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Seven Bizarre TV and Film Set Deaths

These seven famous actors died on the job.

Seven actors who died in bizarre ways while on TV or movie film sets listed in no particular order.

  1. Steve Irwin

    Image via Wikipedia

    Steve Irwin was known as The Crocodile Hunter and starred in his own TV show with the same name. Famous for getting really close to dangerous creatures like crocodiles, poisonous snakes and sharks, Irwin was killed in 2006 while filming an episode for his daughter Bindi’s TV show by a stingray. Stingray’s have a spine in their tail which they will force upward and release to sting and ward off threats. Rarely do stingrays kill people but on September 4, 2006, Irwin was swimming right above a stingray while the cameraman was filming directly in front. The stingray felt boxed in and forced the spine in its tail upwards and it went right into Irwin’s heart. Irwin instinctively grabbed the spine and removed it from his chest and promptly died. A month later a Florida man had the same thing happen to him and he left the spine in his chest to be removed by doctors and survived. If Irwin had left the spine in his chest he may have survived as the removal apparently tore arteries and blood vessels causing a fatal heart attack.

  2. Gareth Jones


    Source (Underground the play was about nuclear holocaust survivors living underground)

    While acting in the live UK television broadcast of the Armchair Theatre play Underground in 1958, Gareth Jones suffered a massive heart attack between scenes while in makeup and died. The Director of the play, William Kotchoff, who would go on to direct 18 feature films including Rambo: First Blood starring Sylvestor Stallone, was forced to improvise with the cast to continue and finish the live broadcast. In a strange twist of fate, the character Gareth Jones was playing was to suffer a heart attack during the play. Some might say Jones took character acting to a different level.

  3. Jon-Erik Hexum

    Hexum was one of the lead actors of the television series, Cover Up. In 1984 during a break in filming a scene which called for Hexum’s character to replace a loaded gun with blanks, Hexum was fooling around and put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger. The gun was loaded with blanks but Hexum did not realize that blanks use paper or plastic wadding to seal gun powder into the shell and that this wadding is propelled out of the barrel of the gun with enough force to cause severe injury or death if the weapon is fired within a few inches of the body. The paper wadding from the blank did not penetrate Hexum’s skull but struck his forehead with enough force to shatter a quarter-sized piece of his skull and propel the pieces into his brain causing massive hemorrhaging. Hexum was rushed to the hospital and underwent immediate surgery but the damage was too severe and six days later he was declared brain dead and taken off life support once his vital organs were removed for transplants by order of his mother. His heart saved the life of a Las Vegas escort agency owner.

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  1. papaleng

    On April 5, 2009 at 9:43 am


    a very nice article, I haven’t known some of them but Vic Morrow and Steve Irwin yes.

  2. Evelyn Moore

    On April 5, 2009 at 10:33 am


    Interesting read – thanks

  3. Kate Smedley

    On April 6, 2009 at 7:19 am


    Very interesting and fascinating, I’d only heard of Steve Irwin.

  4. Allana Calhoun

    On April 6, 2009 at 3:28 pm


    Your knowledge of unusual deaths is quite intriguing. Keep em coming. :-)

  5. Lauren Axelrod

    On April 6, 2009 at 5:04 pm


    Wow, these are really sad.

  6. Chip

    On June 29, 2009 at 12:05 am


    And Brandon Lee also.

  7. Suzie Stephens

    On July 26, 2009 at 11:32 am


    Wow, great website! Thank you. I only knew of Vic Morrow, John Ritter, and Steve Irwin, but it’s very interesting reading about showbiz people.
    Incidently, I live in Delray Beach, FL, and my husband and I were on
    the beach yesterday. A stingray, two feet in diameter, swam within a couple of feet of us in about two feet of water. I immediately thought about Steve Irwin. Shame, stingrays will swim away from you unless they do feel threatened. Mr. Irwin should have known that.

  8. Donnie Motes

    On April 14, 2012 at 9:23 pm


    What about Brandon Lee, who died filming The Crowe? That one should definately been listed on here.

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