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Lives Tragically Lost While Filming A Movie

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10:58   |   Jul 08, 2019

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Lives Tragically Lost While Filming A Movie
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  • These actors, stunt workers, and crew members showed up for what they thought was just another
  • day at work, only to lose their lives in some of the most bizarre ways imaginable.
  • Veteran English actor Oliver Reed died before finishing all of his scenes for Ridley Scott's
  • 2000 epic Gladiator.
  • This forced Scott to engage in some digital trickery with outtakes to depict the death
  • of Reed's character, gladiator handler Proximo.
  • But the circumstances surrounding Reed's death serve to illustrate two things about the man:
  • he was every bit as tough as his onscreen persona suggested, and he was a bit too fond
  • of liquor for his own good.
  • The film was shot on location in Malta, and on the night before he was to shoot his final
  • scenes, Reed celebrated by dropping in on a local pub.
  • He put down eight pints of lager before moving on to a dozen double shots of rum and half
  • a bottle of whiskey.
  • Then he proceeded to take on a crew of British Navy sailors in an arm-wrestling contest,
  • defeating them all before finally preparing to retire for the night.
  • But after decades of such behavior, Reed's body had finally had enough.
  • He suffered a massive heart attack, and dropped dead on the spot.
  • The pub where he died has come to be known as "Ollie's Last Pub."
  • Fans the world over come through to browse its collection of memorabilia, have a pint
  • or three, and pay tribute to one of the most legendary tough guys in film history.
  • The on-set accident that claimed the life of Brandon Lee, son of martial arts legend
  • Bruce Lee, is among the most famous in Hollywood history.
  • But it's the details leading up to the event that make it truly eerie.
  • The elder Lee was convinced that his family carried an ancient curse in the form of a
  • demon who would pursue its male members relentlessly, which was a main plot point in the 1993 biopic
  • Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story.
  • One of its final scenes implies that the curse would carry over to Brandon.
  • It was only a year after that film's release that the younger Lee met his shocking demise.
  • Near the end of filming the gothic thriller The Crow, the crew was setting up to shoot
  • a scene in which Lee's character is shot and killed.
  • This called for a prop pistol that fired blanks, as regulations stated that no live ammunition
  • was allowed on set.
  • The film's prop master, however, kept some in the trunk of his car, and decided to take
  • a shortcut by modifying the live rounds when he discovered that no blanks were available.
  • Unfortunately, a dummy round was loaded into the gun before the blank, and its lead tip
  • became lodged in the barrel.
  • The blank's discharge propelled the slug just like a real bullet, striking Lee in the abdomen.
  • He was rushed to the hospital, but he died on the operating table.
  • Veteran character actor Vic Morrow was cast as a bigot who gets a taste of his own medicine
  • in "Time Out," the first segment of 1983's Twilight Zone: The Movie.
  • Tragically, the role would be Morrow's last, and the accident that killed him and two others
  • was among the most gruesome in film history.
  • In the scene, which was cut from the final film, Morrow's character tries to carry two
  • children to safety through a Vietnamese swamp while a helicopter bombs their village.
  • During a rehearsal take, the pyrotechnics buffeted pilot Dorcey Wingo's helicopter,
  • scaring him senseless.
  • But director John Landis insisted on shooting the scene as rehearsed, and Wingo didn't challenge
  • him.
  • As cameras rolled, the explosions forced Wingo to set his chopper down right in the middle
  • of the set.
  • One of its skids crushed 6-year old child actor Renee Chen, while Morrow and 7-year
  • old Myca Dinh Lee were both decapitated by its main blade.
  • The accident resulted in Landis, Wingo, and three others being put on trial for involuntary
  • manslaughter, though they were acquitted in 1987.
  • Veteran English character actor Roy Kinnear was perhaps best known for playing the father
  • of spoiled little Veruca Salt in 1971's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
  • But his complete list of credits is longer than your arm.
  • Among them were the 1973 version of The Three Musketeers and its 1989 sequel, The Return
  • of the Musketeers, both directed by Kinnear's frequent collaborator Richard Lester.
  • Alas, the latter ending up being his final role.
  • Kinnear was injured in a fall from a horse during the shoot in Spain, and he was subsequently
  • admitted to a hospital in Madrid.
  • His injuries weren't considered life-threatening, but they were apparently too much for his
  • body.
  • He suffered a heart attack the next day while still in the hospital, and doctors weren't
  • able to save him.
  • Kinnear's untimely death had a profound effect on the film's cast and crew, but none were
  • so affected as Lester, who had lost a dear friend.
  • 1987's Million Dollar Mystery was as much a gimmick as it was a film.
  • Its cast of zany characters spent the entire runtime hunting down a series of three cash
  • stashes of one million dollars hidden somewhere in the United States.
  • The ending revealed that the third stash of hidden loot was totally real, as it challenged
  • audiences to use clues from the film to determine its location.
  • The movie was widely ignored when it wasn't being roundly panned, but its most unfortunate
  • legacy lies in the accident that took the life of stuntman Dar Robinson.
  • Widely considered by his peers to be one of the gutsiest stunt workers alive, Robinson
  • held a number of insane records, including the highest fall ever put on film.
  • He had somehow never suffered an on-set injury in his career, but that changed in the most
  • tragic fashion possible during the shooting of a routine motorcycle chase sequence.
