When you consider the fact that actors are, like each of us, human beings, it makes sense that they get ill from time to time. Sometimes, an actor gets sick on set, which always leads to questions from the media, but we don't want to dwell on little day-to-day illnesses. We also don’t want to talk about illnesses which have nothing to do with any one film. What we're most interested in are the times that actors got really sick on set because of a movie, and, apparently, you are interested in these as well.
What do we mean by this? That's a good question and one that requires a few answers. We chose to look at some of the occasions when an actor was forced to do something that led to an illness. Maybe they needed to shoot in a certain location or climate that led to them getting sick. Maybe something happened while filming a scene and it led to a serious illness. There are many different scenarios and we're open to considering everything as long as someone got sick. That's all that matters. Here are 15 times actors became seriously sick because of a movie role.
15 Ashton Kutcher – Jobs
14 Daniel Day-Lewis – Gangs of New York
13 Tom Hanks – Castaway
12 John Rhys-Davies – The Lord of the Rings
11 Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
10 Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight
9 Jason Robards – Fitzcarraldo
8 Cursed Cast Members – Maze Runner: Scorch Trials
7 Emma Watson – Noah
6 Harrison Ford – Raiders of the Lost Ark
5 Buddy Ebsen – The Wizard of Oz
4 Apollonia Kotero – Purple Rain
In easily the biggest lie ever told in the history of time, Apollonia Kotero, the actress best-known for playing Apollonia in Purple Rain alongside Prince, tells the story of how Prince reportedly saved her life on set "with his warmth and his love and compassion." No lie, those are her words. Here's the story. Kotero was required to jump into Lake Minnetonka for a scene. The first few takes were ok, but the crew wanted more. The actress recalled, "after I did it for the fourth time they put me in a little tent, and they said ok that’s it, cut, we’re wrapped… And when I was in there the nurse was in there and she started to check my temperature. All I remember is everything started to fade to black, and she said, 'She’s going into hypothermia, we have to call the ambulance.' And I just thought to myself, oh no, god, I don’t want to die now! I want to finish this movie. And I could hear, just in the distance, her voice, she was panicking, and I just started to fade out."
3 Melvin Van Peebles - Sweet Sweetback’s Badasssss Song
2 Jonah Hill – The Wolf of Wall Street
1 Cancer of the Cast – The Conqueror
You would be forgiven for thinking that the worst idea the filmmakers of The Conqueror had was to cast the ultra-Caucasian, John Wayne, as the Mongol leader Genghis Khan, but, sadly, it wasn't. Nope. Shooting all the exterior shots downwind from Nevada National Security Site, an above-ground nuclear weapons testing site, was the worst idea. The results were catastrophic. Just 30 years after the making of this film, almost half of the 220 cast and crew members had developed some form of cancer. Obviously not all the illnesses and deaths can be blamed squarely on the film location, but we've got to assume that at least some of them were caused by the nuclear site. Legend says that the film crew were concerned about the location, but the United States government assured them that there were no health risks associated with nuclear testing.
Sources: NewYorkDailyNews, Wikipedia; ABCNews
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