37 actors who almost died on set, from Kate Winslet to George Clooney

Actors might appear to have the ideal job, but it doesn't come without its dangers.

Maintaining safety on the set of films and TV shows might be a primary concern when cameras begin rolling, but with many variables to control, there are times when control is lost, leaving actors with close calls or life-threatening injuries.

Tragically, there is a long history of people dying on film sets, whether it be actors (The Crow star Brandon Lee in 1993), stunt performers (The Walking Dead's John Bernecker in 2017) or emergency service workers assigned to oversee certain sets (firefighter Lieutenant Michael Davison died in 2018 when a fire broke out on the set of recent Edward Norton film Motherless Brooklyn).

But, there have also been plenty of times where world-famous stars have either been the victims of stunts-gone-wrong or, in the case of Aaron Paul and Uma Thurman, cheated death in an extremely lucky way.

Scroll through the below gallery to find out which actors almost died on set of their films or television shows.

37 actors who almost died on set

Charlize Theron: Charlize Theron attempted to perform a backflip for 2005 action film Aeon Flux but was
Charlize Theron: Charlize Theron attempted to perform a backflip for 2005 action film Aeon Flux but was
Ed Harris: It's been rumoured for decades that Ed Harris punched James Cameron in the face while filming the watery 1989 drama The Abyss, but here's reportedly why: Cameron failed to tell Harris that his oxygen tank would run out before cameras stopped rolling on a particular scene, leaving the actor gasping for air. (20th Century Fox)
Ed Harris: It's been rumoured for decades that Ed Harris punched James Cameron in the face while filming the watery 1989 drama The Abyss, but here's reportedly why: Cameron failed to tell Harris that his oxygen tank would run out before cameras stopped rolling on a particular scene, leaving the actor gasping for air. (20th Century Fox)
Martin Sheen: At the time of filming Apocalypse Now in 1979, Martin Sheen was drinking heavily and using drugs - so much so that, unbeknownst to the crew or his director Francis Ford Coppola, he had a heart attack in the middle of the jungle. Sheen was forced to crawl for approximately half a mile before finding somebody who could treat him. (United Artists)
Martin Sheen: At the time of filming Apocalypse Now in 1979, Martin Sheen was drinking heavily and using drugs - so much so that, unbeknownst to the crew or his director Francis Ford Coppola, he had a heart attack in the middle of the jungle. Sheen was forced to crawl for approximately half a mile before finding somebody who could treat him. (United Artists)
Jackie Chan: Jackie Chan is famous for many things and performing his own stunts is one of them. This has left him with his fair share of injuries in the past, some of which came on the set of 1986 action comedy Armour of God. The actor, attempting to slide down a tree, fractured his skull after falling 25 feet and hitting his head on a rock. Chan was immediately rushed into surgery and, to this day, he has a hole in his skull that he covers with a plastic plug. (Golden Harvest)
Jackie Chan: Jackie Chan is famous for many things and performing his own stunts is one of them. This has left him with his fair share of injuries in the past, some of which came on the set of 1986 action comedy Armour of God. The actor, attempting to slide down a tree, fractured his skull after falling 25 feet and hitting his head on a rock. Chan was immediately rushed into surgery and, to this day, he has a hole in his skull that he covers with a plastic plug. (Golden Harvest)
Michael J Fox: Michael J Fox famously came close to dying on the set of Back to the Future Part III in 1990. It was during a scene in which his character, Marty McFly, is hanged by the neck - something the crew permitted Fox to act out himself on the condition that he knew exactly where to place his hand when the noose was around his neck. Fox miscalculated, choking himself before passing out and was cut down after someone realised the actor was close to death. (Universal Pictures)
Michael J Fox: Michael J Fox famously came close to dying on the set of Back to the Future Part III in 1990. It was during a scene in which his character, Marty McFly, is hanged by the neck - something the crew permitted Fox to act out himself on the condition that he knew exactly where to place his hand when the noose was around his neck. Fox miscalculated, choking himself before passing out and was cut down after someone realised the actor was close to death. (Universal Pictures)
The kids in The Brady Bunch: While filming a 1973 episode of The Brady Bunch titled
The kids in The Brady Bunch: While filming a 1973 episode of The Brady Bunch titled
Aaron Paul: Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul cheated death while filming the first season of Breaking Bad in 2008. Having asked for permission to move positions for a scene, the actor was left shaken after a boulder fell off the roof of a nearby RV directly onto the spot where he had just been standing. (Sony Pictures Television)
Aaron Paul: Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul cheated death while filming the first season of Breaking Bad in 2008. Having asked for permission to move positions for a scene, the actor was left shaken after a boulder fell off the roof of a nearby RV directly onto the spot where he had just been standing. (Sony Pictures Television)
Halle Berry: Halle Berry was filming a fight scene on the set of 2013 thriller The Call when she whacked her head on the concrete floor and knocked herself clean out. Fortunately, she had a speedy recovery. (TriStar Pictures)
Halle Berry: Halle Berry was filming a fight scene on the set of 2013 thriller The Call when she whacked her head on the concrete floor and knocked herself clean out. Fortunately, she had a speedy recovery. (TriStar Pictures)
Tom Hanks: After suffering a minor cut to his leg on the set of 2000 drama Cast Away, Tom Hanks ended up contracting a potentially deadly staph infection and found himself hospitalised for three days. If untreated, the infection can prove fatal. (20th Century Fox)
Tom Hanks: After suffering a minor cut to his leg on the set of 2000 drama Cast Away, Tom Hanks ended up contracting a potentially deadly staph infection and found himself hospitalised for three days. If untreated, the infection can prove fatal. (20th Century Fox)
Gerard Butler: Gerard Butler had a close call while filming 2012 film Chasing Mavericks at a Northern California surfing spot renowned for its dangerous waters. The actor was knocked off his paddle by a powerful wave and submerged underwater until someone eventually came to his aid. (20th Century Fox)
Gerard Butler: Gerard Butler had a close call while filming 2012 film Chasing Mavericks at a Northern California surfing spot renowned for its dangerous waters. The actor was knocked off his paddle by a powerful wave and submerged underwater until someone eventually came to his aid. (20th Century Fox)
Elisabeth Sladen - Doctor Who: Doctor Who legend Elisabeth Sladen had a near-miss while filming the original series' four-part serial
Elisabeth Sladen - Doctor Who: Doctor Who legend Elisabeth Sladen had a near-miss while filming the original series' four-part serial

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