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70+ Celebrities Who Have Almost Died

Updated January 2, 2020 1.8m views73 items

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: 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.

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    • 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."


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      • Photo: Vincent Sandoval / Getty Images

        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."

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        • Photo: Georges Biard / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

          Isla Fisher almost drowned when filming Now You See Me. She was performing a stunt underwater when she became trapped for over three minutes. "My chain got stuck. I had to really swim to the bottom; I couldn’t get up. Everyone thought I was acting fabulously. I was actually drowning. No one realized I was actually struggling," she recalls. The safety latch was eventually pulled, and Fisher was saved.


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