27 Actors Who Virtually Died On Set


Tom Cruise was virtually decapitated on the set of The Final Samurai by costar Hiroyuki Sanada. Each actors have been on mechanical horses, and Sanada’s horse struck Cruise as Sanada held out his sword — which nearly price Cruise his head.

“I just managed to stop my sword an inch from his neck. “It was so hard. I was drenched in sweat! My God! But Tom never blinked! It was the biggest moment, the most dangerous moment,” Sanada revealed.


The truth is, Tom Cruise has cheated demise quite a few instances on the set of his movies. For instance, whereas filming Mission: Unattainable – Useless Reckoning Half One, Cruise virtually died in a stunt the place his character rides a motorbike off a cliff, jumps off the bike, then prompts a parachute. “You can see when I opened it, I was in the wrong position and I opened the parachute, and the parachute turned into the side of the mountain,” Cruise said, revealing he was “very shut” to hitting the mountain.


Cruise additionally virtually died whereas filming High Gun, with costar Barry Tubb saying, “Cruise came as close to dying as anybody on a set I’ve ever seen.” In the scene where Maverick waits for rescue in the ocean, holding Goose’s body, Cruise’s parachute began to fill with water. “They were refilling the camera or something, and luckily one of the frogmen in the chopper saw his chute ballooning out,” Tubb revealed. “He jumped in and cut Cruise loose right before he sank. They would have never found him. He would have been at the bottom of the ocean.”


Miles Teller additionally got here near demise whereas making ready for High Gun: Maverick. He needed to prepare for 5 months to give you the chance deal with his personal digital camera underneath intense G-force on set. “I definitely had a moment where I thought I was going to die,” Teller revealed. “There was a sequence where we were heading straight towards the ground and you do what’s called a max G pull-up. You’re heading down and at the last second you yank up, and it’s really tough for the pilot. It’s something they train in all the time, but it was the first time we’d done a manoeuvre like that and I completely stopped acting. I looked at the ground, and thought this wasn’t going to end well for me.”


Dylan O’Brien was so critically injured on the set of The Maze Runner: The Dying Treatment that filming needed to halt. Only some days into filming, he was pulled from one automobile (some sources say it was a motorbike that fell right into a slide) after which hit by one other (and O’Brien has set a transparent boundary that he isn’t prepared to share particulars). The accident resulted in a concussion, mind trauma, and a facial fracture, which he needed to endure surgical procedure for. “I actually was in a darkish place there for some time and it wasn’t a straightforward journey again,” he stated, revealing he thought of giving up performing completely. Months later, he was capable of return and end the movie.


Mel Gibson virtually died whereas filming Braveheart. He was filming a battle sequence when he was virtually crushed by his horse: “He had a good trick where he did this whole rear-up thing, but he’d also fall backwards, which is a problem if you’ve fallen off first and you’re behind him,” Gibson stated of his horse. “My stunt double ran in and pulled me out of the way just as the horse fell.”


Like Tom Cruise earlier on this checklist, motion star Jackie Chan has additionally carried out quite a few harmful stunts that went flawed. For instance, in Armour of God, he fractured his cranium (sending a chunk into his mind) whereas doing a stunt the place he leaped from an overhang onto a tree. On the second take, the tree’s branches broke, sending Chan hurtling down.

“I try to grab every tree—they just keep breaking. Breaking, breaking, breaking, breaking. Then, boom, I just hit on the rock. I get up, I thought, ‘It’s nothing.’ I just feel my back’s hurt. Then I get up, but everybody pushes me down because my whole body was numb. By the time the numb passed, then I feel my air and I see the blood,” Chan revealed. Crew members carried Chan down the mountain and to a hospital, the place he obtained surgical procedure.


A bunch of the actors concerned in Roar (which featured “132 big cats, one elephant, three aoudad sheep, and a collection of ostriches, flamingos, marabou, storks, and black swans,” in response to star Tippi Hedren) have been injured by the animals. Author/director/producer/Tippi’s then-husband Noel Marshall actually needed to star as a result of no different male star needed to work with that many harmful animals. The opposite stars have been Hedren’s daughter, Melanie Griffith, and two of Marshall’s sons.

Griffith was mauled so badly that she wanted cosmetic surgery. Hedren herself bought gangrene and wanted pores and skin grafts. Marshall contracted blood poisoning. Cinematographer Jan de Bont actually had his scalp torn off (he survived). Nevertheless, no animals have been reportedly harmed.


Jodie Foster was equally mauled by a lion when she was solely eight years outdated whereas filming Napoleon and Samantha. “I was walking ahead of him. He was on an invisible leash, some piano wire. He got sick of me being slow, picked me up and held me sideways and shook me like a doll,” Foster revealed on The Tonight Present. I used to be in shock and thought it was an earthquake. I circled and noticed your complete crew operating off within the different route. The coach then stated, ‘Drop it’ and he opened his mouth and dropped me.”


