In the last few years we have tragically lost numerous talented celebrities, many of whom died far too soon in shocking ways. Last year the world lost legends like James Gandolfini at just 51 years old, and Corey Monteith and Paul Walker passed away at just 31 and 40 respectively. Both Walker and Monteith died far too young and in incredibly shocking ways, and Hollywood was stunned by their deaths.
Earlier this year Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman, one of the greatest actors of his generation, tragically passed away. Hoffman’s relapse into drug addiction sadly cost him his life. And of course, in August 2014 Oscar winner, legendary stand-up comedian, and perhaps the greatest improv actor of all time Robin Williams passed away at just 63 years old. Fans around the world are still reeling after Williams’ tragic suicide.
There are a number of celebrities, however, whose fans should be thankful they’re still around. The A-list could be an even darker place if the following talented actors and musicians hadn’t narrowly escaped death. These celebrities have survived horrific accidents like auto crashes and plane crashes, and some have even survived murder attempts and terrorist attacks. Let’s be thankful these talents are still around to brighten our days with their humor, musical ability and acting chops: These are 10 celebrities who have had near death experiences.
10. Ozzy Osbourne
Following an ATV accident on his estate in England, legendary metal vocalist Ozzy Osbourne slipped into a coma for eight days. The rock star says he “died twice.” He was riding the ATV downhill without a helmet. The 600-pound quad flipped over and landed on top of him. His arms, shoulder and back were crushed. Fortunately, his bodyguard was there to come to his rescue.
9. George Lucas
When he was younger George Lucas had aspirations of being a race car driver, but a horrific car accident when he was in high school changed his perspective and made him rethink his life. A car that was going 90 mph broadsided Lucas’ vehicle, and now he treats every day of his life as a bonus. Of course, if he hadn’t had that accident, and had followed his original mission to become a racer, it’s possible Star Wars would never have existed.
8. Gary Busey
Busey said he saw angels when describing his near-death experience during an interview with Larry King. “They’re big balls of light that carry noting but love and warmth,” he said about the angels he saw. Busey’s brush with death came after he crashed his motorcycle into a guardrail in 1988, which caused him severe head trauma.
7. Chevy Chase
While filming the 1981 movie Modern Problems, Chevy Chase very nearly died after being electrocuted. Chase was wearing lights on his body in a scene where his character in the film fantasized about being an airplane. The lights short-circuited and electric current spread through his arms, back and neck. Following the incident Chase suffered from severe depression.
6. Martin Lawrence
In August 1999, comedian Martin Lawrence was out jogging while wearing several layers of clothing in an attempt to lose weight for a film. When he returned home he suffered severe heat exhaustion, and he was found lying down on his lawn moaning and slumped over. By the time emergency services arrived he was passed out. The Bad Boys star slipped into a coma, but fortunately he awoke three days later.
5. Tracy Morgan
Earlier this year the world nearly lost legendary Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock alumnus Tracy Morgan. In June, he was returning from a comedy show in Dover, Delaware when a Wal-Mart semi trailer hit the limo he was riding in from behind. The driver of the truck had allegedly not slept in over 24 hours. Morgan’s close friend and fellow comedian James McNair was killed in the accident, and three others including Morgan were injured in the six-vehicle pile up. Morgan is still recovering from the injuries (a broken leg and ribs) he sustained in the crash, and his lawyer has launched a criminal lawsuit against Wal-Mart.
4. 50 Cent
Rapper Curtis Jackson, AKA 50 cent, almost had his gangster ways catch up to him. Following the death of his grandmother, the woman who raised him, 50 Cent’s life spiraled into despair. He began doing drugs at just 12 years old and was soon not only taking but selling drugs. In May 2000, 50 Cent was shot nine times in front of his grandmother’s house.
3. Travis Barker
The 2008 South Carolina Learjet 60 crash claimed the lives of four people. The plane reportedly had a tire blow out which caused the pilot to attempt a rejected take off. The two survivors were both celebrities. Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker and Adam “DJ AM” Goldstein were the only survivors in the crash, but they both suffered severe burns. The pilot, co-pilot, a security guard and Travis Barker’s personal assistant Chris Baker were instantly killed. Barker required 16 surgeries including many skin grafts and blood transfusions. The Blink 182 drummer suffered severe post-traumatic stress disorder following the incident. Tragically, DJ AM suffered a drug overdose less than a year later which was reportedly partly due to his inability to cope with the aftermath of the plane crash.
2. Sharon Stone
Sharon Stone once suffered from a severe cerebral aneurysm that had ruptured and caused blood to seep into her brain; doctors spent six hours performing risky, life-saving brain surgery on Stone. Stone experienced what she calls a “white light experience.” She has described “passing up” rather than passing out when she went unconscious during an MRI. She also describes having an “incredible sense of well being” and seeing people who had passed on.
1. Seth MacFarlane
Imagine a world without the movie TED and the TV show American Dad. What if there were only three seasons of Family Guy? If Seth MacFarlane hadn’t have missed a flight in 2001, we would have been robbed of countless hours of laughter which helped raise spirits in the aftermath of one of the most horrific tragedies in the history of America.
MacFarlane was scheduled to be on American Airline Flight 11 on September 11, 2001; it was the first plane to hit the World Trade Center. A combination of heavy drinking the night before and his assistant messing up the timing of his schedule serendipitously allowed MacFarlane to avoid being one of the nearly 3,000 people who died in one of the worst tragedies of modern times.