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Killed on set: Round-up of famous Hollywood tragedies over the years


Oct 23, 2021

With cinematographer Halyna Hutchins killed and movie director Joel Souza wounded after actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun during filming, we look at other deadly movie accidents.

ALSO READ: James Gunn leads tributes to cinematographer Halyna Hutchins


Gun-related deaths go back to the dawn of cinema with extra Charles Chandler shot in the head in 1915 while filming the Cecil B DeMille movie The Captive.

He died after a bullet was left in a rifle after soldiers shot at a door with live ammunition to give the scene more realism.

There is some beautiful #cinematography in Cecil B. DeMille’s thought-to-be-lost 1915 drama The Captive #SilentFilm pic.twitter.com/yK2XcYdEV3

— Olive Films (@olivefilms) August 2, 2016


Actor Vic Morrow was decapitated and two Vietnamese-born child extras killed in 1982 when a helicopter crashed on them after being hit by pyrotechnics during the shooting of a night battle scene for the sci-fi horror movie near Los Angeles.

Director John Landis was later acquitted of the manslaughter of the 53-year-old star as well as the children, aged six and seven, in the first such case in Hollywood history.

This could have so easily been Jensen who was shot, considering his role in the film. This is horrible. Tragic. Movie set mishaps/fatalities don’t happen that often–Twilight Zone, The Crow, Greg Allman biopic with train accident–but when they do, the repercussions are seismic. https://t.co/W6Ra5sbEl9

— Ackles and Antiques! (@handsyj2) October 22, 2021


US actor Brandon Lee, a martial arts legend and the son of Bruce Lee, was shot and killed on the set of The Crow in 1993 in a case that set off a whirl of conspiracy theories about him being murdered by Hong Kong gangsters. 

But investigators found his death was caused by negligence. An actor fired at Lee with a gun which was supposed to contain blanks. However, there was a bullet in the chamber and Lee, 28, died hours later from his injuries. 

We watched The Crow last night, so we decided to go pay our respects to Brandon Lee’s grave today pic.twitter.com/ytzZmTaPqd

— goth lesbian re-l (@cyb3rfemme) October 21, 2021


Rumours of a “Curse of Batman” circulated after the 2007 death of stuntman Conway Wickliffe during a car scene of The Dark Knight was followed by the drugs overdose of Heath Ledger, 28, who played The Joker.

Co-star Morgan Freeman was badly injured in a car crash and Batman himself Christian Bale faced accusations of assaulting his mother and sister the day before the film’s UK premiere.

The Dark Knight (2008 dir. Christopher Nolan) (Cinematographer: Wally Pfister) pic.twitter.com/FntaCaBEDI

— Ebru Yıldırım (@Ebruyldrm_88) October 21, 2021


A set dresser was killed on the Samuel L. Jackson sci-fi movie in 2008 when frozen sand, earth and ice from an exterior set collapsed onto staff below during shooting in Toronto.

David Ritchie, 56, died instantly.

ALSO READ: Actor Alec Baldwin fatally shoots woman with prop gun on film set

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