Stories of accidents on recording sets have been frequent practically since the founding of Hollywood. In fact, personalities like Tom Cruisewho has refused to use doubles in his films, has been on the verge of death on several occasions, and the truth is that he has been very lucky.
There have been several celebrities who have died doing their job, some due to accidents in stunts, others due to negligence on the part of the production, others have even died naturally, but in most cases they have generated a great impact on the industry to rethink working conditions.
Below is a compilation of actors who lost their lives on a recording set:
Probably the most famous case of all. Brandon Lee, was an actor who was beginning to shine on his own in an effort to step out of the shadow of his father, Bruce Lee. Brandon, who had already achieved some fame with the film Showdown in Little Tokyo, and now, I would star The Raven, a film that tells the story of a rock star who is murdered along with his girlfriend by criminals. Some time after his death, the guitarist returns from the afterlife guided by a crow that will take him in search of revenge.
Lee was filming a scene where he was wounded by a firearm. The first take went well, but Brandon insisted on doing it again. The first bullet was a blank shot, so there was no problem, but in the second shot demanded by Brandon, A real bullet hit the actor directly in the abdomen. Lee was taken as quickly as possible to the hospital, but died on March 31, 1993 at the age of 28 old after several hours of surgery.
Today, there are still theories that suggest that Brandon’s death was not an accident, but rather an attack by the Chinese mafia that took revenge because the actor refused to work in their studios’ films.
Foxx achieved great popularity on the small screen thanks to the series Sanford and Son playing the character of Fred G. Sanford from 1972 to 1977. In the years to come, the actor was part of variety shows and other projects that kept him current, but he also became involved in scandals due to tax problems. In 1991 he made his triumphant return on the show The Royal Family 68 years old.
On October 11, 1991Foxx took a break from rehearsals for the series when he chatted with a journalist from Entertainment Weekly. Suddenly, the actor grabbed a chair and fell backwards, something that everyone present believed was a joke, since Redd had earned a reputation for faking attacks with his character Fred Stanford.
Foxx was still on the floor while the laughter of those present continued to resonate, until his castmate, Della Reese, heard him say “go get my wife.” The actor fainted and as quickly as possible, he was transferred to Queen of Angels Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center. Although he managed to be revived momentarily, He died just four hours after the incident.
Eddie Murphy, producer of The Royal Family, He considered Foxx “the most naturally fun person he had ever met.”
The actor was only 26 years old when he was filming the series Cover-Upwhich told the story of Dani Reynolds (played by Jennifer O’Neill) who becomes a CIA agent as a replacement for her husband. Hexum’s character was Mac Harper and he was in charge of accompanying Dani on her missions, pretending to be a model and a photographer respectively.
During the filming of the seventh episode of the series, Jon-Erik was provided with a real revolver with blanks. Due to a delay in recording, the actor began to manipulate the gun, emptying the cylinder and leaving a single blank to play Russian roulette. These projectiles are made to be non-lethal, but the force with which they are fired combined with a short distance can have disastrous results.
Hexum put the gun to his temple and fired, causing the bullet to break his skull.. In turn, the pieces of bone pierced Jon-Erik’s brain, generating massive hemorrhage.
Jon-Erik was immediately taken to Beverly Hills Medical Center where he underwent emergency surgery. Six days later, on October 18, 1984, Hexum was diagnosed brain dead.
Tyrone’s case was very similar to Redd Foxx’s. The actor was filming a fencing scene with George Sanders in the film Solomon and the Queen of Sheba 1959. According to reports, the scene was extremely demanding for Tyrone’s physique, who upon finishing, He began to shake and feel a sharp pain in his chest. The actor was immediately taken to the hospital, but on the way his body stopped working, dying at the age of 44.
The doctors who examined his body determined “fulminant angina pectoris” as the main cause of death of the actor, who over the years had adopted the habit of smoking three to four packs of cigarettes a day.
Although the famous “Crocodile Hunter” was not exactly an actor, he won the hearts of thousands of viewers who watched in amazement as the Australian put his life at risk by interacting with poisonous animals, predators, etc., and at the same time, reiterating the message of environmental conservation.
On September 4, 2006, Irwin was filming a marine documentary on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. While diving in shallow waters, she came across a 2.5 meter wide stingray. Irwin wanted to film the animal slowly walking away, but apparently the stingray saw Steve as a threat, repeatedly stabbing his sting into his chest, and in turn, piercing his heart.
Steve received CPR back on the boat he was traveling in, but all efforts were in vain. The Crocodile Hunter died shortly after the attack at the age of 44.
Hollywood is not the only film industry that has suffered the loss of its talents in the middle of a recording set. In 2018, the Mexican production company, Televisa, premiered the series Without fear of the truth. During the recording of the third season, in 2020, the actors Jorge Navarro and Luis Gerardo Rivera were performing a scene in Mexico City where they had to cross an elevated bridge five meters high. The prop failed and Jorge and Luis hit the ground.
The paramedics arrived at the scene and determined that Jorge had died immediately at the age of 46, while Luis was transferred in critical condition to a nearby hospital, where he was declared dead a short time later at the age of 33.
The incident generated a series of complaints from the acting community in Mexico. One of the cast members of the series, who preferred to remain anonymous, assured that the recordings were made under terrible circumstances.
“The conditions are very poor. They forced me to crawl on a floor full of glass. “I ended up with my arm full of glass and when I reported it to the producer he called me a troublemaker.”
Argentina has also suffered the loss of one of its actors due to negligence on set. César Pierry was a comedy actor who had established himself for his work in the series Ladies Detective which aired from 1990 to 1991. When changing television stations, the series would also change its name to My impossible partnerdue to debut in August 1991. However, on July 20, 1991, during the filming of the first episodes of this new stage, César had to handle a grenade with his co-stars. Fernando Lupiz and Ricardo Morán. The explosive detonated prematurely, causing Pierry to lose practically all the fingers on his left hand.
Pierry’s situation is special since, unlike the rest of the characters on the list, media and specialists assure that he could have been saved, despite losing his limb. The actor underwent four surgeries, and in this last one, carried out on July 29 of that year, After more than seven hours of surgery, his body could not resist and he died of respiratory arrest. To this day, there is speculation that medical negligence in the operating room caused Pierry’s death.
In 1983, the film of the famous television program hit theaters. The unknown dimension. Beyond its box office performance, the film generated a huge stir due to the death of not one, but three actors on set.
In 1982, a scene was filmed in which a veteran Vic Morrow and the little ones Renee Chen 6 years old and Myca Dinh When he was 7, they recorded a scene in the early morning in which Morrow rescued children from a country at war. The scene included the presence of a helicopter that lost control due to excessive pyrotechnics, crushing Chen and decapitating Morrow and Le.
After the spectacular accident, the Hollywood film industry restructured the conditions under which child actors had to work, in addition to changing the rules for the use of pyrotechnics and props.