Like taxes, death is a constant that we all have to deal with at some point. Regular Joe or famous celebrity, death can come calling at any time. Whether it’s from an accident, an attack or natural disasters, anyone can have their plug pulled quite suddenly.
On the flip side, history is also filled with people who have stared Death in the eye and spat on it. Some accidents leave you wondering “How the heck did that happen?” Like the case of Russian football star Andrey Yeshchenko, who wrapped his Nissan GTR around a pole at 105 mph, but walked away without a scratch.
In other cases, close shaves can occur while doing regular stuff. In 2014, Bono was sent flying off his bike in busy New York. The accident led to him requiring five hours of surgery, three metal plates and 18 screws to put his elbow back in place.
Kevin Everett, at the time the tight end for the Buffalo Bills, sustained a fracture and dislocation of his spine in 2007. Doctors characterized his injury as “life-threatening” and gave the player a very small chance of ever walking again. Everett proved doctors wrong and was back on his feet within the year.
Here are ten celebs who survived horrifying accidents and potentially lethal situations.
10. Johnny Depp
Shooting scenes with animals can be tricky. The American Humane Association demands a representative to be on a film set before it can earn the “no animals were harmed” accreditation. This gives the animals protection, but who’s to blame when the animals go berserk?
While shooting The Lone Ranger, Johnny Depp‘s horse decided to take him for a ride. The only problem was that he wasn’t in the saddle. Finding himself unbalanced in a loose saddle, he was practically hanging on by the reins, when the horse decided to bolt and jump over obstacles. Deciding to let go of the reins and crashing to the ground, Depp said the horse lifted his front legs at just the right time and barely missed cracking his skull open.
While shooting The Rum Diary, Depp was also involved in a near miss in the sky when the plane he was in lost power. Thankfully, it recovered soon after and it landed without incident.
9. Isla Fisher
Some actors hate the use of CGI and stunt doubles in their movie, choosing to do their own stunts themselves. This has led to some intense scenes and also some near-death experiences.
In 2013’s caper movie, Now You See Me, one scene almost cost Isla Fisher her life. Bound in a tank of water and piranhas, Isla was supposed to escape out of her shackles and swim out of the tank.
In a terrifying chain of events, she ran out of air, her chains became entangled and she couldn’t reach any of the safety measures set up for the scene. She was pictured struggling and thrashing, but the crew thought she was acting. Luckily she kept a clear head and was able to finally untangle the chain to get out of the tank.
8. Richard Hammond
As one third of the Top Gear crew, Richard Hammond‘s job revolved around testing vehicles, setting records, racing everything from HGVs to bicycles; basically, he was a human crash test dummy.
While filming a Top Gear segment in 2006, Hammond had to race a jet-powered car capable of reaching speeds of up to 370 mph. On his seventh run, while traveling at about 300 mph, his front right tire failed. This caused the car to spin and end up partially embedded in the grass. Hammond’s helmet visor had flipped open and he had been knocked unconscious. After a two week coma, he recovered but suffered from memory loss and depression.
He was also told that if he had been taller, he would have been decapitated in the accident.
7. Sharon Stone
After a 10-year struggle to land major roles, Sharon Stone was basking in the success of her breakout role opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in Total Recall. Driving on Sunset Boulevard in 1990, she was involved in a head-on collision with a car driving on the wrong side of the road. This left her with a dislocated jaw, sprained back, broken rib and twisted knee. Doctors ordered a six month bed rest while she was strapped into a back brace.
In 2001, she was hospitalized for bleeding in the brain, which was later diagnosed as a vertebral artery dissection, which can lead to death.
6. Ozzy Osbourne
Despite the years of absolute debauchery, Ozzy Osbourne made it through to semi-retirement. But in 2003, while riding an ATV, he hit a pothole and was tipped over the handlebars. Tumbling down the hill, he came to a stop with the ATV landing on his chest. Breaking his collar bone, eight ribs and a vertebra in his neck, he immediately lost consciousness. His bodyguard rushed to his aid and gave him mouth to mouth as he stopped breathing twice while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.
