20 Films and TV Shows in Which Stunt Actors Died During Production
Stunt actors are the backbone of action movies, bringing thrills, danger, and drama to a film or television series.
However, we can forget that while we’re seeing these stunts unfold on television, the danger is very real, and the worst can happen on set.
While stunt actors are highly trained and talented in order to avoid injury, sad mishaps have occurred in which artists have died while on the job.
Here are 20 movies and TV shows in which stunt actors died.
Harry O’Connor was a Navy SEAL before working as a stunt performer and skydiver in the stunt industry, and he was hired as Vin Diesel’s stunt double on the set of xXx.
The 45-year-old broke his neck after colliding with a structure of the Palacky Bridge while filming a paragliding scene in Prague. He died as a result of his injuries.
“We had 500 stuntmen involved with this production; 499 didn’t get a scratch,” stated director Rob Cohen subsequently. It demonstrates the extremes to which we will go to provide the audience with such an emotional experience. Stuntmen are well aware that they are in danger. They make a living by putting themselves in risk. It’s fine the majority of the time. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.”
The deadly tragedy happened on O’Connor’s second attempt at the stunt; his first attempt had gone well and was featured in the 2002 film.
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Art Scholl, a well-known stunt pilot, died in 1985 while filming scenes for the Tom Cruise film Top Gun.
Scholl was executing an upside-down spin in a camera-equipped aerobatic biplane when the Pitts S-2 plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean after Scholl was heard on the radio saying, “I have a problem; I have a major problem.”
Scholl’s body, as well as his plane, were never found. He was 53 years old at the time.
A.J. Bakunas, who played George Kennedy’s stunt double in the 1979 film Steel, was resolved to reclaim the record held by Dar Robinson (see below) by falling from the 22nd storey of a construction site.
Bakunas successfully filmed Kennedy’s character’s death. This is a condensed version of the information.