While the action and themes on film are often violent and dangerous, movie sets are normally a pretty safe place to be. There is a very large crew there who are experts at their particular job, and things usually go perfectly and the movie or TV show is shot without any big problems. However, that is not always the case. Throughout the years, there have been some truly awful and horrible things that have happened on these sets. And these 18you are about to check out in the article are some of the worst, with number 5 being particularly bad. These things range from deaths to arguments, to affairs and more.
#18 A Helicopter Decapitated 3 Actors
This is probably the most visually horrific accident that has happened on the set of a film. During filming the Twilight Zone, a helicopter had a slight malfunction due to pyrotechnics, which led to it decapitating two actors and crushing a third. Check out the 10th spot for another movie set death, which is probably the most famous one of them all.
#17 Vin Diesel’s Stuntman Died
XXX was the film that turned Vin Diesel into an A-List star for a while and garnered him many more action movie roles. However, it wasn’t him doing the stunts. His stunt double’s name was Harry O’Connor, and he would, unfortunately, die on the set of XXX when a stunt went bad and he crashed into a bridge.
#16 Ingrid Bergman Affair
There have been numerous affairs in Hollywood, but few have ruined a career like Bergman’s did. At the time. Bergman was one of the biggest actresses out there, but when she had an affair with a married man (while also being married herself) on the set of a film, she was vilified in the public. Check out number 8 on this list for another affair that rocked the pop culture world.
#15 Robert Abel’s Fraud
Abel was contacted to do some of the set work and creation for Star Trek, but it all ended up being a huge and fraudulent lie. Abel continually requested more and more money from the producers, but they agreed as the movie had to get done. As it turned out, Abel’s work was not anywhere close to worth the money and he was using the extra money to fund a failing business.
#14 David Russell and George Clooney Fight
Actor’s and directors often disagree, especially when they have egos as big as these two guys. But despite this, it rarely gets physical. However, this one definitely did as these two men engaged in an all-out brawl on the set of Three Kings. Check out the 6th entry on this list for another fight between people, but one that didn’t get physical.
#13 Brooke Shields Naked On-Camera at 12
Now there is just no way that this should have ever happened, and it is one of the most awkward things on this list. Despite being only 12, Brooke Shields appeared in the film Pretty Baby as a child prostitute and had several very suggestive scenes in the film, which was simply unacceptable. If you thought this one was crazy, check out number 12…
#12 The Drug Addiction of John Belushi
While drug use on a movie or TV set isn’t new and is likely fairly prevalent, few were as bad as this one. While filming Blues Brothers, Belushi would often disappear for hours and hours when they were supposed to be filming, high on cocaine. The next entry also focuses on somehow struggling mightily with a cocaine addiction while filming a movie.
#11 Carrie Fisher’s Massive Cocaine Problem
While Belushi’s drug addiction was bad, Fisher’s was just horrific. In fact, it was so bad that Belushi actually talked to her about it. And when Belushi has to tell you your addiction is out of control, that is a pretty bad sign. While filming The Empire Strikes Back, she would do a line of coke between every take.
#10 Brandon Lee Killed by a Magnum
Out of all the accidents and horrible things that have happened on a movie set, few are more infamous than this one. While filming The Crow, Brandon Lee (the son of the legendary Bruce Lee) was killed by what everyone thought was a prop gun loaded with blanks. It wasn’t. Some prop person royally screwed up on that one!
#9 Debra Winger vs. Shirley MacLaine
Now few arguments and feuds on set in the history of the film industry have ever been as petty as this one was. On the set of Terms of Endearment, the two got in numerous physical altercations, including a famous one in which Winger actually farted on MacLaine. While this is disgusting and childish, it is also quite funny.
#8 Patrick Dempsey’s Affair on Greys
On the show Grey’s Anatomy, Patrick Dempsey was amongst the most famous and beloved characters. But behind the scenes, he was doing something not so beloved. Despite being married, he was having an affair with a much younger crew member. Sounds like there was more drama off the show then on it. And another horrible affair comes up in the number 3 spot.
#7 Top Gun Pilot Was Killed
Art Scholl was a respected pilot and flight instructor and was brought in to do stunt work on the hit movie Top Gun. But during a particularly tricky stunt (but one that Scholl could pull off), he lost control of the plane and crashed, which ended in his death. The film was dedicated to him after this crash.
#6 Bill Murray and Lucy Liu Argument
While it’s hard to believe anyone arguing with or having a problem with Bill Murray, Lucy Liu definitely did. While on the set of Charlie’s Angels, the two had arguments back and forth as Murray wasn’t a big fan of Liu’s acting. This spat actually got Murray replaced by Bernie Mac in the sequel.
#5 A Radioactive Set Gave 90+ People Cancer
In retrospect, filming a movie near a nuclear site was a bad idea, to begin with. While filming The Conquerer in 1956, it is believed that the filming location and radiation led to 91 people who worked on the film to develop cancer within a few decades. The most famous example being John Wayne. To add insult to injury, the film was not well received by audiences.
#4 David Richie Dies on the set of Jumper
Ritchie was a veteran in the film industry and was a set dresser, a person who was in charge of putting up and taking down the sets. Unfortunately, while taking down a concoction of frozen ice, sand, and earth, more fell off than he expected and he was crushed by the combination and was instantly killed.
#3 Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders
During the filming of Twilight, the chemistry between Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart was evident. That is because not only were they a couple in the movie, but also in real life. The two were in a serious relationship until Stewart cheated on him with director Rupert Sanders on a set of a movie they were filming. Oh, he was also married as well.
#2 Dark Knight Car Accident
A special effects technician tragically passed away while filming a scene in the Dark Knight. Conway Wickliffe was in the back seat of a vehicle leaning out of the window, getting a shot of another vehicle, when the vehicle crashed and left him with injuries that took his life at the scene. Check out the next slide for another tragic death on set…
#1 20+ Animals Died While Filming The Hobbit
While basically, every other entry in this article talks about humans, this last one will talk about animals. During the multi-year filming of The Hobbit series, approximately 27 animals died. These animals ranged from sheep, goats and even horses. As you could imagine, PETA was not very happy with this film in the least.
So there you have it. A place that is normally seen as a pretty safe for multi-millionaire actors to work alongside hundreds of other people, can sometimes be a death trap. But in addition to various malfunctions that caused death, illness or injury that are unavoidable, some of these entries definitely could have been avoided. But when you have a lot of actors, directors and crew members with big egos, things can sometimes go wrong. While making a multi-million dollar hit movie isn’t easy and stress and complacency can sometimes take over, that can often lead to these horrible things to happen on set.