75+ Celebrities Who Have Almost Died

Every day, people all over the world we never hear about are involved in incidents that could easily be fatal. The ones we do seem to learn about are celebrities who have almost died due to accidents, overdoses, and illnesses.

Several famous actors and actresses nearly died while performing stunts for their films. George Clooney, for example, almost died when he broke his back while filming Syriana. Other public figures and actors who almost died on a film set include Jackie Chan, Chevy Chase, and Jaimie Alexander.

Coincidentally, two of the stars of Ted almost died in the September 11 attacks. "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane had a ticket to board American Airlines Flight 11 on 9/11. MacFarlane arrived at the airport 10 minutes too late to board the plane that later crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Mark Wahlberg was booked on that same flight, but changed his plans at the last minute, opting to travel to Toronto before heading to LA. Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker survived a celebrity private jet crash.

  • Jeremy Renner
    Photo: @jeremyrenner / Instagram

    On Sunday January 1, 2023, actor Jeremy Renner was put in critical condition after being run over by a more-than-14,000-pound snowplow at his home outside Reno, Nevada, according to local authorities. After attempting to help a family member whose car had gotten stuck in the snow, Renner alighted from the plow, which then began to roll and ran him over. He was taken to a local hospital where he underwent surgeries. Renner posted his first update to social media on January 3rd, which read: “Thank you all for your kind words. Im too messed up now to type. But I send love to you all.”

    According to Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam, Renner was run over by a PistenBully, “an extremely large piece of snow removal equipment, weighing at least 14,330 pounds.” He added that Renner was being a "great neighbor" by plowing the driveways.

    On April 6, 2023, after a months-long recovery, Renner spoke with Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America to recount the physically and emotionally traumatic event. In one moment, he recalled the feeling of fearing he would not survive:  “So I'm writing down notes in my phone - the last words to my family…” 

  • Ashton Kutcher
    Photo: David Shankbone / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    In a clip shared on August 8, 2022, from an appearance on Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge Ashton Kutcher said he is “lucky to be alive” after being diagnosed with vasculitis, an autoimmune disease that inflames blood vessels. 

    “You don’t really appreciate it until it’s gone, until you go, ‘I don’t know if I’m ever gonna be able to see again. I don’t know if I’m gonna be able to hear again, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to walk again,'" Kutcher said. 

  • In March 2023, actor Matthew McConaughey and his wife, Camila Alves McConaughey, were on a Lufthansa flight from Austin, Texas, to Frankfurt, Germany, when turbulence caused their plane to abruptly drop 4,000 feet. The plane had to make an emergency landing in Washington, DC

    Matthew McConaughey described the experience:

    It's zero gravity. Your red wine and the glass and the plates that your food was on are all suspended, floating, still just in the air. And to look at it for that long, which wasn't that long - 1, 2, 3, 4, and then everything just comes crashing down. It was a hell of a scare. A complete loss of control, a 100% feeling of, ”I am not in control." I have no way to get control of this situation at the moment.

    McConaughey, who wasn't wearing his seat belt at the time, said it was “the hairiest flight I've ever had by far,” explaining that even the flight attendants didn't look too confident. He was also traveling with a friend who is a pilot, however, who assured them they would be okay.

    His wife shared an image on Instagram of food and other items strewn on the floor after the plunge.

  • Alli Simpson

    Alli Simpson revealed on Instagram in January 2022 that she had broken her neck after diving into a shallow pool on New Year's Eve. 

    "for me, 2022 is not off to a great start, a broken neck (plus a positive covid test). Long story short — I dove into a shallow pool head first & hit my head on the bottom.. on New Year’s Eve I got X-rays/CT Scans & an MRI to find I have 2 severe fractures in my neck (C6 & T1). I was sent straight to hospital in an ambulance to be assessed by a neurosurgeon⁣. The outcome - no immediate surgery was required & I have been sent home in a hard neck brace that I’ll be living in 24/7 for the next 4 months as my neck hopefully heals itself... I am extremely lucky to be alive and/or not quadriplegic as it JUST missed my spinal chord..⁣." Simpson wrote on Instagram. 

    • Age: 25
    • Birthplace: Gold Coast, Australia
  • Zac Efron
    Photo: Getty/Madeleine Marr-Miami Herald / Getty Images

    In a harrowing example of irony, actor Zac Efron confirmed he came down with an illness while filming his documentary series Killing Zac Efron in Papua New Guinea. Some media reports said the 32-year-old reportedly came down with a life-threatening illness, thought to be a "form of typhoid or similar bacterial infection," and had to be swiftly flown to nearby Australia for treatment.

    Efron was admitted to Brisbane's St Andrews War Memorial Hospital, where he received care for several days before being cleared to fly home to the United States on Christmas Eve.

    • Age: 35
    • Birthplace: San Luis Obispo, California, USA
  • Emilia Clarke
    Photo: Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images

    Shortly after filming the first season of Game of Thrones, actress Emilia Clarke suffered from two brain aneurysms. The symptoms from the first aneurysm sent her to the hospital, where she underwent surgery that revealed a second aneurysm which grew and required more surgery. The surgeries and recovery caused her great pain and Clarke was convinced she would not survive.

    Her health continued to be affected as filming began for Game of Thrones season two and the Clarke recalled that at the time "every minute of every day I thought I was going to die."


    • Age: 36
    • Birthplace: England, London