Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Sort by: Showing 14 items
Rating: List Type:
Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, AKA Molière, is known to be one of the greatest playwrights and satirists in French history. Also look at his hair, that shit was luxurious as hell. He was so popular that even Louis XIV wanted to hang out with him:
He wasn't so lucky though when he collapsed and died on February 17, 1673. Moliere had suffered from tuberculosis ever since he was a young man, when they put him in jail for monetary debt (that's right, there was an asshole IRS back then too). But he didn't let his lethal illness get in his way. Moliere loved to write, and perform too and he was onstage playing the title character in his play The Imaginary Invalid, ironically about a hypochondriac (someone who is preoccupied with the fear of having an illness).
Although he began coughing up blood from an internal hemorrhage during the performance, Moliere bravely decided that the show must go on and he perished shortly after he completed his theatrical gig. He died without receiving the last rites, and was buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery.
Johnny had a .22 pistol that he loved, and he used to shoot roadside signs for fun and play around with it like a kid with a toy. Although widely reported that he died from playing Russian Roulette, the real story as told by Curtis Tillman is this: "I will tell you exactly what happened! Johnny Ace had been drinking and he had this little pistol he was waving around the table and someone said ‘Be careful with that thing…’ and he said ‘It’s okay! Gun’s not loaded…see?’ and pointed it at himself with a smile on his face and ‘Bang!’ – sad, sad thing. Big Mama ran outta that dressing room yelling ‘Johnny Ace just killed himself!"
It's kinda funny looking at the prophetic names of his songs, like Please Forgive Me, I'm So Crazy Baby, Trouble and Me, Never Let Me Go and Aces Wild.
Handsome matinee idol Tyrone Power died in Madrid on the set of the biblical epic Solomon and Sheba in November 15, 1958.
The dashing swashbuckler was filming a swordfighting scene, with heavy swords that weighed at least 15 pounds. Finally Ty got fed up and left, yelling, "If you can't find anything there you can use, just use the close-ups of me. I've had it!" He was shaking all over and told a cameraman he felt "cold" and "hurt all over," so he went to lie down. Ty had a heart attack and died while being loaded into an ambulance. He was replaced in the film by Yul Brynner.
Singer and actor Nelson Eddy got a cerebral hemorrhage from a stroke while performing onstage on Miami in March 6, 1967.
"Oh, I can't talk! I can't see!" he barely gasped to the audience, as he collapsed and toppled the microphone. Like his movie roles, his death was pretty damn dramatic too.
Legendary martial arts superstar Bruce "badass" Lee was working on his iconic classic Enter The Dragon when he passed out and died on 10 May 1973.
The charismatic and personable Bruce was not the type of dude who relied on hard drugs to get him through rough days, but on this particular occasion he'd taken a malignant mix of painkillers given to him by a friend.
Bruce began having seizures and headaches in a Hong Kong studio while dubbing over voice work for the film, and it was diagnosed as cerebral edema. He went to lie down for a brief nap, but when Raymond Chow went upstairs to wake up him up, Bruce had already perished. His brain had swollen up 13% times it's normal size from the drug Equagesic. Bruce left behind his wife Linda and kids Sharon and Brandon (who'd later meet a similarly tragic fate). His funeral was attended by bigwigs like Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Chuck Norris and George Lazenby.
Bruce was only 32 and became mega famous after the post mortem release of Enter The Dragon, which sadly propelled a dead man to stardom.
Severin Severin's rating:
In a now infamous accident, Vic met his demise on July 23, 1982 on the set of the Twilight Zone movie. He and two young children were killed in a tragic helicopter accident.
The technician fudged up the pyrotechnics, which caused the low flying helicopter to spin completely out of control and crash. In a gory twist of fate, Vic was instantly decapitated and mutilated by the helicopter's twirling blades.
A 6'4, 210 pound lumbering giant of a magician and funnyman, Tommy Cooper was a well known TV variety star and member of the Magic Circle when he met his end on 15 April 1984. He died during a live filming of the show Live From Her Majesty's, in front of a large studio audience.
When he fell onto the stage, the audience thought it was part of the joke and started laughing, but when he didn't get up they all knew something was wrong. Tommy had just died of a heart attack, and they pulled him back through the curtains and sent him to a hospital, but he was declared dead on arrival.
Super handsome (like literally I cannot find a bad picture of this guy), up and comer Jon-Erik Hexum had just started building up his promising career after being cast as a CIA agent on the CBS show Cover Up. Instead, through crass carelessness Jon-Erik ended up dead on October 18, 1984, 6 days after he accidentally shot himself during an impromptu game of Russian Routlette.
He was sitting around on set, waiting for filming, when he began playing around with a .44, loaded with all but two blanks. Jon-Erik smiled and put the gun to his temple, saying "Let's see if I got myself with this one." Despite the fact that it was only a blank, the bullet pushed back a quarter size piece of his skull into his brain and it became lodged there.