The identical lion — Zamba, who was well-known in Hollywood and appeared in numerous TV reveals and movies — had virtually killed Bob Denver on the set of Gilligan’s Island. Sequence creator Sherwood Schwartz revealed that Denver got here “within inches” of “being crushed beneath a 400-pound lion.”

Denver was filming a scene the place he sneaks out of the room the lion is in. Zamba was meant to stay on the mattress, and had executed so in rehearsals, however once they began to movie, Zamba leaped for Denver. “The only thing that saved Bob’s life is the fact that the bed wasn’t bolted to the floor. As a result, when the lion made his leap toward Bob, the lion’s back legs pushed the bed backward, removing the force from his jump. Because of this, the lion’s leap fell short of Bob by about two feet,” Schwartz wrote in his ebook Inside Gilligan’s Island: From Creation to Syndication. “The trainer moved in instantly, and grabbed the lion. Bob wasn’t even scratched.”


Another animal assault — Bo Derek, who performed Jane in 1981’s Tarzan, the Ape Man, was virtually killed by a lion onscreen. The lion — which had fixated on Derek — unexpectedly darted for her whereas filming a scene the place she first meets Tarzan (performed by Miles O’Keeffe). O’Keeffe put himself between the lion and Derek, who tried to crawl to security into the water the place the lion wouldn’t comply with. She bought away, however not earlier than the lion sliced her shoulder along with his paw.


Terry O’Quinn virtually killed Matthew Fox on the set of the Misplaced finale. It was a combat scene between Locke (nicely, the Smoke Monster utilizing his physique) and Jack, and the combat concerned knives. Lots of the photographs used the actual knife as a result of rubber blades are likely to wobble — however O’Quinn was meant to discreetly swap out the actual knife for the rubber one earlier than really utilizing it on Fox. Nevertheless, O’Quinn and Fox bought just a little too into the scene, and when O’Quinn was meant to drop the actual knife and choose up the pretend out, he really dropped the actual knife after which picked it up once more…then stabbed Fox with it.

“I plunged it into Matthew’s side,” O’Quinn stated. “Well, Matthew had a pad [under his shirt] that was probably about the size of your extended palm, where I’m supposed to stab him. It was just to protect him from where I was supposed to stab him. I don’t think I held my hand out to wait for the exchange because we were caught up in the action. So I stabbed him with a real knife.” Fortunately, the pad did its job and Fox was unhurt — but when he had missed the tiny pad, it might’ve been a really totally different story.


One other actor virtually killed by a costar was Sylvester Stallone in Rocky IV. Stallone instructed his costar, Dolph Lundgren, to attempt to knock him out within the Rocky and Drago combat in order that it seemed extra reasonable. “At one point, he hit me so hard on the top of the head I felt my spine compress,” Stallone later revealed. “He then hit me with an almighty uppercut. That night my chest and heart started to swell, and I had to be helicopter-ambulanced from my hotel to a nearby emergency room. I was told that Dolph had punched my rib cage into my chest, compressing my heart. If it had swollen any more, I would have died.” Stallone was within the ICU for 9 days.


Like Cruise and Chan, Stallone is understood for having virtually died on set quite a few instances. In The Expendables, he stated, “My fight with Stone Cold Steve Austin was so vicious that I ended up getting a hairline fracture in my neck. I’m not joking. I haven’t told anyone this, but I had to have a very serious operation afterwards. I now have a metal plate in my neck.”


Jason Statham virtually died in a freak accident whereas filming The Expendables 3. He was test-driving a truck when the brakes failed and it flew off a cliff, flying 60 toes into the ocean…the place it was impaled. Statham was pressured to leap from the automotive (the doorways had been eliminated) and landed within the water, the place he would have drowned if he had not been a robust swimmer and diver. “It’s the closest I’ve ever been to drowning,” the actor admitted.


Burt Reynolds volunteered to do the stunt the place his character Lewis goes over a waterfall in a canoe in Deliverance (it was initially meant to be executed with a dummy), and rapidly regretted it. “[T]hey let the water go and I heard this sound—I dream sometimes of the water coming—I looked around and there was a tidal wave coming at me. I went over the falls and the first thing that happened I hit a rock and cracked my tailbone, and to this day it hurts,” Reynolds revealed.

Even after Reynolds made it to the underside pool, he bumped into hassle. “I went down to the water below and it was a whirlpool. I couldn’t get out and the guy there said if you get caught, just go to the bottom. You can get out but you can’t swim against it. So I went down to the bottom,” Reynolds continued. “What he didn’t tell me was it was going to shoot me up like a torpedo. So I went out.”


Ed Harris virtually drowned on the set of the James Cameron movie The Abyss — he shot a bunch of the scenes underwater, and in a single scene, considered one of his security divers bought caught in a cable. So, when Harris signaled for oxygen, nobody got here — one other crew member got here to the rescue, however incorrectly inserted the regulator, in order that Harris was respiratory a mix of air and water. “For a split second, I really thought I was a goner,” Harris stated. He was saved by the underwater director of images, however was nonetheless traumatized by the expertise: He cried on the way in which residence. “There was a part of me that was really disappointed in myself for not being able to do this thing. And there was also a part of me that just didn’t know what to do. … I really thought I was going to die for a second.”


