10 Amazing Actors Who Died During A Movie’s Production

Film production can be a dangerous business.
As we discussed in our video about 10 Incredibly Hard to Shoot Movie Scenes, getting the perfect
action shot can sometimes mean pulling off very risky stunts that have the potential
to go disastrously wrong. Fortunately most productions will have plenty of precautions
and safeguards in place, which means that on-set deaths are very rare, but there are
still some famous cases of actors who died while filming, and others who died before
they could finish their current projects. Here are Screen Rant’s 10 Actors Who Died
During A Movie’s Production. Heath Ledger The Dark Knight actor Heath Ledger sadly didn’t
live to enjoy the critical acclaim and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor that
the role earned him, as he died of an accidental prescription drug overdose six months before
The Dark Knight arrived in theaters. The Joker wasn’t Ledger’s final role, however. At the
time of his death, Ledger was a little over a month into filming Terry Gilliam’s fantasy
film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, in which he played a central role. Following
the actor’s death, Gilliam came up with the idea of having Ledger’s character change his
appearance, and enlisted the help of Johnny Depp, Jude Law and and Colin Farrell to take
over the role in scenes that Ledger hadn’t yet got around to filming. With their help,
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus was completed and became the final piece of Ledger’s legacy. Jon-Erik Hexum There’s a dangerous misconception that guns
loaded with blanks are harmless, when the truth is that blanks can do a whole lot of
damage when fired at very close range. This was the fate that befell Jon-Erik Hexum on
the set of CBS action-adventure series Cover Up, in which he played a CIA agent working
undercover as a model. During a filming delay, Hexum began jokingly playing Russian roulette
with a .44 Magnum loaded with blanks. The gun was pressed right up against his temple
when it went off, firing the wadding from the blank into Hexum’s skull and causing a
massive brain hemorrhage. After being declared brain dead, Hexum was eventually taken off
life support. Brandon Lee Alex Proyas’ vigilante superhero movie The
Crow has become a cult classic since its original release in 1994, but the film is notorious
for another reason. Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee, played the movie’s main character, Eric
Draven, a rock star who is brought back from the dead to avenge his own murder and the
death of his girlfriend. In a scene where Eric returns home to find his girlfriend being
attacked, actor Michael Massee fired a prop gun at Lee, not knowing that the prop crew
had accidentally left a fragment of a real bullet inside it. The bullet struck Lee in
the abdomen, and despite being rushed to hospital and undergoing six hours of surgery, the wound
cost him his life. Lee was just 28 years old. Paul Walker Paul Walker was a mainstay of the Fast and
Furious franchise from the very beginning, and his appearances in the movies spanned
over a decade – from his first appearance in The Fast and the Furious to his final portrayal
of Brian O’Conner in Furious 7. Two months into production on Furious 7, Walker was killed
when the driver of the Porsche he was travelling in crashed the car into a lamp post and two
trees at high speed. Following the accident, Universal put production on hold to give the
cast and crew time to grieve, and to give director James Wan time to figure out how
to rework the film. Furious 7 was eventually completed using Paul Walker’s brothers, Caleb
and Cody, as stand-ins for his character, with a combination of camera trickery and
CGI used to complete Brian’s story. Vic Morrow Like Brandon Lee and Jon-Erik Hexum, actor
Vic Morrow’s death was the result of an accident on set, which is easily one of the most horrifying
tales in the film industry. Morrow was filming “Time Out,” a segment of Twilight Zone: The
Movie in which a racist gets a taste of his own medicine when he is cast back in time
and assumes the ethnicities of those he was prejudiced against. During a scene in which
Morrow’s character finds himself in the Vietnam war, a helicopter hovering overhead was damaged
by nearby pyrotechnic explosions and crashed, decapitating Morrow and killing two child
actors that he was carrying. Several people involved in production – including director
John Landis – were put on trial for involuntary manslaughter, but were ultimately acquitted. Oliver Reed Ridley Scott’s historical epic Gladiator won
a handful of Oscars in 2001, including the award for Best Visual Effects. Among the visual
effects used in the film were early CGI techniques that completed actor Oliver Reed’s scenes
as Antonius Proximo, the gladiator trainer who becomes a mentor to Maximus Decimus Meridius.
Reed died of a heart attack towards the end of filming, and his character’s fate was rewritten
so that instead of surviving, Proximo sacrifices himself in order to buy Maximus time to escape.
To complete his remaining scenes, a body double was used and a CGI mask placed over the body
double’s face to create the illusion of Reed being present. It was an Oscar-worthy effect,
especially for the time, and a powerful final role for Reed. John Ritter John Ritter first made a name for himself
as one of the leads on ABC sitcom Three’s Company in the 1970s and 80s, and by the early
2000s had gone from TV bachelor to TV dad in another ABC sitcom, 8 Simple Rules, in
which he played strict but affectionate father Paul Hennessy. During filming of the show’s
second season, Ritter fell ill due to a heart defect called aortic dissection, which was
initially misdiagnosed as a heart attack. Despite efforts to save him, Ritter died in
a hospital later that day. His death was written into the show, with the Hennessy family finding
out that Paul had collapsed while grocery shopping. Bela Lugosi Bela Lugosi starred in some of the most famous
horror movies ever made, including Dracula, White Zombie and The Black Cat, but he died
while filming one of the most infamously terrible movies ever made: Ed Wood’s Plan 9 From Outer
Space. Well, actually that’s not completely accurate. Lugosi had been filming various
random scenes with Wood for other movie projects, and this footage was eventually cut into Plan
9. In order to complete these scenes, Wood hired his wife’s chiropractor, who had no
acting experience and didn’t even look like Lugosi, to stand in for the famous actor by
holding a cape over his face. It’s a bit of a far cry from the technical wizardry that
made the completion of Furious 7 possible, but it’s also one of the many quirks that
makes Plan 9 From Outer Space so… memorable. Marilyn Monroe One of the most iconic movie stars of all
time, Marilyn Monroe is known for her roles in classic comedies films like Gentlemen Prefer
Blondes, Some Like it Hot and The Seven Year Itch. Monroe’s final film was a romantic comedy
called Something’s Got to Give, from which she was fired after one month of production,
then later rehired with a change of director. Before filming with Monroe could resume, the
actress died of a barbiturate overdose. Something’s Got to Give was never completed, though the
footage was later pieced together for a documentary called Marilyn: Something’s Got to Give. Philip Seymour Hoffman Philip Seymour Hoffman was a highly respected
actor, who in 2006 won an Oscar for playing the title role in Capote. In more recent years,
audiences became familiar with Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee, the Head Gamemaker of
The Hunger Games. Sadly, after decades of sobriety, Hoffman suffered a relapse into
the drug addiction that had plagued him in his younger years, and with just a week of
filming left on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 the actor died after taking a mix
of heroin, cocaine, amphetamines and benzodiazepines. Director Francis Lawrence decided not to try
and complete Hoffman’s performance using CGI, and Plutarch Heavensbee was instead written
out of the scenes that Hoffman had yet to shoot. These are just a few of the more memorable
instances of actors dying midway through production, but there are more examples out there. Let
us know in the comments which actors you miss the most, and don’t forget to subscribe to
our channel for more videos like this one.

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