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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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."
- Photo: sarahkatesilverman / instagram
In the summer of 2016, Sarah Silverman suddenly came down with a rare case of epiglottitis - a condition where the epiglottis (the cartilage covering the windpipe) becomes inflamed and blocks airflow to the lungs. She was rushed to Cedar-Sinai hospital where she credits the doctors with saving her life. "I was drugged just enough to not feel the pain and have no idea what was happening or where I was. They had to have my hands restrained to keep me from pulling out my breathing tube," she explained.Through it all, she managed to keep her sense of humor. Apparently while high on meds, Silverman "stopped a nurse - like it was an emergency - furiously wrote down a note and gave it to her. When she looked at it, it just said, "Do you live with your mother?" next to a drawing of a penis."