According to a witness, "Jon smiled and pulled the trigger. There was a loud bang and a bright flash, then black smoke. Jon screamed in agony, then looked kind of amazed as he slumped back onto the bed with blood streaming from a severe head wound. It was horrible." Another witness said, "One of the assistants rushed over to Jon with a towel and wrapped it around his head, trying to stop the blood."
Doctors did surgery for 5 hours, but it was of no matter. Jon-Erik was brain dead, so they donated his kidney and skin to critically ill people. He was taken off life support afterwards.The poor Greek god looking dude was only 26.
Severin Severin's rating:
The classically trained Russian theater actor and star of Soviet film died in Lativa during a performance of Mozart's Marriage of Figaro. He played, of course, Figaro.
Andrei died of excessive internal bleeding caused by a ruptured cerebral aneurysm (when a blood vessel in the brain dilates) on 16 August 1987 .
Foul mouthed comedy great and star of Sanford and Son, Redd Foxx influenced everyone from Richard Pryor to Eddie Murphy to Bill Cosby, or pretty much any famous black comedian out there. He was fantastic at making people laugh, in fact, even when died everyone was laughing and though it was a joke.
On October 11, 1991 during a break from rehearsals, Redd got a heart attack. It was messed up irony because his sitcom character Fred Sanford always used to pretend to have heart attacks on the show, so that's why everyone thought it was a joke. Della Reed prayed and begged over him, "Don’t die, Redd! Don’t die!" as he was rushed to the emergency room, but he kicked the bucket at the ripe old age of 68.
As the son of an icon, Brandon was inspired to not just stay in his father Bruce's shadow, but to go out and make his own fame and fortune.
He was 6 feet tall with mad martial arts skills and exotic good looks and was bound to become a star with the release of the dark action film, The Crow. Brandon was on the brink of glory- but then he suffered the same heartbreaking fate as his dad.
On March 31, 1993, during filming, some idiot had loaded a gun that was supposed to be filled with blanks with a real bullet, which caused a squib load. When Brandon was shot he was rushed to the hospital and underwent 6 hours of surgery, but died anyways.
The Crow was released a year later and was a smash hit.
Severin Severin's rating:
WWF wrestler Owen Hart (brother of the more famous Bret) died on May 23, 1999 when he fell to his death in Kansas during an Over The Edge (literally) pay-per-view event. He was suspended 78 feet over the arena on a faulty harness and he fell chest first right onto the top rope of the ring.
It was all captured on live TV, and Owen died of internal bleeding at the premature age of 32.
He was the ballsy and unapologetic guitarist of the essential white trash metal band Pantera, and a natural at his craft. He'd started playing guitar since the age of 13 and was damn good at it. Dimebag Darrell formed Pantera with his brother and a few buddies in 1981, and they developed a strong army of dedicated fans. So that's why it's understandable that people were upset that they broke up, but one paranoid schizophrenic, Nathan Gale, was more angry than the rest. Plus he heard voices in his head telling him that Pantera "stole his ideas." Okay there...
On December 8, 2004, Darell was playing onstage in Columbus, Ohio with his new band Damageplan. Nathan went nuts and shot 10 people, starting with shooting Darrell 3 times. In total, Nathan murdered 4 people and injured 7 before police shot him in the face and put him out for good. Darrell died the second that 3rd bullet hit him, but his musical legacy lives on forever.
Severin Severin's rating:
The kind and lovable Australian wildlife expert, known by the affectionate moniker "The Crocodile Hunter," was famous for his love of wildlife and animals, and his environmental conservation efforts. Actually not everyone loved him so much. The son of Jacques Costeau said about him, "it was no shock at all that Steve Irwin should die provoking a dangerous animal" and "You don't touch nature, you just look at it."
Well Steve wasn't known for having a lot of discretion, and on September 4, 2006, while snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, nature reared it's ugly head. In a defensive response to him filming some scenes for his daughter Bindi's TV show, a stingray leaped up and stabbed him in the chest and shish ka bobbed him. Crew members rushed him to shore and administered CPR, but Steve was already dead. I wondered if his last words were "Crikey!" Anyways all of Australia mourned his death and even the kangaroos had a moment of solemn silence.
Severin Severin's rating:
Unlucky thespians who kicked the bucket/ fell deathly ill while doing what they do best.
People who voted for this also voted for
The 101 Most Controversial Films of All-Time
My 2012 movie year in review
Movies That Appear On A Lot Of Listal Lists
Top directors who ascended in the past 20 years
1 Day, 1 Movie
Listal's 100 best Bands
Amazing photos by Diane Arbus
Premature Deaths (Actors and Actresses)
Most Extreme Movie Performances
50 Most Depressing Happy Endings
Color Blind Celebrities
scary bitches: 10 alluring horror heroines
A Few Unpleasant and Distasteful Historical Facts
Pharaohs and Pyramids: Ancient Egypt On Film