The Hollywood scandals and lack of regulation in TV production has created a dangerous environment for both cast and crew alike. Can the stars who commit such fatal mistakes be held accountable?
The “the crow death scene” is a movie that was released in 1994. The film is about a murder on set and the aftermath of the murders that follow. With 53 fatal accidents on TV and Movie sets, it’s important to keep safety in mind when filming.
On the set of Rust, a western film written and directed by Joel Souza, American actor Alex Baldwin was filming a scene with a pistol on October 21, 2021. With director Joel Souza and cinematographer Halyna Hutchins behind the camera, he was practicing with the rifle. Baldwin, as usual, shot what he believed was a prop, unaware of what would happen afterwards.
Director Joel Souza was very slightly injured, but Halyna Hutchins died. In an accident that is only the most recent in a long history of deadly mishaps on film and television sets, she was struck by a real bullet and confirmed dead several hours later. We’ll go through the awful history of deadly incidents on television and movie sets since 1914 in this post.
Accidents on the Sets of Films
We’ve arranged tragic accidents on set in chronological sequence below. Following that, you may learn about the accidents that occurred on television sets.
Grace McHugh and Owen Carter star in Across the Border (1914).
Actress Grace McHugh filmed a scene in which her character crossed the Arkansas River in a boat on July 1, 1914, while shooting in Canon City, Colorado. As soon as the boat capsized, cinematographer Owen Carter dove into the river to save the actress.
He dragged her onto a sandbar that turned out to be quicksand afterwards. The remainder of the film crew stood helplessly by and watched as they were swept into the sandbar and drowned. Carter got a Carnegie Hero Award posthumously for his heroic rescue.
2. Charles Chandler’s The Captive (1915).
To make a scenario appear more genuine, extras fired the door with live ammo during shooting a scene in which the troops had to break down a closed door. Director Cecil B. DeMille then told them to reload their rifles with blanks in preparation for the following scene, which already had the door smashed down.
Unfortunately, one of the extras left a live cartridge in his gun, which unexpectedly fired and killed another extra, Charles Chandler, on the spot.
3. Milton Elliott and Ormer Locklear in The Skywayman (1920).
On August 2, 1920, pilots Milton Elliott and Ormer Locklear were murdered when their aircraft crashed at DeMille Airfield, near Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles, while shooting night shots. The film is now thought to be lost.
4. Martha Mansfield in The Warrens of Virginia (1924)
On November 29, 1923, while working on the ground in San Antonio, Texas, Martha Mansfield’s hoopskirt and fragile frilled Civil War costume ignited in a match tossed by a performer.
Mansfield, who had portrayed Agatha Warren, had barely concluded the part when her garments caught fire and she ran to the vehicle. When her leading man, Wilfred Lytell, placed her large coat on her, she was able to preserve her neck and face. When the driver of Mansfield’s automobile attempted to strip the actress’s blazing garments, she was seriously burnt. Despite the fact that the fire was put out, she was seriously injured and died the following day.
5. Unnamed stuntman in Ben-Hur (1925).
An anonymous stuntman died when a wheel of his chariot broke during an effort to shoot the chariot race on location at the Circus Maximus in Rome.
6. Noah’s Ark (1928) – Three people are killed (plus other incidents)
A calamity occurred during the production of the Great Flood sequence, in which three people perished, one guy lost a limb, and many more were wounded. The film safety laws were introduced in 1929 as a result of this disaster.
6. Alvin Knechtel and William Hauber in The Aviator (1929).
When an aircraft crashed during production of flying sequences, cameraman Alvin Knechtel and actor and stunt pilot William Hauber were killed.
7. Al Wilson, Phil Jones, Al Johnson, and Clement Phillips in Hell’s Angels (1930).
The creation of Hell’s Angels was marred by plane crashes, four of which were tragic, killing three pilots and a mechanic (Jones). Stunt pilot Al Wilson flew into a spin during the last shot of shooting on March 22, 1929, and was unable to recover.
He was ready to bail out and told his mechanic Phil Jones (who was dropping lampblack in the rear of the aircraft to imitate smoke) to do so, but Jones didn’t hear him and the plane crashed. In the movie, just a quick view of the spinning Sikorsky was included. Al Johnson and Clement Phillips, two more stunt pilots, were killed in separate incidents.
