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Actors Who Died During Movie Productions – Tragic Stories on Set and Behind the Scenes

Camila Santiago
Sep 18, 2021
10:00 A.M.
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These talented movie stars passed away while shooting movies, but the producers found ways to create tributes to most of them. Let’s see the last movies of these actors who will always remain in our hearts.

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Film production can be a dangerous thing to do. Sometimes, getting the perfect shot may pull off very risky stunts that can go deadly wrong. Even if plenty of precaution is in place, some tragic stories of actors who died during a movie production still happen.

Here’s the list of incredibly talented actors who lost their lives while being part of movie production and couldn’t finish their current projects.

Actors lost their lives during movie productions and couldn't finish their project. | Source: Getty Images

Actors lost their lives during movie productions and couldn't finish their project. | Source: Getty Images

HEATH LEDGER

Australian actor Heath Ledger arriving for the 78th Academy Awards at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood in 2006. | Source: Getty Images

Australian actor Heath Ledger arriving for the 78th Academy Awards at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood in 2006. | Source: Getty Images

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The Dark Night

actor

Heath Ledger left us before he could enjoy his critically acclaimed performance as the Joker. He died from a prescription drug overdose six months before the movie arrived in the theaters.

Ledger passed away in January 2008, during the filming of the fantasy movie “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,” directed by Terry Gilliam, in which he played the main role.

To complete the film, Gilliam made Ledger’s character changed up appearance and did so with the help of Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Collin Farrell.

BRANDON LEE

Brandon Lee (Bruce Lee's son) in Los Angeles, California, circa 1992. | Source: Getty Image

Brandon Lee (Bruce Lee's son) in Los Angeles, California, circa 1992. | Source: Getty Image

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Bruce Lee’s son and The Crown’s main character died tragically during the movie’s production mistake, in which the crew left a real bullet in the gun fired at the actor during a scene.

Miramax took over the movie production and added $8 million in the budget to finish the movie. Lee’s remaining scenes were done with the help of a stunt double. Brandon Lee was just 28 years old.

PAUL WALKER

 Paul Walker attends The 2003 MTV Movie Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on May 31, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Paul Walker attends The 2003 MTV Movie Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on May 31, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

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Paul Walker was one of the main characters at the Fast and Furious franchise from the very beginning. The actor lost his life at 40 in a fatal car crash in the middle of the 7th sequel.

After mourning Walker’s death, the producers worked out a way to finish the movie without him. They used Paul Walker’s brothers as stand-ins in some scenes with a combination of CGI technology and camera tricking.

MARYLIN MONROE

Actress Marilyn Monroe poses for a portrait in circa 1952. | Source: Getty Images

Actress Marilyn Monroe poses for a portrait in circa 1952. | Source: Getty Images

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One of the most iconic movie stars of all time also died during film production. The “The Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and “The Seven Year Itch” star died of a barbiturate overdose, a sleep-induced drug.

The movie, “Somethings Got To Give” was never completed but the footage was pieced together for a later documentary called “Marylin: Somethings Got To Give.”

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN

Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman from the film "The Savages" poses in the portrait studio during AFI FEST 2007 presented by Audi held at ArcLight Cinemas on November 9, 2007 in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman from the film "The Savages" poses in the portrait studio during AFI FEST 2007 presented by Audi held at ArcLight Cinemas on November 9, 2007 in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

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When the highly respect Hollywood actor and Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman passed at 46, he was in the middle of filming the final sequel of the Hunger Game franchise.

After decades of sobriety, Hoffman suffered a collapse and had a fatal drug overdose. Instead of faking Hoffman’s character Plutarch Heavensbee with CGI tech, the producers decided to scale back his role and finish the movie.

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