13 Actors You Didn’t Know Died Tragically While Filming on Set

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Being a celebrity in Hollywood truly pays off when the movie you starred in hits off in the public. Apart from earning a huge fandom, celebrities earn a lot of money for their hard work.

But sometimes, things don’t always end well. While getting all glammed up is part of the job, celebrities face a risk of getting in an accident too. There are lucky ones that end up with a scratch and a story to tell for years. But for the unlucky ones, these accidents can mean death. Here are 13 celebrities who died while filming on the set of a movie. 

#13: Steve Irwin

Photo Source: Telegraph.co.uk

Photo Source: Telegraph.co.uk

More popular as the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin was stabbed in the heart by a stingray while filming a documentary entitled “The Crocodile Hunter: Ocean’s Deadliest”. Actual footage of his death has circulated online.

#12: Bruce Lee

Photo Source: Huffingtonpost.co.uk

Photo Source: Huffingtonpost.co.uk

Bruce Lee became famous for revolutionizing the roles of Asians in Hollywood films. With his roles as a martial artist, it’s no surprise why the public learned to love him as well. Unfortunately, his career was short lived as he collapsed while shooting “The Game of Death” at the studio. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was diagnosed with cerebral edema. With the swelling controlled, Lee returned to work to finish the film. Just two months later, he collapsed and was rushed to the hospital where he was announced dead upon arrival.

#11: Brandon Lee

Photo Source: RobertoSadovski.blogosfera.uol.com.br

Photo Source: RobertoSadovski.blogosfera.uol.com.br

While filming “The Crow”, Brandon Lee was shot to death with a .44 caliber bullet. Apparently, the gun had a bullet trapped in its barrel while the crew thought the gun had blank rounds. His father, the legendary Bruce Lee, nearly died on set while having a seizure.

#10: John Ritter

Photo Source: The8Rules.co.uk

Photo Source: The8Rules.co.uk

Throughout his career, John Ritter has already made a name for himself in several TV Shows. In 2003, however, his career turned to a stop while rehearsing for the sitcom, “8 Simple Rules for Dating My Daughter.” According to reports, Ritter had been complaining of chest pain and was vomiting and sweating profusely. He was rushed to the hospital across the studio where they misdiagnosed him with a heart attack. Unfortunately, it was already too late when doctors discovered he had an aortic dissection as the real culprit for his condition. While undergoing surgery for repairing his aorta, Ritter died. 

#9: Martha Mansfield

Photo Source: SilentsAreGolden.com

Photo Source: SilentsAreGolden.com

Martha Mansfield was among the number of silent film actors who gained popularity for her work in the 20s. As she was resting between takes of “The Warrens of Virginia,” Mansfield sat inside a car wearing her costume. Unfortunately, someone walked by and threw a lit cigarette inside the car. Her highly flammable costume suddenly went up in flames and led to her suffering from severe burns. The actress died the next day due to complications.

#8: Vic Morrow

Photo Source: BroadStreetReview.com

Photo Source: BroadStreetReview.com

While shooting ‘The Twilight Zone the Movie’, Vic Morrow got killed in a freak accident along with a couple of child actors. Morrow was decapitated when a tail blade from the helicopter came off while they were filming a Vietnam sequence with explosions on the set. The reason for the accident was because the helicopter was flying too low so the explosions could be avoided.

#7: Eric Fleming

Photo Source: Fold3.com

Photo Source: Fold3.com

Despite many struggles he faced while he was still a child, Eric Fleming didn’t die until he was 41 years old. During the final stages of the action film “High Jungle” in Peru, the canoe Fleming was riding in overturned and was swept away with the current. The actor’s body was found downstream where he died from drowning. The search team that found his body claimed Fleming was devoured by piranhas.

#6: Roy Kinnear

Photo Source: CheatSheet.com

Photo Source: CheatSheet.com

Back in the 60s, Roy Kinnear was a household name in Britain after starring in several movies and appearing on TV. While shooting “The Return of the Three Musketeers,” Kinnear fell off his horse and broke his pelvis. After suffering from complications of the accident, Kinnear died the next day.

#5: Jon Erik-Hexum

Photo Source: Lookism.net

Photo Source: Lookism.net

While shooting for the film “Cover Up”, Jon Erik-Hexum decided to play a game of faux Russian roulette when there was a delay between takes. Sadly, he fired a blank bullet cartridge on the right side of his head. This led him to suffer from a severe hemorrhage, which left him dead after a week’s time.

#4: Redd Foxx

Photo Source: FreeRepublic.com

Photo Source: FreeRepublic.com

Redd Foxx was a comedian famous for his role on “Sanford and Son” as Fred Sanford. While rehearsing for the 1991 sitcom “The Royal Family,” the actor suddenly collapsed. He was rushed to an LA-based hospital where he died from a heart attack a short time later. 

#3: Art Scholl

Photo Source: Bloody-Disgusting.com

Photo Source: Bloody-Disgusting.com

Art Scholl’s death was a tragedy, given his love for airplanes and performing airplane stunts. While filming “Top Gun”, Scholl was unable to complete a flat spin for the movie. To capture the shot, a camera equipment was attached to the plane but kept weighing it down. As a result, his plane spiraled out of control and crashed into the Pacific Ocean. The plane and his body were never found.

#2: John Candy

Photo Source: IBTimes.co.uk

Photo Source: IBTimes.co.uk

John Candy gained popularity as a member of the Canadian comedy troupe “The Second City.” This led him to be discovered in Hollywood, where he was eventually cast in a western comedy feature entitled “Wagons East.” After a day filming, Candy cooked lasagna for his assistants. He went to bed after dinner and suffered a heart attack overnight.

#1: Oliver Reed

Photo Source: MistakeOnTheMovies.wordpress.com

Photo Source: MistakeOnTheMovies.wordpress.com

Oliver Reed started his acting career in the late 1950s. With his caliber, he gained popularity for his roles. Unfortunately, he was also a notorious drinker and womanizer. While filming in Malta for “Gladiator,” Reed stayed at a bar and drank 8 bottles of German beer, 3 bottles of Captain Morgan Jamaican Rum, multiple shots of cognac and whiskey. The actor suddenly fell from his chair and was found to have suffered a heart attack.

With his untimely death, the film had to use a double and spent $3 million to digitally insert Reed’s face onto the film.

Accidents can truly happen any time. And with these celebrities, it seems like these accidents can cost millions of dollars for the production team. But thanks to technology, companies can now finish full movies with digital manipulation for the actor that passed away.


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