8. Ten Fatalities in Such Men Are Dangerous (1930)
On January 2, 1930, two Stinson Detroit aircraft employed as camera planes crashed over the sea doing aerial photography off the coast of Southern California at Santa Monica.
Director Kenneth Hawks (brother of Howard Hawks), assistant director Max Gold, cameraman Conrad Wells, cinematographer George Eastman, cinematographers Otto Jordan and Ben Frankel, two props workers, and both pilots were among the 10 persons murdered onboard the two aircraft. Only five corpses have been found.
Unnamed stuntman and many horses in The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936).
A stuntman was murdered during shooting the assault action when he slipped from his horse and landed on a broken sword lying in the field, jammed so that its blade was jutting straight up, killing him. Three dozen horses had their legs broken and had to be shot during the shooting due to the deployment of tripwires.
Jack Budlong and two nameless extras in They Died with Their Boots On (1941).
During the cavalry assault, three riders died, including extra Jack Budlong, whose horse stumbled as he rode behind Errol Flynn. He had the wisdom to fling his sword front of him as he fell forward. Unfortunately, it fell with the handle down and became stuck. Budlong was impaled on his own sword and died a few hours later in a Los Angeles hospital.
11. Addison “Jack” Randall in The Royal Mounted Rides Again (1945).
On July 16, 1945, at Canoga Park, California, the actor was murdered while speeding by the cameras for a Universal Pictures series. While attempting to grab his hat, which had been blown off his head, he slipped out of the saddle and collided with a tree. He died not long after that.
12. Fred Kennedy’s The Horse Soldiers (1959).
While shooting John Ford’s picture in Louisiana, the seasoned stuntman and bit player was killed in a horse fall tragedy.
Inna Burduchenko, Tsvetok na kamne (1962).
On July 30, 1960, Soviet actress Inna Burduchenko had third-degree burns while shooting a scene in a blazing barracks. She died in a hospital on August 15th, three months pregnant at the time. The director, Anatoly Slesarenko, was prosecuted and condemned for Burduchenko’s death due to a lack of safety procedures.
Mike Reilly in The War Lover (1962).
One of the parachute jumpers, Englishman Mike Reilly, perished in the water while shooting a parachute sequence over the English Channel.
Paul Mantz’s The Flight of the Phoenix (1965)
On July 8, 1965, pilot Paul Mantz crashed while shooting a low pass scenario.
16. Robert King Baggot, U.S.N. (1965) – Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N.
During shooting on Kauai, cameraman Robert King Baggot was murdered when a large wave smashed his boat and threw him overboard, killing him.
Yevgeni Urbansky, 17. Director (1965)
During the filming of Direktor in 1965, the Soviet film star was murdered while doing his own stunt; the original movie was subsequently abandoned and reshot four years later.
18. Eric Fleming’s High Jungle (1966)
Rawhide star Eric Fleming was shooting in Peru on September 28, 1966. Fleming’s dugout boat overturned on the Huallaga River during the last hours of shooting. Actor Nico Minardos was able to swim to safety, but Fleming perished after being washed away by the river.
Don Federico Eglesias Lanzo, Don Federico Eglesias Lanzo, Don Federico Eglesias Lanzo, Don Federico Eglesias Lanzo
Don Federico Eglesias Lanzo, a Spanish pilot, was killed in an aircraft accident near Seville, Spain, while shooting.
Jose Marco’s Shark! (1969) is the twenty-first film in the Shark! series.
During filming, a great white shark entered a safety net and attacked and killed one of the film’s stuntmen, Jose Marco. The incident was caught on tape and featured in a Life magazine picture shoot. To capitalize on the issue, the title was altered to Shark!
Robert Sparr and pilot in Barquero (1970).
Director Robert Sparr was killed in an aircraft accident on August 28, 1969, while exploring locales with cinematographer Gerald Finnerman. They were flying in a single-engine aircraft when it crashed at Brush Hollow Reservoir near Penrose, Colorado. The pilot died in the accident as well, but Finnerman survived.
John Jordan’s Catch-22 (1970)
Second-unit director John Jordan died after refusing to wear a safety harness and was swept out of a B-25 Mitchell while shooting a bombing scenario. Jordan had lost his foot three years before while shooting You Only Live Twice in Japan.
Mitr Chaibancha (1970) – 23. Insee tong
Mitr Chaibancha, a prominent Thai actor, was assassinated while shooting his role as masked crime fighter Insee Daeng (Red Eagle). Mitr had to grip a rope ladder dangling from a helicopter on the last day of shooting.
