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Top 10 Actors Who Died On Production Set

Being an actor isn’t all Hollywood glamour and glitz. Truth be told, at times it tends to be absolute riskier than you think. Take these 10 Hollywood stars, for instance. They all share one dismal thing practically speaking: They took their last breathe from occurrences that happened while on the arrangement of the show or […]

Being an actor isn’t all Hollywood glamour and glitz. Truth be told, at times it tends to be absolute riskier than you think. Take these 10 Hollywood stars, for instance. They all share one dismal thing practically speaking: They took their last breathe from occurrences that happened while on the arrangement of the show or film they were shooting.

While there are some VIP passings that are deceptions and a lot of acclaimed entertainers — like Heath Ledger — who kicked the bucket before completing an undertaking, not every one of them passed on from something on set. A portion of these passing were the consequence of common causes, while different stars met an increasingly grim end.

1. Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon

While Bruce Lee technically didn’t die from an incident that happened while filming, he still technically passed out during production, collapsing while dubbing for The Game of Death at Golden Harvest Studio in Hong Kong. He was sped away to a local hospital shortly after. Doctors there pointed toward abnormal swelling in the brain as the cause, eventually getting it under control enough to discharge him.

Two months later, Lee went to sleep and didn’t wake up, and was later pronounced dead.

2. Vic Morrow

Vic Morrow in 'Twilight Zone: The Movie'.

During the filming of Twilight Zone: The Movie, Morrow was killed on set in July 1982, along with two child actors, Myca Dinh Le and Renee Chen, says How Stuff Works. The Twilight Zone script called for the use of both a helicopter and pyrotechnics, a deadly combination in this case.

During a scene in which Morrow was being attacked by American soldiers in Vietnam, the pyrotechnics exploded, severing the helicopter’s tail, which caused it to crash, decapitating Morrow and killing the two child actors, per Ranker.

Later, it came out that the children who died were going to be paid illegally under the table. Allegedly, the director was trying to avoid California’s laws against kids working at night, as well as working around the potentially dangerous combination of a helicopter and pyrotechnics, per How Stuff Works. In fact, director John Landis and four others were later charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter due to the illegal hiring of the children. According to Ranker, the jury decided Landis wasn’t expecting the scene to be dangerous and found the defendants not guilty.

3. Brandon Lee

'The Crow' star, Brandon Lee

Brandon Lee, the son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, was killed on March 31, 1993, in a stunt accident on the set of The Crow. “Lee’s character was supposed to get shot in a scene, but the handgun used contained a fragment of a real bullet,” writes Ranker.

During filming, Lee was walking through a doorway carrying a grocery bag as another actor fired blanks at him from 15 feet away, per the Los Angeles Times. At that moment, Lee activated a toggle switch underneath the grocery bag and set off the small charge, called a squib, which is commonly used on movie sets to simulate gunfire effects. Lee was hit in the abdomen by a projectile, and died later that day at the age of 28.

Director Alex Proyas used a double and some special effects in order to complete the movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The Crow tells the story of a rock musician, Eric Draven, who is granted life and power by a mysterious crow. Draven uses his abilities to hunt and kill the men that murdered him and his fiancée.

4. John Ritter

Actor John Ritter talking on stage

John Ritter collapsed while on the set of 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter on September 11, 2003. Ritter had become ill while working on the ABC series and ended up collapsing on set. He was rushed to the hospital where he underwent surgery for a tear in his aorta, a rare medical condition that can hit without warning, writes Fox News.

Ritter died that evening, per Fox News. The show was retitled 8 Simple Rules and continued for another season with David Spade and James Garner as replacements, writes Access Atlanta.

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Ritter was well-known for his many works in television and on film, particularly for his role as Jack Tripper in Three’s Company, according to Madame Noire.

5. Tyrone Power

Tyrone Power looking serious in a suit and tie

While filming Solomon and Sheba, Tyrone Power suffered a massive heart attack on set during a fencing scene. He died on the way to the hospital on March 15, 1958, according to Ranker.

Power first rose to popularity in 1936 with Lloyds of London, according to About. Solomon and Sheba was a series about King David’s younger son, Solomon, who he named his heir rather than his older son, Prince Adonijah.

6. Roy Kinnear

Roy Kinnear sitting on a chair laughing

While in Toledo, Spain, filming the movie The Return of the Musketeers, Kinnear fell from a horse. The 54-year-old British actor sustained a broken pelvis and was taken to a hospital in Madrid. The following day, September 20, 1988, Kinnear died from a heart attack, writes Oddee.

Kinnear “played the role of Planchet, the servant of the Musketeer d’Artagnan, a role he created in the Richard Lester hit The Three Musketeers in 1974,” according to The New York Times. The director, Richard Lester, was deeply affected by Kinnear’s death and shortly after quit his own film career, per Oddee.

7. Steve Irwin

Steve Irwin holds a reptile.

Known as an Australian adventurer and animal advocate, the “Crocodile Hunter” was stung and killed by a stingray on September 4, 2006, while filming Oceans Deadliest, an underwater documentary.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Irwin and his cameraman, Justin Lyons, were in chest-deep water near Queensland, Australia. The pair came across an 8-foot-wide stingray; after filming the stingray for a while, it ended up attacking Irwin. “It started stabbing wildly with its tail,” Lyons told the Los Angeles Times, “hundreds of strikes within a few seconds.”

Despite the crew’s efforts to save him, Irwin died before they could get him help. In Lyons’ interview with the Los Angeles Times, he said Irwin’s last words were “I’m dying.”

8. Heath Ledger

When Heath Ledger died of an accidental overdose in 2008, he was in the middle of filming The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. After a brief suspension of production, Jude Law, Colin Farrell and Johnny Depp each played a version of Ledger’s character in the film.

9. Paul Walker

Paul Walker had completed filming on a significant portion of his scenes for Furious 7 when he died in a horrific car crash in 2013. To complete production of the film, his brothers, Cody and Caleb, were used as stand-ins.

10. Paul Mantz

Paul Mantz

Mantz was a legendary aviator who lost his spot at the U.S. Army Flight School after buzzing over a train filled with high-ranking officers in an effort to show off his skills.

Later, he landed a role in Air Mail, where he flew a biplane through a hangar that wasn’t much bigger than his aircraft. Mantz then appeared in several other films, such as For Whom the Bell TollsTwelve O’Clock High, and The Wings of Eagles.

The daredevil died on July 8, 1965 while performing a stunt for The Flight of the Phoenix — a movie he came out of retirement to film, according to How Stuff Works. Mantz was flying over a desert in Arizona when his plane struck a hill and broke into pieces, immediately killing the aviator. Most of the film had already been shot, so filmmakers substituted another plane for some remaining close-ups. The Flight of the Phoenix was released later that year.

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Chris Vradrilin
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