The Inexperienced Inferno really used footage within the movie of star Lorenza Izzo virtually drowning. It is the scene the place her character Justine tries to flee a canoe of cannibals and jumps into the water — Izzo grabbed a rock and fought in opposition to the present as she screamed. Director Eli Roth stated that they had a protected phrase, however “it was so loud that when she was screaming it at the top of her lungs, none of us heard her.” They thought she was performing till they realized she was shouting in English and Spanish.


Another drowning instance — Isla Fisher virtually drowned for actual whereas filming the water tank scene in Now You See Me. Her launch chain bought caught in her costume, that means she was caught for the three-minute sequence. “I was actually drowning,” she instructed Chelsea Handler on Chelsea Currently. “Everyone thought I was acting fabulously. … no one realized I was actually struggling.”


Kevin Costner virtually died in Waterworld in a scene the place his character is tied to a ship’s mast. He was up there for 2 hours and was afraid the helicopter — which was taking pictures the scene 20 toes away — would run into him. He yelled on the pilot to maneuver farther away, however they could not hear him over the helicopter’s noise. After the helicopter moved away, a sudden storm got here and knocked Coster backwards and forwards within the heavy winds. It was too harmful to decrease him, so Costner spent thirty minutes basically slamming into the boat 5 toes in both route.


His costars Jeanne Tripplehorn and Tina Majorino — who was 9 years outdated on the time — additionally needed to be rescued by 12 divers after they have been thrown off a ship then run over by it, virtually drowning.


Within the scene the place Michael J. Fox’s character will get hanged (earlier than Doc saves him) in Again to the Future Half III, Fox really bought hanged. A stunt double was used for the huge photographs, however Fox himself did the close-ups. He was initially standing on a field, however the swinging wasn’t reasonable, so he supplied to go with out the field and use his fingers to maintain the rope from suffocating him. On the third take of doing this, Fox “miscalculated the positioning of [his] hand” and rapidly handed out. Everybody thought he was simply performing and did nothing for a couple of seconds till director Robert Zemeckis realized the reality.


The identical factor occurred to Brendan Fraser in The Mummy. He was directed to “sell it” extra, so on the subsequent take, he stood additional excessive on his toes — and the rope was pulled increased up. “The next thing I knew, my elbow was in my ear, the world was sideways, and there was gravel in my teeth,” Fraser stated. Fortunately, he was alright.


The Brady Bunch youngsters virtually died whereas filming an episode at an amusement park — as they have been about to board a rollercoaster, actor Robert Reed (who performed the household patriarch) identified that the digital camera on the automotive seemed unstable. They determined to do a check run and located that the digital camera would’ve seemingly killed the household had they been on the coaster.


Within the Poltergeist scene the place the clown strangles Robbie, actor Oliver Robins was really being strangled for actual. Robins defined to Fright how the prolonged arm of the clown bought caught round his neck: “I was in a tight, confined space under the bed, and…it’s almost like a car accident. You know how a car accident happens so fast, you don’t remember, but if you don’t act, something is going to happen? Well, Steven saw that, probably in the video assist, and he pulled me away from it. Who knows what might have happened otherwise.”


Lastly, let’s finish on two examples from the famously troubled The Wizard of Oz. First, Margaret Hamilton, who performed the Depraved Witch of the West, suffered second- and third-degree burns in the course of the scene the place she leaves Munchkinland in a burst of flame. The trapdoor malfunctioned, inflicting her to be caught within the hearth.

The inexperienced paint used as her make-up was additionally poisonous. She might solely drink by a straw when it was on (and could not eat in any respect), as a result of it was too harmful to threat her ingesting it. This was particularly regarding when she was burned and the poisonous make-up needed to be rapidly faraway from her wounds. “They were literally clawing at her face because it would have scarred her for life,” Hamilton’s daughter described, remembering that she was bandaged “like a mummy” whereas recovering. The studio additionally apparently referred to as the subsequent day, asking when she’d be again at work.


And Buddy Ebsen, who initially was set to play the Tin Man, virtually died attributable to his on-set make-up. “They dusted his face and hands with aluminum powder…real aluminum dust,” his daughter Kiki Ebsen revealed. “It was in the air. And because the lights were hot, his makeup melted several times a day. So he had to be reapplied with aluminum dust. And he inhaled it over time. It coated the inside of his lungs like paint. He could not get oxygen to his blood, but he didn’t know this was happening. He just knew that he was cramping up [on] set and during shooting.”

Scared to lose the position, Ebsen stated nothing — however 10 days later, he awoke unable to breathe and was hospitalized. He had to make use of an oxygen tank for 2 weeks, and it took one other six weeks for him to get well. “He actually couldn’t get oxygen to the blood, and his blood fermented. The doctor described it as … a breakdown of the nervous system,” Kiki stated. He was then instructed to get “the hell back to work” — and when he could not, he was changed with Jack Haley.

What terrifying on-set debacles have you ever heard about? Tell us within the feedback!