People Dead During Shooting Of Movies

The Dark Knight

Here, Ledger attends the Venice Film Festival in September 2007.

Death: Heath Ledger

Here, Ledger attends the Venice Film Festival in September 2007.

Heath Ledger made a name for himself as a quick-witted heartthrob in "10 Things I Hate About You" and "A Knight's Tale" before moving on to more dramatic roles in iconic movies that included "Brokeback Mountain" and the second installment of Christopher Nolan's Batman movie series, "The Dark Knight."

While Ledger was filming "The Dark Knight," he said in interviews that the scary role of the Joker contributed to his prescription drug use -- he often became so immersed in the characters he played that it affected his daily life, making sleep difficult. Shortly after "The Dark Knight" wrapped, Ledger began filming "The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus" with director Terry Gilliam. In January 2008, with just a third of the movie filmed, Ledger went to bed in his apartment in New York City's tony SoHo district, where his housekeeper later found him dead. An autopsy revealed that Ledger died after an accidental and gradual overdose on a combination of painkillers, sleeping pills and other prescription drugs, leading some to speculate that playing the Joker led to his death.

 

The Crow

Brandon

Death: Brandon Lee

On March 31, 1993 at the North Carolina Film Studios in Wilmington NC, there were eight days left before shooting of the film was to be completed. The scene being filmed involved Lee’s character Eric Draven walking into his apartment and witnessing the brutal rape of his fiancée by thugs. Lee’s character would then have been shot and killed along with his fiancée by the thugs. 

As the scene was being filmed, Brandon Lee was killed after Michael Massee (who played the villain Funboy) fired the gun at Lee as intended. The bullet unseated from a dummy round was lodged in the barrel of the handgun. The bullet was not noticed and the gun was loaded with a blank cartridge. When the blank was fired, the bullet shot out and hit Lee in the abdomen.

 

 Top Gun

Artscholl

Death: Art Scholl

Renowned aerobatic pilot Art Scholl, 53, was hired to do in-flight camera work for the film. The original script called for a flat spin, which he was to perform and capture on an onboard camera. Scholl entered the spin, but was unable to recover from it and crashed his Pitts S-2 in to the Pacific Ocean off the Southern California coast. The cause of the accident remains unknown. Top Gun was dedicated to the memory of Art Scholl.

 

Jumper

Jumper

Death: David Ritchie

A sci-fi thriller starring Samuel Jackson, was using a mixture of frozen sand, earth, and ice for special effects in exterior set pieces. Set dresser David Ritchie was pronounced dead on the scene after a large piece of frozen sand and gravel fell from the top of a wall at an outdoor set that he and three crew members were dismantling in frigid winter temperatures.

 

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Death: Harry L. O’Conner

Harry L. O’Connor, Diesel’s stunt double, was killed in an accident during filming, in a scene in which he was supposed to rappel down a parasailing line and land on a submarine. When O’Connor failed to rappel down the line fast enough, he hit a bridge at high speed and was killed instantly. His death was caught on camera, but director Rob Cohen decided to include the footage of the scene – with the final moments edited out – out of respect for the stuntman’s final act.

 

Enter the Dragon

Brucelee

Death: Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee was doing dubbing work in Hong Kong on May 10, 1973, for Enter the Dragon at Golden Harvest studios. He collapsed in the bathroom and was rushed to the Hong Kong Baptist Hospital. Doctors who treated him said he died of cerebral edema. Much controversy exists over Lee’s death over speculation that cannabis may have been part of the cause of his death.