  • Robinson went into a curve at a high speed on his Honda 600 dirt bike, losing control
  • and skidding off the road.
  • He was separated from the bike, thrown down an embankment and impaled by a sagebrush branch.
  • He was airlifted to a hospital, but his injuries ended up killing him.
  • John Jordan was among the most fearless camera operators who ever lived, having developed
  • his own perilous technique of getting the kind of aerial shots that simply shouldn't
  • have been possible.
  • Secured only by a harness, with his feet resting on the skid of a helicopter, he would lean
  • out into the blue to secure his amazing shots.
  • It was during the filming of one such aerial sequence for the James Bond film You Only
  • Live Twice that he came a little too close to one of his subjects, a Bell 47 helicopter.
  • One of its blades struck and almost removed his foot, which eventually had to be amputated.
  • But Jordan was undeterred, and he went right back to work doing what he did best.
  • This gung-ho attitude finally caught up with him in 1969 while shooting Catch-22.
  • Jordan was acting as second-unit director, shooting from the open door of a B25 bomber.
  • Once again, a passing aircraft got a little bit too close, but rather than making contact,
  • it created a freak gust of wind that threw the B25 off to one side.
  • Jordan lost his balance, got too close to the door, and was promptly sucked out.
  • He plummeted to his death 4,000 feet into the ocean.
  • While not a household name, director, actor, and stunt driver Toby Halicki won himself
  • a cult following in the 1970s by virtue of being preternaturally gifted at the art of
  • filming car chases and crashes.
  • His sophomore effort, 1974's Gone in 60 Seconds, is a prime example of this gift.
  • But during the filming of its 1989 sequel, Halicki met his end in a bizarre accident
  • that strangely had nothing to do with his insanely dangerous stunt work.
  • While filming in Tonawanda, New York, the crew was setting up to shoot the collapse
  • of a water tower for a scene that Tonawanda officials had tried mightily to prevent.
  • Halicki had been forced to take out an $8 million insurance policy in order to get them
  • to relent, and he had announced his plans to sue the city upon the film's completion.
  • But as it turned out, he probably should've paid more attention to their concerns.
  • The tower collapsed prematurely, causing an attached steel cable to snap.
  • The cable then knocked over a nearby telephone pole, which fell directly on top of Halicki.
  • He was treated by EMTs at the scene to no avail, and he was pronounced dead on arrival
  • at the local hospital.
  • Halicki's widow Denice served as an executive producer on the 2000 remake of Gone in 60
  • Seconds as a means of preserving her husband's legacy.
  • 2008's The Dark Knight featured some incredible stunt work in conjunction with spectacular,
  • and sometimes dangerous, practical effects.
  • Among the stunt performers working on the film was Conway Wickliffe, a 41-year-old veteran
  • of the industry.
  • While shooting a portion of the Tumbler/Batcycle chase sequence, Wickliffe was in the process
  • of capturing a fairly standard shot when tragedy struck.
  • He was filming a stunt car while hanging out the window of an SUV.
  • His vehicle's driver inexplicably veered off course, failing to follow his prescribed route
  • and instead plowing through a grassy area, a detour that ended with a crash into a tree.
  • Despite the fact that the SUV was only going about 20 miles per hour, Wickliffe sustained
  • injuries serious enough that he was pronounced dead at the scene.
  • His untimely demise was, unfortunately, a harbinger of things to come, as star Heath
  • Ledger died of an accidental drug overdose shortly before the film's release.
  • The shocking deaths of both men were memorialized in The Dark Knight's closing credits.
  • In 1978, residents of Lexington, Kentucky were thrilled to have a real Hollywood production
  • in town.
  • It was Steel, starring and produced by Lexington native Lee Majors.
  • The film's climax called for its villain to plummet from a skyscraper to his death, and
  • the city's Kincaid Towers, which were nearing completion, were just the ticket.
  • The fall was performed by 27-year old A.J.
  • Bakunas, who at one time held the record for the highest fall, and the scene had been completed
  • with Bakunas jumping from the ninth story into an airbag.
  • But then Bakunas got word that Dar Robinson had recently broken his record, causing him
  • to insist on shooting the scene again, making the jump from the top of the 323-foot tower
  • this time.
  • The on-set physician tried desperately to halt the attempt.
  • But Bakunas, intent on regaining his record, wouldn't change his mind.
  • He performed the fall, and struck the airbag squarely in the prescribed area, only to have
  • it rupture.
  • Amazingly, despite having just fallen hundreds of feet essentially onto concrete, Bakunas
  • initially clung to life.
  • But although his head and internal organs had escaped serious injury, his lungs had
  • taken too much damage.
  • He died the next day.
  • In February 2014, a 20-person film crew showed up for work on the biopic Midnight Rider,
  • the life story of rocker Gregg Allman.
  • Director Randall Miller had them shoot scenes on an active train track, assuring them that
  • it was in use only by two trains, both of which had already gone by.
  • In the unlikely event that another train appeared, they were told they'd have only sixty seconds
  • to clear the track.
  • That ended up being not nearly enough time, as a third train made an unexpected appearance
  • in the middle of the shoot.
  • The locomotive was traveling at a speed close to 60 miles per hour.
  • It struck a bed which had been affixed to the tracks, sending debris flying.
  • 27-year old camera operator Sarah Jones was somehow pushed into the path of the train,
  • which struck and killed her instantly.
  • Miller subsequently became the first filmmaker to be convicted on a criminal charge related
  • to events on a film set.
  • He pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to two years in prison,
  • with eight years of probation to follow, while Midnight Rider was canceled.