He spent eight days in a coma at the hospital. Recovery included surgery to raise his collarbone which was resting on a major artery, and implanting a metal plate in his shoulder. He credits the accident for helping him “grow up.”
5. 50 Cent
Too many hip hop songs involve some bragging, whether it’s about women, money or gangs. Apparently rappers like to show off their street cred. These boasts have been blamed for much of the violence in hip hop. These acts of violence have claimed artists like Biggie and Tupac.
In 2000, 50 Cent was shot nine times at close range, getting hit in the face, right hand, hip and chest. Surviving the attack helped build buzz for his mix tapes, paving the way for the launch of a successful rap career.
Eminem‘s protégé, Obie Trice, was shot at twice in Detroit in December 2005. One of the bullets entered his head and doctors deemed it too dangerous to operate, meaning it’s still lodged there to this day. Doctors told him that had the bullet traveled less than an inch further, he wouldn’t be alive today.
4. Seth McFarlane
The September 11, 2001 attacks on the Word Trade Center are remembered as the worst terror attacks on American soil. In what may be considered the luckiest bar crawl ever, Seth McFarlane got wasted the night before and missed his flight the next day. Arriving 10 minutes late, American Airlines Flight 11 left without him, and was crashed into the North Tower of the WTC.
Mark Wahlberg was also booked on the same Flight 11, but flew to Toronto to catch a film festival a few days earlier. He missed his plane leaving Boston on the AA Flight 11 that crashed into the North Tower.
3. Jason Statham
The adrenaline-packed flick The Expendables was filled with stunts and a bunch of Hollywood’s macho actors. Sly Stallone wanted to live up to the tough-guy image and asked co-star Steve Austin to punch him as hard as he could. The former wrestler obliged and Stallone ended up with a hairline fracture in his neck. To fix this break, he had to have a metal plate inserted into his neck.
In the third installment of the series, Jason Statham narrowly avoided death while performing a stunt. He was driving a three-ton truck when the brakes suddenly gave out and it plunged into the Black Sea, sinking rapidly. Luckily the production crew had taken the doors off for easier filming, and his background as an Olympic-quality diver helped him escape and swim to safety.
2. Tracy Morgan
30 Rock star Tracy Morgan was on his way back from performing at a show in Delaware, when the van he was in was involved in an accident. Struck from behind by a Walmart tractor-trailer, the van ended up as part of a six-car pileup.
Morgan, five members of his comedy troupe and the driver were injured in the crash. Morgan was flown to hospital with a broken femur, broken nose and several broken ribs. Waking up from a two week coma, surgery and months of rehab followed. One of his close friends and writers, James McNair, was killed in the crash.
Investigations found that the driver of the Walmart truck had been driving for 24 hours straight, leading to diminished concentration. Walmart had subsequently settled out of court for undisclosed amounts.
1. Harrison Ford
With roles like Indiana Jones and Han Solo to his credit, Harrison Ford is a legitimate badass. He has been a professional pilot of fixed-wing aircrafts and helicopters since the ’60s. Unfortunately, even the most skilled pilots are only one maneuver away from a serious accident.
In 1999, while attempting an auto-rotation in a Bell helicopter, he left one of the moves too late and caused the aircraft to make an emergency landing. Skidding through the gravel, it struck a log and flipped onto its side. Ford and his co-pilot were unharmed.
In March 2015, he was forced to make an emergency landing when the plane he was flying suffered an engine failure. Choosing to land his plane on the golf course, Ford avoided colliding with the homes close by; his landing was hailed as being commendable under the circumstances. Thankfully there was a surgeon playing a few rounds who helped remove and stabilize the actor before the ambulance arrived.
Ford survived with a broken pelvis, cuts to his face and a broken ankle.