The death of movie and television greats are always sad, but they are made more shocking when they happen in the middle of filming. While some on this list have died young, they made a strong mark on the world, and their movies and shows have gone to be big hits even after their death. Here we take a look at 15 actors (and actresses) that died during filming.
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Seymour Hoffman died in 2015 while filming The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2. The world was shocked by his death. He had already completed most of his scenes in the movie and CGI was used to finish filming.
Paul Walker died in a car accident on 30th November 2013 while filming for Fast and Furious 7. In order to finish the film, Walker’s brothers Caleb and Cody were used by director James Wan.
James Dean died age 24 on 30th September 1955 in a car accident. The accident happened while Dean had been filming for movie Giant but the majority of his scenes had already been shot. However, there was one scene in which Dean’s character was drunk and it had been played with slurred words and speech that wasn’t understandable. The makers of Giant felt that the words should be understandable, so Dean’s friend Nick Adams was used as a voice double before the film went to cinemas. Dean was nominated for Oscars for his roles in Giant and East of Eden after his death.
The green ogre Shrek was originally meant to be voiced by Farley, who had finished a good portion of his scenes before his death on 8th December 1997. However, there were not enough scenes to create a whole film and so Mike Myers was brought in as a replacement.
Hagman was one of the original cast from Dallas in the 1980s and also returned to the show after it began being remade in 2012. But on 23rd November 2012 he died from cancer. The show’s writers couldn’t replace Hagman for his role as J.R Ewing and so killed the character off.
Heath Ledger died on 22nd January 2008 while filming The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. The movie was completed with help from Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law, who all stepped in to play Ledger’s character as he moved through a dream world.
Lee died on 20th July 1973 while at the peak of fame and filming Game of Death. Lee had paused the production of Game of Death to film Enter the Dragon, but died from an allergic reaction before he was able to complete Game of Death. Body doubles and cardboard cutouts were used to finish the movie.
Monroe died on 5th August 1962 from a drug overdose while filming Something’s Got To Give. There weren’t enough scenes filmed to complete the movie and so it was abandoned half way through. Footage from the film has appeared in a documentary named Marilyn: The Final Days.
Monteith died from an overdose on 13th July 2013 while filming hit musical show Glee. Monteith was one of the show’s best characters and the world was shocked to hear of his departure. The script was rewritten following the death and his character was mourned by the show’s stars.
Reed’s death on 2nd May 1999 of a heart attack came as a shock to all and took its toll on the filming of Gladiator. The majority of Reed’s scenes had already been shot and so some scenes were re-edited and a body double was used to finish the movie.
Andy Whitfield sadly died due to lymphoma on 11th September 2011 while filming Spartacus: War of the Damned. Liam McIntyre replaced Whitfield in the show and it ran for another two seasons.
While filming Ocean’s Deadliest, Irwin was killed by a stingray on 4th September 2006. The 8ft wide stingray attacked Irwin and stabbed him, killing him before the crew had time to get help.
Richard Harris was in the middle of filming the Harry Potter series and had been booked to continue playing wizard headmaster Dumbledore in the third film, The Prisoner of Azkaban. However, cancer took Harris on 25th October 2002 after a two month long fight.
Candy died in 1994 of a heart attack while filming Wagons East, with just a few scenes left. Stand ins were used and scenes were re-written in order for the movie to be completed.
Aaliyah died on 25th August 2001 in a plane crash soon before starting filming for The Matrix. The filmmakers planned to write the role out of the movie, but it was later given to Nona Gaye who became Aaliyah’s replacement.