We often think our lives are drastically different from those of celebrities, but we are all similar in that we all pay taxes and die. Some of these Hollywood stars died suddenly, right smack dab in the middle of filming a movie. Let’s take a look at some of our favorite late celebrities and how their deaths impacted filming.
There have been many celebrity deaths that have taken fans by surprise, many of which also sent directors and film crews scrambling. Many actors have passed away in the middle of a film project and there were tough decisions to make on completing the movie.
A few movies were scrapped when their star died suddenly, while others had a sibling fill in to complete the movie and pay homage to the late star.
Here is our little list of actors that died during production of a movie:
We won’t even lie…Heath Ledger’s death hit us hard. It goes to show you that you don’t have to be close to someone to mourn their passing. Heath died in 2008 during filming of “The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus”, which was not even halfway finished when he died.
The Australian actor died of an accidental drug overdose in January 2008 at the age of 28 in NYC. Many believed the intensity of his role as the Joker in the Batman film “The Dark Knight” led to use of prescription drugs. He had six drugs in his system at his time of death – oxycodone, hydrocodone, Valium, and Zanax.
The movie “The Dark Knight” was not released until after his death. The role is one of his most memorable.
Legendary screen siren Marilyn Monroe is still one of the most beloved stars to this day. Marilyn died suddenly in 1962 while she was in the middle of filming scenes for the movie, “Something’s Got to Give.” The movie was never finished, but segments from the film have been used in documentaries on her life.
Fans were shocked and devastated when “Fast and Furious” star, Paul Walker, tragically died in 2013 in a freak car crash. The actor was filming “Fast 7” at the time of his passing, but he had already finished most of his action scenes. The movie continued and his brothers, Caleb and Cody, actually filled in for him.
The box office hit paid tribute to the actor with his final movie:
River Phoenix was such a popular actor in the 1980s, playing some very interesting characters. The actor was busy filming “Dark Blood” when he was found unconscious outside of The Viper Room in 1993. Phoenix died from a drug-induced cardiac arrest at the tender age of 23. The cause of River’s death was ruled as “acute multiple drug intoxication”, including cocaine and morphine.
Martial artist and actor Bruce Lee died in 1973, just after filming the movie “Enter the Dragon.” Lee was set to film the movie “Game of Death”, but never completed the flick. Lee had been suffering with seizures and headaches and was rushed to Hong Kong Baptist Hospital, where he was diagnosed with cerebral edema.
He was given medication to reduce the swelling, but the issues later returned on the day of his death. Footage of Lee’s actual funeral were used in the move “Game of Death.”
Brandon Lee tragically died in a freak accident, passing away while in the middle of a movie project just like his father Bruce Lee.
Brandon was on the set of the cult classic, “The Crow”, when he was accidentally shot with a gun that was believed to simply be a prop gun. Lee was only 28-years-old.
Many fans wondered if there was some strange conspiracy surrounding the death of both Bruce and Brandon, while some stated it was simply a strange coincidence. Either way, both father and son passed away way too soon.
Fans were just crushed when singer Aaliyah died in a plane crash in 2001 at the young age of 22. The singer and actress was killed in a plane crash in the Bahamas after filming her music video for “Rock The Boat.” The plane crashed shortly after takeoff and exploded.
At the time of her death, she had been filming the vampire movie, “Queen of the Damned.” The movie was still released and her brother, Rashad, assisted in re-dubbing some of her lines.