Apoptosis is a highly regulated cellular suicide program crucial for metazoan development. However, dysfunction of apoptosis also leads to several diseases. Yeast undergoes apoptosis after application of acetic acid, sugar- or salt-stress, plant antifungal peptides, or hydrogen peroxide. Oxygen radicals seem to be key elements of apoptotic execution, conserved during evolution. Furthermore, several yeast orthologues of central metazoan apoptotic regulators have been identified, such as a caspase and a caspase-regulating serine protease. In addition, physiological occurrence of cell death has been detected during aging and mating in yeast. The finding of apoptosis in yeast, other fungi and parasites is not only of great medical relevance but will also help to understand some of the still unknown molecular mechanisms at the core of apoptotic execution.