Studio 54: What really happened at the iconic club

Former Studio 54 owner Mark Fleischman has passed away by assisted suicide

Stars Insider

15/07/22 | StarsInsider


Was Studio 54 the most hedonistic, exclusive, and star-studded nightclub in the world? Stories of debauchery surround the legend that Studio 54 has become. The iconic club was the hottest hangout spot for celebrities in New York. Crowds would gather at the door, and people would do anything to get in, yet only a lucky few did. Those who ran the club were almost as interesting as their eclectic guests. 

Mark Fleischman, former owner of the legendary space, has chosen to end his life after an eight-year battle with an undiagnosable neurological disease. Fleischman took over Studio 54 in 1978 after the two original owners were arrested for tax evasion, although the club closed its doors for good in 1986. Fleischman began to develop symptoms of his illness in 2016, including reduced motor skills and difficulty speaking, which grew worse as time went on. No doctors were able to give a name to the disease, but his condition worsened to the point that he was unable to walk or do anything for himself. He made the choice to end his suffering and flew to Switzerland to proceed with an assisted suicide with the help of the non-profit organization Dignitas. He informed the media of his decision in advance, telling the New York Post, "I am taking a gentle way out. It is the easiest way out for me."

He reportedly ended his life on July 13, at the age of 82, by taking a lethal dose of barbiturates under the care of medical professionals. 

In honor of Fleischman and one of the great adventures of his career, we look back at the history of Studio 54 and what made the club so iconic. Click through and get to know what really went down at Studio 54.

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