He only managed to grip the lowest rung, though. Mitr ultimately lost his grasp and plummeted to the ground when the chopper pilot took off. The mishap was captured on film and included in the final theatrical release.
Tora, number 24! Tora, Tora, Tora! Guy Thomas Strong (1970)
During aerial practices before to filming, pilot Guy Thomas Strong was killed when his customized aircraft crashed in a sugar-cane field near Ewa.
Burch Williams, Skeets Kelly, Jim Liddy, and Gilbert Chomat star in Zeppelin (1971).
A replica SE5 aircraft and an Alouette helicopter camera-ship crashed in mid-air during aerial shooting over the Irish Sea, killing assistant director Burch Williams, cameraman Skeets Kelly, and pilots Jim Liddy and Gilbert Chomat.
Charles Boddington – Von Richthofen and Brown (1971).
During shooting, stunt pilot Charles Boddington was killed when his antique biplane crashed at Weston Airport near Dublin, Ireland.
Jim Sheppard in Comes a Horseman (1978).
When a horse dragging Jason Robards’ role strayed off course and banged his head into a fence post during shooting the scene in which he is (supposedly) carried to his death, his stunt double Jim Sheppard was murdered.
Gordon Parks, Jr., Peter Gilfillian, and two other victims star in Revenge (1979).
While shooting in Kenya, director Gordon Parks, Jr., cameraman Peter Gilfillian, and two others were killed in an aircraft accident.
A.J. Bakunas, Steel (1979).
A.J. Bakunas perished in a fall from the Kincaid Towers in Lexington, Kentucky, while serving as a stand-in for George Kennedy. Bakunas had previously performed a successful fall from the building site’s ninth story.
Bakunas returned to execute the fall from the 91-foot-high building site after learning that Dar Robinson had beaten his record for an unrelated publicity stunt. Bakunas accomplished the fall flawlessly, but the airbag burst, killing him.
Paolo Rigon, For Your Eyes Only (1981)
The four-man bobsled came off the track at the incorrect area and slammed into a tree while shooting a high-speed bobsled pursuit. One of the riders, Paolo Rigon, a teenage stuntman, was murdered.
31. Jack Tyree’s The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982).
Jack Tyree, a stuntman from Los Angeles, was murdered while doing a stunt at a tremendous height at Griffith Park. Tyree missed his airbag during a 78-foot (24 m) fall in full costume and makeup, resulting in a deadly hit.
32. Nigel Thornton, David Perrin, and Jaron Anderson in High Road to China (1983).
A helicopter crashed on route to the site while shooting in Yugoslavia. The disaster killed all three individuals on board: helicopter pilot Nigel Thornton, stunt pilot David Perrin, and technician Jaron Anderson.
David Brostoff’s Midnite Spares (1983) is number 33.
David Brostoff was murdered when one of the sprint cars went off the track and hit him during the filming of a motor race scenario in Granville, Australia, driving his body through two fences and killing him.
34. Joseph Leonard Svec’s The Right Stuff (1983)
In a parachute jump reenacting Chuck Yeager’s escape from a wrecked NF-104, stuntman Joseph Leonard Svec died. Yeager’s flying helmet caught fire in real life when it impacted with the hot exhaust of the ejection seat in mid-flight.
Svec used a smoke canister to mimic a fire during his free fall. This, however, may have inebriated the stuntman, leading him to pass out. He did not open his parachute and died as a result.
35.Myca Dinh Le, Renee Shin-Yi Chen, and Vic Morrow in Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983).
On July 23, 1982, a helicopter caught fireworks and soared to a height of 25 feet, killing two children, Myca Dinh Le (age 7) and Renee Shin-Yi Chen (year 6), as well as actor Vic Morrow (8 meters). Morrow and Le were beheaded, while Chen was crushed to death by the tail rotor.
Art Scholl’s Top Gun (1986) is number 36.
Art Scholl, an aerobatic pilot, wrecked his Pitts S-2 camera aircraft off the coast of southern California near Carlsbad on September 16, 1985, and neither plane was found.
37. H. B. Halicki’s Gone in 60 Seconds 2 (1989)
H. B. Halicki, a director and actor, was murdered in Buffalo, New York, when a water tower he was attempting to collapse fell prematurely and collided with a telephone pole, killing him. As a consequence of the mishap, the movie was canceled.
