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Alec Baldwin Is An Unfortunate Reminder Of The History Of Deadly Hollywood Accidents

After the unfortunate accident on the set of Rust last week, reporters have been quick to remind people of a similar accident that happened during the filming of The Crow when Bruce Lee's kid was accidentally shot and killed with a .44 magnum that was intended to fire blanks but contained a bullet left behind after a dummy round had been inserted and removed. 

But because I am an asshole with a history podcast I decided to go back over the last 107 years to learn about ALL the accidental deaths, injuries, and dismemberments that have happened way before some Hollywood exec decided it was a good idea to cast Alec Baldwin as a bloated Kansas cowboy with a Long Island accent.

And the number of victims is ASTOUNDING.

Even if you ignore tragedies from the earliest movies... Shit that happened before OSHA stepped in to make the craft somewhat safer... There is still an overwhelming number of cast and crew who leave for the set in the morning and never return home.

Since 1990, at least 44 people have died on sets in the U.S. (according to a study done by the Associated Press), and more than 150 people have been left with life-altering injuries.

I will rapid-fire a couple of accidents for you now, and if you want more, KenJac and I dedicate almost 2 hours to the subject on this week's Twisted History...

- In 1914, Cecil B. DeMille (AKA, the founding father of American cinema AND the most commercially successful producer-director in film history) wrote, directed, edited, and produced a silent film in 1915 called The Captive.  During the filming of a scene where soldiers were required to break down a locked door, DeMille ordered the extras to load with blanks but one of them inadvertently left a live round in his rifle which discharged, shooting another extra, Charles Chandler, in the head, killing him instantly.

- Legendary Hollywood cocksman Howard Hughes directed a film where not one... not two... but THREE PILOTS were killed in 3 separate mid-air accidents.



By the way- Hughes was a crazy sonofabitch, but he also banged every major starlet of the 1930s...

Bette Davis...

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Ava Gardner…

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Hedy Lamarr…

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Katherine Hepburn and Ginger Rogers… 

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Janet Leigh…

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Janet Leigh's daughter is Jamie Lee Curtis, by the way…

(Howard did not bang her.)

Rita Hayworth…

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Gene Tierney…

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and "The Teutonic Titwillow" Mamie Van Doren…

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These ladies might not be your 'cup of tea' but they were top of the food chain coming out of Prohibition.



But back to deaths…

- John Wayne filmed a movie called The Conqueror downwind of the United States government's Nevada Nuclear Test Site where extensive above-ground nuclear weapons testing had occurred regularly… 91 of the 220-person cast and crew came down with cancer.

- In 1967, during the filming of the James Bond film You Only Live Twice, cameraman John Jordan was struck in the foot by the helicopter’s blade… Although doctors in the area were able to reattach the foot, he had it amputated when he returned to the UK. 

- A few years later, in 1970, that same guy, John Jordan, was killed during the filming of Catch-22 when he was sucked out of a B-25 bomber while filming a scene… He refused to wear a safety harness while the plane was in flight.

- 14-year-old Jodie Foster was mauled in 1972 by a lion used in the Disney movie Napolean and Samantha and still has scars on her back and stomach. 

- Martin Sheen had a heart attack while filming Apocalypse Now and had to stop filming for 6 weeks as he recovered.

- Brad Pitt ironically tore his left Achilles tendon during the filming of the movie Troy…  Why is that ironic?… Pitt played Achilles in the film.

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- Jim Caviezel was struck by lightning before filming the Sermon of the Mount scene in 2004’s Passion of the Christ… That's what you get, Jim.

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And dozens more.

So if you're looking for perspective, or just something to talk about while the Baldwin situation gets sorted out, The Twisted History of Deadly Hollywood is your premier guide to movie-making deaths.

Take a report.