accidents Entertainers Who Died While Performing

587k views 60 items Embed

While all premature celebrity deaths are shocking, some of the most startling are those when an entertainer dies on stage during an actual performance. Actor Brandon Lee was famously mortally wounded by a prop gun while filming The Crow. Entertainer Carmen Miranda famously had a small heart attack while recording a dance segment for a variety show and was found dead lying on the floor the next morning. Popular actors and comedians John Candy and John Ritter both had heart attacks while on-set and died just hours later. And, of course, everyone remembers when Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin was killed by a stingray while filming a snorkeling segment.  

This list contains anyone who worked as a professional entertaining on stage, on radio, in film or television or elsewhere, who died while engaged in a performance, in any way. Though the majority of these entertainers suffered an injury or illness mid-performance, and died of natural causes, some were actually killed or were involved in some kind of tragic accident. Those involved in these strange incidents include "Dimebag" Darrell of the metal band Pantera, who was murdered by a gunman while performing in Ohio, or actor Vic Morrow, who memorably was killed on the set of the Twilight Zone film while shooting a scene set in the Vietnam War. Though the list includes performers of all kinds, it does not include stuntmen or those whose performances involved potentially life-threatening situations.

John Ritter is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
John Ritter Died at 55 (1948-2003) - John Ritter died on September 11, 2003, after he fell ill on the set of his show "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter." He was rushed to the hospital where he was misdiagnosed with a heart attack. He was later ...

16 Celebrities Whose Children Committed Suicide The Druggiest Rock Stars of All Time

Steve Irwin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Steve Irwin Died at 44 (1962-2006) - "The Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin died on Sept. 4, 2006 after being attacked by a stingray while filming shots for "Bindi the Jungle Girl." The stingray reportedly reacted to Irwin as if he were an attacking shark ...

Carmen Miranda is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Carmen Miranda Died at 46 (1909-1955) - On August 4, 1955, Carmen Miranda collapsed while performing on "The Jimmy Durante Show." She regained her composure and finished the performance, but she suffered a fatal heart attack the following morning.

John Candy is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
John Candy Died at 44 (1950-1994) - John Candy died of a heart attack on March 4, 1994 while on location in Mexico filming "Wagons East!." He was 43 years old.

Brandon Lee is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Brandon Lee Died at 28 (1965-1993) - Brandon Lee died on March 31, 1993 after being accidentally shot on the set of "The Crow." A prop gun was not properly secured, causing the fatal accident. He was 28 years old.

Redd Foxx is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Redd Foxx Died at 69 (1922-1991) - Redd Foxx died on October 11, 1991 after suffering a heart attack on the set of "The Royal Family." When he first grabbed his chest, several members of the cast and crew thought that he was joking, performing the gag that he ...

Sib Hashian is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Sib Hashian 67 - Sib Hashian, former drummer for the band Boston, died on March 22, 2017, at the age of 67. He was performing at sea as part of the Legends of Rock Cruise when he suddenly collapsed. Efforts to perform CPR and use of a defibrillator ...

Vic Morrow is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Vic Morrow Died at 53 (1929-1982) - Vic Morrow died on July 23, 1982 after a helicopter crashed on him and two child actors while filming "Twilight Zone: The Movie." He was decapitated by the helicopter rotor.

Nick Menza is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Nick Menza 51 - Former Megadeath drummer Nick Menza died on stage in 2016. The 51-year-old was performing in Los Angeles with his progressive jazz trio when he suddenly collapsed. Audience members delivered CPR, but could not revive him. It is ...

Ranker Video v
Jane Little Bass player Jane Little played with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for 71 years. She died performing onstage when she was 87 years old. Little first started with the orchestra for free when she was 16 years old. Over the years, she ...

Irma Bule is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Irma Bule Indonesian singer Irma Bule died after using a cobra as a prop during a performance in Karawang, West Java. Bule, who sang a type of Indonesian folk music called Dangdut, routinely used snakes in her performances. According to ...

Raphael Schumacher is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Raphael Schumacher In 2016, actor Raphael Schumacher was performing a hanging scene in the courtyard of Pisa's Teatro Lux when a spectator noticed that he was actually being choked to death. The spectator was a medial graduate and saw that Schumacher ...

Owen Hart is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Owen Hart Died at 34 (1965-1999) - Professional wrestler Owen Hart died on May 23, 1999 after falling to his death when a stunt went wrong during a pay-per-view event. He died because of internal bleeding as a result of his injuries.

Marty Feldman is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Marty Feldman Died at 48 (1934-1982) - Marty Feldman died of a heart attack on December 2, 1982 while on location in Mexico filming "Yellowbeard." He was 48 years old.