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Description

These actors, stunt workers, and crew members showed up for what they thought was just another day at work, only to lose their lives in some of the most bizarre ways imaginable.

Veteran English actor Oliver Reed died before finishing all of his scenes for Ridley Scott's 2000 epic Gladiator. This forced Scott to engage in some digital trickery with outtakes to depict the death of Reed's character, gladiator handler Proximo. But the circumstances surrounding Reed's death serve to illustrate two things about the man: he was every bit as tough as his onscreen persona suggested, and he was a bit too fond of liquor for his own good.

The film was shot on location in Malta, and on the night before he was to shoot his final scenes, Reed celebrated by dropping in on a local pub. He put down eight pints of lager before moving on to a dozen double shots of rum and half a bottle of whiskey. Then he proceeded to take on a crew of British Navy sailors in an arm-wrestling contest, defeating them all before finally preparing to retire for the night. But after decades of such behavior, Reed's body had finally had enough. He suffered a massive heart attack, and dropped dead on the spot. The pub where he died has come to be known as "Ollie's Last Pub." Fans the world over come through to browse its collection of memorabilia, have a pint or three, and pay tribute to one of the most legendary tough guys in film history.

The on-set accident that claimed the life of Brandon Lee, son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, is among the most famous in Hollywood history. But it's the details leading up to the event that make it truly eerie. The elder Lee was convinced that his family carried an ancient curse in the form of a demon who would pursue its male members relentlessly, which was a main plot point in the 1993 biopic Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story. One of its final scenes implies that the curse would carry over to Brandon. It was only a year after that film's release that the younger Lee met his shocking demise. Keep watching the video to see more about the lives tragically lost while filming a movie.

Oliver Reed | #
Brandon Lee | #
Vic Morrow | #
Roy Kinnear | #
Dar Robinson | #
John Jordan | #
Toby Halicki | #
Conway Wickliffe | #
A.J. Bakunas | #
Sarah Jones | #