Which jobs do you think are especially dangerous? Maybe being a firefighter? While that is pretty dangerous, it can also be dangerous to be an actor or an actress. You don’t believe that? We actually have curated a list for you that includes 15 actors that have sadly died during the production of a movie.
We are going to tell you exactly what happened and why these amazing actors had to die doing their jobs.
1. Vic Morrow
Vic Morrow was born on Valentine’s Day in 1923 in the Bronx in New York City and sadly passed away in July of 1982. He played many different roles during his career which he started with a role in Blackboard Jungle in 1955.
Sadly, he died on set when he was filming Twilight Zone: The Movie in 1983. Not only did he die during that tragic accident but also two other actors named Myca Dinh Le and Renee Shin-Yi Chen, who were only six and seven years old when it happened.
They were filming on location in California. That scene needed a helicopter that was flying only around 7 meters above them. But they were not only using the helicopter as a special effect but also pyrotechnic. In combination that was not a good idea. It caused damage to the helicopter which crashed on top of them and killed all three actors immediately. Absolutely tragic.
2. Brandon Lee
Brandon Lee was the son of Bruce Lee. He was born in 1965 in California and died in 1993 in Wilmington. He died due to a tragic accident on the set of The Crow.
Filming was almost done when the accident happened. When the character he got to play in this film was supposed to be shot with a prop gun the prop gun turned out to be a little more than just a prop. Unfortunately, that led to Brandon Lees’s death. He was rushed to the hospital but it was too late for him.
3. John Ritter
John Ritter was born in 1948 and died in 2003. He also died on set but in his case, he did not die due to an accident on set but just due to how unfair life can be. Ritter had more than 100 roles during his lifetime!
He collapsed while filming Rules to Dating my Teenage Daughter and was rushed to the nearby hospital. They first thought that he had a heart attack but he actually had an aortic dissection. He died that night. His family ended up suing the doctors for misdiagnosing the heart attack but the judges decided that they were not in fault for his death.
4. Roy Kinnear
Roy Kinnear was born in 1934 and died in 1988. He was a british actor who was known for his roles in Casablanca and as Planchet from The Musketeers.
On the set of the film The Return of the Musketeers he had a tragic accident. He fell from his horse while shooting a scene and broke his pelvis. He was rushed to the hospital where he ended up having a heart attack. He was a beloved actor. The director of the movie he was working on when he had the accident felt so impacted by his death that he quit his career in the film industry.
5. Red Foxx
John Elroy Sanford, or maybe better known as Red Foxx, was born in Missouri in 1922. He died in California in 1991.
Red Foxx was known for his role in Sanford and Son, where he often pretended to have a heart attack. Tragically, he actually ended up dying when he had a real-life heart attack. It happened on the set of The Royal Family. People thought he was just pretending at first, thinking he was giving a tribute to his famous role in Sanford and Son. But he did not play, the heart attack was real and paramedics had to be called on set. Unfortunately, he passed away because of that heart attack.
6. Jon-Erik Hexum
Jon-Erik Hexum was only 26-years old when he died on set. He was born in 1957 and died in 1984. He only started acting two years prior to his death.
He was on the show Cover Up! when it happened. He was waiting for his tun in a scene when someone told him that it would be delayed even further. To be funny he grabbed a prop gun, put it to his head, and pulled the trigger. While prop guns do not contain real bullets, they do contain cartilage, which caused huge damage to his brain. He went into a six-hour surgery but the doctors could not save him.
7. Martha Mansfield
Martha Mansfield was an actress with huge potential. She was born in 1899 and died in 1923. She was known for playing in silent films. It was her biggest dream to become an actress and she started to pursue this dream at the young age of 14.
When filming the movie The Warrens of Virginia she was in Texas. During scenes she was in a car, spending time with several cast members, wearing one of her Civil War costumes. Unfortunately, one of her cast members tossed a cigarette match. That match hit her costume which immediately caught fire. One of her cast members threw his overcoat on her but the burns were to severe to save her later in the hospital. It is not known who threw the match that ended up killing her. It is possible that Mansfield was smoking a cigarette herself. But whoever did it, it ended up killing her.
8. Steve Irwin
Steve Irwin was known for his nature show. He was often called The Crocodile Hunter. He was born in Australia in 1962 and died there in 2006.
He also died on set. He was filming a documentary about the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. He was in shallow water with his camera man when they found an eight-foot-wide stingray. They decided to get the boat close to it to get a good shot of the stingray. Unfortunately, the stingray started attacking Steve Irwin. He might have mismatched his shadow and thought that he was an enemy like a tiger shark. The venom killed Irwin after the cameraman tried to save him unsuccessfully.
9. Tommy Cooper
Tommy Cooper was born in 1921 and passed away in 1984. He was known for his funny jokes and his great entertainment skills. But he was also known for his magic tricks. When he was on the show Her Majesty’s which was broadcasted live and showed the tragic event happened that led to his death to an audience.
He was doing a magic trick and then fell hard to the ground. The audience thought it was for comedic purposes but it, unfortunately, was not. He had a heart attack on live tv. When the audience and the producers realized that they rushed him to the hospital but all help came too late.
10. Ken Steadman
Kevin Steadman was born in 1969 and passed away in 1996. He played a role in Baywatch in 1993.
In 1996 he passed away after a dramatic accident happened on the set of an episode of the TV show Sliders. He moved a dune buggy from scene to scene and had a horrible accident with the dune buggy during one of these drives. The dune buggy overturned and crushed him. He was rushed to the hospital but died there almost immediately. Someone else was on the dune buggy as well but luckily did not have any too severe injuries.
11. Tyrone Power
Tyrone Power was born in 1914 and passed away in 1958. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!
He died on the set of the movie Solomon and Sheba when he had a heart attack while filming a dueling scene with his scene partner and good friend George Sanders. The filming took place in Spain and he died on the way to the hospital.
His wife gave birth to their son just two months after Tyrone Power had passed away and also remarried within the year of his death. He also donated his eyes which seems unusual but was stated in his will.
12. John Candy
John Candy was born in Canada in 1950 and died in 1994. His role in Splash is what got his career started. He moved on to star in many
John did not technically die on set but he had a heart attack right after he filmed the last scene of the movie Wagons East. He headed home, cooked dinner for his assistants, called his kids to say good night, went to sleep, and died in his sleep suffering a heart attack.
13. Adolph Caesar
Unfortunately, heart attacks during or after filming seem to happen quite often. At least, it also happened in the case of Adolph Caesar. He was an actor, who was born in 1933 and passed away in 1986. He had an inspiring career and had roles in more than 300 plays!
He got an Oscar nomination for his supporting role in A Soldier’s Story, for which he also received a Golden Globe nomination. He had a heart attack when filming the comedy Tough Guys. He died just minutes after arriving at the hospital leaving three children behind.
14. Paul Mantz
Paul Mantz was a movie stunt pilot, who was born in 1903 and passed away in 1965. He also served in the Second World War.
He absolutely loved being a pilot and doing crazy stunts for
15. Art Scholl
Art Scholl was another stunt pilot who died doing one of his stunts. In his case, it happened shooting for Top Gun. He did a flip with the plane but because of the movie equipment the plane was heavier than he thought and the stunt was impossible to do. He was born in 1931 and died in 1985, when the airplane crashed into the ocean.
All of these deaths are tragic and unfortunate and sadly, these are not all of the cases that someone has died on set. Hopefully, this list will not become any longer in the future.