15 Great Movie Scenes That Nearly Killed Actors

It’s not all million dollar paychecks and adoring fans…

John Quigley


Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

Making films is inherently a dangerous job: you’re surrounded by thousands of watts of electricity, lots of wires, and in the case of many films, special effects. You’re also putting your life in the hands of strangers who might not even speak the same language as you if you’re relegated to Direct-to-DVD movies, and if you’re looking for that extra profile boost, you probably insist on doing “all” of your own stunts (but obviously not the really hard ones.)

Many actors, like Meryl Streep will probably never encounter a near-death experience on set, but if you’re a Sylvester Stallone or a Jackie Chan, maybe it’s a good idea to just be that little bit more aware of your surroundings, because there’s a good chance any number of on-set things could cause you harm. And judging by past incidences, real threats to life can and do happen.

Surprisingly, most of these occurrences seem to be in the past 20 or 30 years and not, as you would expect, the 1950s or 60s when there was less concern about health and safety restrictions. With technology improving, it seems that people might just be forgetting safety entirely or wilfully overlooking it to make more dangerous stunts in the hope of greater potential returns.

Everyone knows the stories of actors who’ve actually died whilst making films, like Brandon Lee or Vic Morrow, but this article isn’t about that. Instead we’re looking at the actors who almost died creating memorable movie scenes, and what the consequences were…