Dimebag Darrell is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Dimebag Darrell Died at 38 (1966-2004) - Pantera musician Dimebag Darrell was shot and killed on Dec. 8, 2004 during a performance with his band Damageplan. The gunman Nathan Gale did not give any reason for the shooting, but it is suspected that he was angry that Pantera ...

50+ Celebrities Who Have Almost Died 25 Celebrities Who Quit Being Famous

Ranker Video v
Sam Patch Died at 22 (1807-1829) - Daredevil Sam Patch died on November 13, 1829 while attempting to jump into the Genesee River from 125 above the surface. He either fell or had a bad jump and never emerged from the water. His body was found the following spring.

Felix Mottl is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Felix Mottl Died at 55 (1856-1911) - Felix Mottl suffered a heart attack while conducting a performance of "Tristan" in Munich on June 21, 1911. He went to the hospital, but died less than two weeks later.

Alexander Woollcott is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Alexander Woollcott Died at 56 (1887-1943) - Alexander Woollcott died after suffering a heart attack while appearing on a Writers' War Board panel on CBS Radio on January 23, 1943. His last broadcasted words were, "It's a fallacy to think that Hitler was the cause of the ...

Albert Stoessel is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Albert Stoessel Died at 49 (1894-1943) - Albert Stoessel died on May 12, 1943 after suffering a heart attack while conducting an orchestra for the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York. He was 48 years old.

Simon Barere is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Simon Barere Died at 55 (1896-1951) - Simon Barere died on April 2, 1951 after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage while performing Grieg's Piano Concerto at Carnegie Hall. He died collapsed on stage and died backstage shortly after.

Johnny Ace is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Johnny Ace Died at 25 (1929-1954) - Musician Johnny Ace died during a set break of a performance at City Auditorium in Houston, Texas on Dec. 25, 1954. He died of an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound in a drunken accident.

Tyrone Power is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Tyrone Power Died at 44 (1914-1958) - Tyrone Power died on Nov. 15, 1958 after suffering a heart attack while filming "Solomon and Sheba." Yul Brynner replaced Power in the film.

Gareth Jones is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Gareth Jones 61 - Gareth Jones died on Nov. 30, 1958 during a break while filming "Underground" on the ITV network. He suffered a fatal heart attack.

Louis Jean Heydt is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Louis Jean Heydt Died at 57 (1903-1960) - Louis Jean Heydt died on Jan. 29, 1960, after suffering a heart attack while performing "There Was a Little Girl" in Boston. Jane Fonda co-starred in the play, which was set to appear on Broadway.

Leonard Warren is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Leonard Warren Died at 49 (1911-1960) - On March 4, 1960, Leonard Warren died on stage during a performance of "La forza del destin." He died of a massive cerebral hemorrhage.

Alan Marshal is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Alan Marshal Died at 52 (1909-1961) - Alan Marshal died on July 13, 1961 after suffering a heart attack while performing in the play "Sextette" in Chicago. Mae West starred in the production.

Nelson Eddy is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Nelson Eddy Died at 66 (1901-1967) - Nelson Eddy died on March 6, 1967 of a cerebral hemorrhage. He was performing at the Sans Souci Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida at the time of the incident and died a few hours later.

Joseph Keilberth is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Joseph Keilberth Died at 60 (1908-1968) - Joseph Keilberth died on July 20, 1968 while performing "Tristan und Isolde" in Munich. Fellow conductor Felix Mottl died in the same location decades earlier.

Kenneth Horne is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Kenneth Horne Died at 62 (1907-1969) - Kenneth Horne died on February 14, 1969 after suffering a heart attack while hosting the annual Guild of Television Producers' and Directors' Awards in London.

31 Famous People Who Died on Their Birthdays Fun Jobs That Pay Well

David Burns is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
David Burns Died at 69 (1902-1971) - David Burns died on March 12, 1971 after suffering a heart attack during an audition for the musical "70, Girls, 70."

Jerome Rodale is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Jerome Rodale Writer Jerome Rodale died after suffering a heart attack on June 8, 1971 during an appearance of "The Dick Cavett Show." The episode never aired, but during his segment Rodale said, "I'm in such good health that I fell ...

Leslie Harvey is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Leslie Harvey Died at 28 (1944-1972) - Stone the Crows guitarist Les Harvey died on May 3, 1972 after being electrocuted by a microphone that was not earth-grounded during a performance at Swansea Top Rank.

