We all know of, or have heard of, that lucky someone who has escaped the grips of the reaper in near fatal accidents that seemed too strange to be true. These freak accidents happen all the time – sometimes the slightest turn of events can leave even the most glamorous and powerful in a startling near death experience.
Some of your favourite celebrities are, in fact, routinely in risky situations. They film very dangerous scenes, but of course they're generally highly trained and have lots of safeguards. But even they can get caught off guard in the slightest causing a rip-tide effect, propelling them closer into the arms of death. Be it on set or off, here are some celebrities who have come terrifyingly close to dying.
10 Jennifer Lawrence
For those of you familiar with the ‘Hunger Games’ movies, this one might come as a shock, but everyone’s favourite tribute nearly died during the filming of ‘Part 1 – Mockingjay’. Considering Jennifer Lawrence pulls some pretty crazy military style moves in the film, you'd be forgiven if you assumed the event involved some amount of action in it. Funnily enough the scare resulted from a freak accident - where a smoke machine malfunctioned in a tunnel whilst filming and Jennifer nearly choked to death in the enclosed area. Thankfully the area was evacuated and filming was postponed until Jennifer had fully recovered.
9 Jackie Chan
He is the master of on screen stunts, dominating some of your favourite action packed movies over the years. Scarily enough, even someone as experienced and skilful as Jackie Chan has experienced a near death event.
It was during the filming of ‘Armour of God’ that Chan missed his landing when jumping into a tree from a castle. He crashed to the ground and smashed his head sustaining massive injuries, where a piece of his skull cracked and shot up in his brain. He made a full recovery after immediate brain surgery but now has a plastic plate in his head.
8 Sylvester Stallone
The veteran action hero star, Sylvester Stallone, who’s had his fair share of action scenes throughout the years, actually came across his near death experience pretty late into his career. The then 63-year-old was filming a fight scene with co-star Stone Cold Steve Austin, in ‘The Expendables’, but it was so realistic that Stallone ended up with a hairline fracture in his neck.
When he revealed his injury he said “Actually, my fight with Stone Cold Steve Austin was so vicious that I ended up getting a hairline fracture in my neck. I'm not joking. I haven't told anyone this, but I had to have a very serious operation afterwards. I now have a metal plate in my neck.” Yikes!
7 Jason Statham
It wasn't only Sylvester Stallone who had a near fatal accident on the set of filming ‘The Expendables ‘franchise. Jason Statham also experienced the taste of death, in true action hero style when he escaped a 60ft wagon plunge into the Black Sea. His co-star Stallone said of the event “He faced death. He was test-driving a three-ton truck and the brakes run out. It went down 60ft into the Black Sea and became impaled. We would have drowned. But because Jason is an Olympic-quality diver he got out of it.”
Yep, you read it right. Jason competed for England on the springboard and the platform back in 1990 for the Commonwealth Games in New Zealand, before he became one of Hollywood’s biggest heartthrobs.
6 Isla Fisher
Actress Isla Fisher, came scarily close to drowning whilst filming a submerged scene in ‘Now You See Me’ where Isla played a magicians assistant. “They had a guy who was off camera, but he was a long way away with a can of oxygen. By the time I realized I couldn't get up and beckoned for him, I realized that I had run out of air. Luckily, I managed to get free and stay level-headed and got out before it went even more horribly wrong.” That’s one magic trick that could've ended very badly!
5 Michael J Fox
Talk about a real life nightmare. On the set of filming ‘Back to the Future Part 3’, Michael J Fox almost accidentally hanged himself. The scene he was filming was when Michael’s character, Marty has a noose around his neck and Doc has to save him. During filming a box was used for Michael to stand on, however the sense of urgency and realism couldn't be portrayed so the director requested he do the scene without the box – which he eventually did.
Unfortunately for Michael, on the seventh take he missed the cue for where his hand was supposed to be and ended up passing out for 30 seconds. Luckily for Michael someone finally realized that he was no longer acting and had actually passed out. That’s the stuff nightmares are made of!
4 Diane Kruger
In another case of Directors wanting to perfect that sense of realism in movies, comes Diane Kruger’s near death experience. Whilst shooting for ‘Inglourious Basterds’, Director Quentin Tarantino requested that he actually choke Diane so that the scene looked realistic. Quentin told Kruger "I'm gonna just strangle you, alright? Full on, I'm gonna cut off your air, for just a little bit of time. We're gonna see the reaction in your face, and I'm gonna yell 'cut.” We already know this sounds like it’s not going to end well, and it didn’t. Kruger ended up passing out and losing consciousness, but went on to make a full recovery.
3 Charlize Theron
Whilst shooting ‘Aeon Flux’ Charlize Theron attempted a lot of her own stunts as opposed to using a body double in some scenes, which is common practice in Hollywood - for the precise reason of avoiding injuries. Much to her own detriment, Charlize found out the hard way that sometimes doing your own stunts doesn't pay, when she broke her neck doing a back-flip for a scene in the film. She spoke about her injury saying “I did a back handspring, gymnastics back handspring, had done 18 of them back to back and I just slipped and landed on my neck with my body straight out so with all my weight onto my neck and herniated the disk between my third and fourth vertebrae. I had some nerve damage, it was numb and on the right side of my body.”
2 George Clooney
George Clooney made international headlines back in 2004 whilst shooting for the film ‘Syriana’ when he broke his back during filming. The star’s recovery took a massive physiological toll on the star where he spoke about how he felt during the painful recovery, "I was at a point where I thought, I can't exist like this. I can't actually live. I was lying in a hospital bed with an IV in my arm, unable to move, having these headaches where it feels like you're having a stroke, and for a short three-week period, I started to think, I may have to do something drastic about this. You start to think in terms of, you don't want to leave a mess, so go in the garage, go in the car, start the engine. It seems like the nicest way to do it, but I never thought I'd get there." Although the star recovered from the horrific injury he still gets headaches from the ordeal.
1 50 Cent
50 Cent also made headlines around the world when he miraculously survived being shot a whopping 9 shots directly to his body back in 2000. He was shot numerous times in the leg, in his right thumb (with the shell exiting through his pinky), his arm and in his mouth. His mouth injury damaged his most prized possession as a rapper- his voice. Although the damage created (part of his gums were shaved off and a hole was created in between the top and bottom rows of his teeth) meant his voice was now slightly changed forever, 50 Cent went on to sustain his success in the music industry. Speaking of the event he said “Ain't nobody gonna tell you they ain't scared in that situation. It's a hit, man. You supposed to die in that situation. They're not playing.”