to pay $2.8 Million for defrauding two owners of his galleries.  He had over 350 franchisees in total.


The Battle Continues over the Kinkade death


Even though Kinkade was still legally married to his wife of over 30 years, Nanette, he had taken a recent live-in girlfriend for the 18 months prior to his death.  The girlfriend, Amy Pinto-Walsh, is said to have been the one to have discovered Kinkade's body.


Now the decision has to be made as to whom will inherit the Thomas Kinkade property and business holdings.  With recent surges in the value of his paintings since the Thomas Kinkade death, there may be a big battle ahead for Kinkade's family.