Lee Morgan is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Lee Morgan Died at 34 (1938-1972) - Trumpeter Lee Morgan died on Feb. 19, 1972. He was shot by his common-law wife Helen More in between sets at Slug's Saloon in New York. He bled to death before the ambulance arrived at the scene.

Irene Ryan is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Irene Ryan Died at 71 (1902-1973) - "Beverly Hillbillies" actress Irene Ryan suffered a stroke on March 10, 1973 during a performance of "Pippin." She died on April 26, 1973 due to complications with the stroke.

Christine Chubbuck is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Christine Chubbuck Died at 30 (1944-1974) - News reporter Christine Chubbuck died on July 15, 1974 after committing suicide during a live broadcast. She shot herself in the head saying, "In keeping with Channel 40's policy of bringing you the latest in 'blood and guts', ...

Sid James is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Sid James Died at 63 (1913-1976) - Sid James died on April 26, 1976 after suffering a heart attack during a performance of "The Mating Season" at the Sunderland Empire Theatre.

Karl Wallenda is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Karl Wallenda Died at 73 (1905-1978) - Daredevil Karl Wallenda fell to his death on March 22, 1978 while attempting to walk on a wire between the two towers of the ten-story Condado Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He was 73 years old.

Bill Stewart is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Bill Stewart Died at 64 (1942-2006) - ABC News journalist Bill Stewart died on June 20, 1979 after being assassinated by Nicaraguan government National Guard forces while covering the Nicaraguan Revolution. His execution was broadcast on several news networks.

Tommy Cooper is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Tommy Cooper Died at 63 (1921-1984) - Magician and comedian Tommy Cooper died on April 15, 1984 after suffering a heart attack during a live broadcast of "Live From Her Majesty." Many people watching believed that his collapsing was just part of his act.

Eric Morecambe is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Eric Morecambe Died at 58 (1926-1984) - Comedian Eric Morecambe died on May 28, 1984 after suffering a heart attack immediately following a performance at the Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire. He died at the Cheltenham General Hospital a few hours later.

Onie Wheeler is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Onie Wheeler Died at 63 (1921-1984) - Musician Onie Wheeler died on May 26, 1984 after suffering a heart attack while performing with Rev. Jimmie Snow.

Philippé Wynne is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
PhilippĂ© Wynne The Spinners musician Philippé Wynne died on July 14, 1984 after suffering a heart attack during a performance at Ivey's nightclub in Oakland, California the previous night.

Jon-Erik Hexum is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Jon-Erik Hexum Died at 27 (1957-1984) - Jon-Erik Hexum died of an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound on Oct. 18, 1984. Bored during the break on the set of the CBS show "Cover Up" Hexum used a prop gun, loaded with blanks, to play a game of Russian Roulette.

Dead Bodies Discovered in Public: 17 Strange Stories The Sexiest Vampire Movies Ever Made

Jane Dornacker is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Jane Dornacker Traffic reporter Jane Dornacker died on October 22, 1986, when her traffic helicopter for WNBC 660 AM Radio in New York City crashed into the Hudson River. She was 39 years old.

Dick Shawn is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Dick Shawn Died at 64 (1923-1987) - Comedian Dick Shawn died on April 17, 1987 after suffering a heart attack during a performance at UC San Diego's Mandeville Hall. The audience waited for five minutes after Shawn initially collapsed, thinking that it was part of his ...

Wong Ka Kui is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Wong Ka Kui Died at 31 (1962-1993) - Singer Wong Ka Kui went into a coma after falling on his head during an appearance on the Japanese game show "Ucchan-nanchan no yarunara yaraneba." He died in the hospital on June 30, 1993.

Country Dick Montana is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Country Dick Montana Country Dick Montana died on November 8, 1995 after suffering a heart attack on stage while performing with The Beat Farmers at the Longhorn Saloon in Whistler, British Columbia.

Tiny Tim is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Tiny Tim Died at 64 (1932-1996) - Musician Tiny Tim suffered a heart attack on Sept. 28, 1996 while performing at a ukulele festival at the Montague Grange Hall. After being treated at the hospital for several weeks, he died on Nov. 30, 1996 after suffering a heart ...

Richard Versall is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Richard Versall Opera singer Richard Versall died on January 5, 1996 after suffering a heart attack during a performance of "The Makropulos Case" at the Metropolitan Opera. He was on a 20-foot ladder at the time and fell to the stage

Giuseppe Sinopoli is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Entertainers Who Died While Performing
Giuseppe Sinopoli Died at 55 (1946-2001) - Conductor Giuseppe Sinopoli died on April 20, 2001 after suffering a heart attack while conducting "Aida" at the Deutsche Opera in Berlin.