Unnamed crew member in The Bodyguard (1992).
During shooting, a worker was crushed between two lighting-equipment cranes and perished.
Brandon Lee’s The Crow (1994) is number 39.
Brandon Lee, an American actor and martial artist, was unintentionally shot in North Carolina on March 31, 1993, with a.44 Magnum revolver that was designed to shoot blanks but had a bullet left over after a dummy was inserted and withdrawn.
Sonja Davis in Vampire in Brooklyn (1995).
Stunt double for Angela Bassett Sonja Davis died when a stunt went horribly wrong.
Harry L. O’Connor, Harry L. O’Connor, Harry L. O’Connor, Harry L. O’Connor, Harry L. O’Connor, Harry L. O
On April 4, 2002, Harry L. O’Connor, Vin Diesel’s stunt double, died during filming a scenario in which he was meant to rappel down a parasailing line and land on a submarine. Instead, he slammed into a bridge at a fast rate and perished instantly.
42. Conway Wickliffe in The Dark Knight (2008)
Conway Wickliffe, a cameraman on the set of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, was murdered in 2007 while riding in a pickup truck parallel to a stunt vehicle; the pickup misjudged a 90-degree curve and slammed into a tree, killing Wickliffe.
43. Alan D. Purwin and Carlos Berl’s American Made (2017)
During the production of American Made at Medelln, Colombia, stunt pilot Alan D. Purwin and his Venezuelan co-pilot Carlos Berl were killed when their plane crashed. A third passenger on board the plane, who has not been identified, survived the crash.
Michael Davidson’s Motherless Brooklyn (2019) is number 44.
A fire broke out on one of the film’s sets in New York City on March 22, 2018. Despite the fact that the firemen arrived quickly, the subsequent fire killed fireman Lieutenant Michael Davidson, the incident’s single fatality.
Halyna Hutchins, Rust (2021).
On the set of the film Rust, cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot and director Joel Souza was wounded on October 21, 2021, at Bonanza Creek Ranch in Bonanza City, New Mexico, USA, after actor Alec Baldwin fired a gun used as a prop that had been handed to him by assistant director Dave Halls.
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, the United States Attorney’s Office for the First Judicial District of New Mexico, and the New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau are all investigating the event. The film’s production has been put on hold indefinitely.
Accidents that result in death on television sets
The following section contains tragic accidents involving television sets (sorted chronologically).
1. Unnamed cameraman in Matlock Police (1971), episode 36 (“End of the Road”)
After losing control while negotiating a gravel turn while shooting episode 36 (“End of the Road”) of the Matlock Police TV program, a car driven by a cast member hit and killed a member of the camera crew.
2. Roger Delgado with two technicians in La Cloche Tibétaine (1973), episode 4 (“L’escadron d’or”)
On June 18, actor Roger Delgado and two Turkish film workers were murdered when their vehicle fled the road and crashed into a ravine while shooting episode 4 of this French miniseries, “L’escadron d’or” (English: “The Golden Squadron”).
3. Janos Prohaska, Robert Prohaska, and 34 additional fatalities in Primal Man (1974).
While shooting this television series, actor and stunt performer Janos Prohaska, his son Robert, and 34 other people perished in an aircraft disaster.
Rodney Mitchell, The Dukes of Hazzard (1980)
When their camera truck overturned while practicing a pursuit scene, assistant cameraman Rodney Mitchell was murdered and eight other crew members were wounded.
5. Rob Van Der Kar in Magnum, P.I. (1980)
While shooting an episode of the program, cameraman Rob Van Der Kar was killed in a helicopter accident.
6. Jack Tandberg’s The Five of Me (1981).
During the making of this made-for-television movie, camera assistant Jack Tandberg was murdered when he was struck by a driverless stunt vehicle.
Boris Sagal in World War III (1982).
Director Boris Sagal was gravely injured while shooting this made-for-TV movie when his skull was broken when he stepped into the tail rotor blade of a helicopter.
8. Tipu Sultan’s Sword (1989) – 62 fatalities
The most on-set fatalities in cinema history occurred during the production of this Indian television film. After a fire broke out and trapped them in the blazing film studio, 62 extras and crew members perished. Sanjay Khan, the film’s director and star actor, suffered serious burns and spent 13 months in the hospital, enduring 72 procedures.
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