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Death on the Set

View Chris Kavan's Profile

By Chris Kavan - 09/04/10 at 10:01 AM CT

I could have saved this morbid list for Halloween, but I figured with the big Transformers 2 accident in the news, what better time then to remind people that Hollywood can be a dangerous place too. While accidents on the set aren't common, they do happen and sometimes people end up paying the ultimate price.

1) Twilight Zone: The Movie - Actor Vic Morrow and two children were killed when a stunt involving a helicopter and pyrotechnics went wrong resulting in the vehicle crashing down on top of them. The fact that video of the accident is easily viewable makes it all the more shocking.

2) The Crow - Actor Brandon Lee (son of Bruce Lee) was killed after a gun that was loaded with blanks, but hadn't been properly checked, was fired. A bullet head had been left in the gun and it hit his spinal cord. Despite the efforts of doctors, he died the next day.

3) The Return of the Musketeers - British actor Roy Kinnear (no relation to Greg Kinnear) was killed in an accident on set after he fell off a horse and broke his pelvis. He died the next day. It so affected director Richard Lester that he quit his own film career.

4) The Conqueror - A different kind of death happened on set of this notoriously bad Howard Hughes film. Out of the 220 cast and crew working on this film, 91 developed cancer, 46 dying from the it including John Wayne, Agnes Moorehead, Susan Hayward and director Dick Powell. It can't be said for certain, but the location of the filming in Utah was near areas where radioactive fallout from Nevada atom bomb tests could have settled. It may not have struck right away, but it still managed to affect nearly half the people working on the film.

5) The Final Season - Cameraman Roland Schlotzhauer was killed after a helicopter he was filming from hit a power line and crashed. Schlotzhauer was well-known for filming from helicopters get a good shot.

I know I've neglected to mention the many stuntmen who have died in their line of work, but needless to say that is a much more dangerous profession than acting but never as high profile when accidents happen.


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