10 Actors Who Passed Away While Shooting Movies

Check out this list of actors who sadly passed away during the production of movies.

Take a look at what occurred and how the movies they were working on eventually got finished.


1. Chris Farley

The hugely popular comedic actor passed away in 1997 at the age of 33 and had been working on the movie Shrek for over a year at that point.

In fact, Farley had already completed 80-90% of his lines at that point. The producers decided to bring in fellow Saturday Night Live alum Mike Myers to take over the part.


2. Heath Ledger

Ledger was 28-years-old when he passed away from an overdose in 2008. he was filming Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus at the time.

In order to finish the film, Gilliam enlisted actors Jude Law, Johnny Depp, and Colin Farrell to play Ledger’s part in various dream world sequences.


3. Paul Walker

Paul Walker passed away in a car accident in 2013 at the age of 40 while he was involved in the making of another The Fast and the Furious sequel.

A judgment was made to use all of Walker’s footage from all the movies in the series to make a CGI version of the actor. Walker’s two brothers were also employed to stand in for some scenes and the actor’s face was imposed over theirs using CGI and they read his lines to finish Furious 7.


4. Don Rickles

The comedian passed away in 2017 at the age of 90 and was believed to reprise his role in Toy Story 4.

The producers chose to use all the dialogue Rickles had recorded for the last three Toy Story films and all the associated things that went along with it to have his Mr. Potato Head in the fourth movie in the series.


5. Phillip Seymour Hoffman

Hoffman passed away from a drug overdose in 2014 while making The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.

Hoffman had already recorded a lot of scenes for the movie so it was decided that his role would be scaled back for the finished product and this had changing the ending of the movie.


6. Jean Harlow

Harlow was an early Hollywood star who passed away at the age of 26 in 1937.

She was making a movie called Saratoga at the time and, since her fans had complained when word got out that her role might be recast, producers chose to use body doubles to complete the film.

An actress named Paula Winslowe was got in to impersonate Harlow’s voice for some scenes.


7. Bruce Lee

The martial arts star passed away in 1973 at his peak at the age of 32.

The year before, Lee had started filming a movie called Game of Death but left that production to star in the movie that ultimately made him a superstar, Enter the Dragon.

Lee passed away 6 days before Enter the Dragon was released and the producers of Game of Death were determined to complete the film because he had become a sensation world over.

Game of Death was eventually finished in 1978 using various stand-ins for Lee.


8. Vic Morrow

Vic Morrow passed away on the set of Twilight Zone: The Movie in 1982 when a stunt went wrong. Two young children also passed away in the accident.

In order to complete the film, director John Landis chose to make that segment of the movie with Morrow shorter so the movie could still be released.


9. Carrie Fisher

The famous actress who will forever be known as Princess Leia passed away at the age of 60 in 2016.

Carrie Fisher had reprised her famous role for Episodes 7 and 8 in the Star Wars series and director J.J. Abrams wanted her to have a role in Episode 9.

Abrams used unused footage from The Force Awakens to make new scenes in order to have Fisher in Episode 9.


10. Brandon Lee

Brandon Lee, son of Bruce, also met a tragic ending when he was accidentally shot on the set of The Crow in 1993. Brandon Lee was only 28-years-old and this was the movie that would ultimately make him a prominent movie star.

Paramount was originally making the movie but Miramax chose to pour $8 million into The Crow to complete the project using CGI and a stunt double.

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