You may find this hard to believe but performers (actors, musicians, athletes, etc) live dangerous and – in some cases – even lethal lives. Unfortunately, there have been many people who died during a performance over the past decades. For today´s post, we’ll take a look at sad stories of people who tragically passed away while performing on their stage (we’re using the word “stage” to describe the performer’s element. This can range from a choir stage to a wrestling ring and even a movie set). From an actor who suffered a heart attack on stage to a singer who was killed by a snake during her concert, here are 25 Awesome Performers Who Died On Their Stage.
William Elsworth Robinson
Known by his stage name Chung Ling Soo, William Elsworth Robinson was an American magician who was famous for performing a bullet catch trick. When Robinson was performing the trick in London in March 1918, the gun malfunctioned and fired a real deadly bullet into his lungs.
A renowned French organist and composer, Louis Vierne suffered either a stroke or a heart attack (eyewitness reports differ) while giving his 1750th organ recital at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris on the evening of 2 June 1937.
Gareth Jones, a British actor, was portraying a character who died of a heart attack in a live science fiction play Underground in the UK’s Armchair Theatre in November 1958 when he died of a real heart attack between his scenes.
Jean Baptiste Poquelin
Better known by his stage name Moliere, Jean Baptiste Poquelin was a French playwright and actor who is considered one of the greatest masters of comedy in Western literature. Moliere, who suffered from pulmonary tuberculosis, died after being seized by a violent coughing fit while playing the title role in his play The Hypochondriac in February 1673.
Brandon Lee, son of the famous martial artist Bruce Lee, died while filming the movie The Crow (1994). A prop gun had been squib loaded, causing the blank cartridge to propel the bullet into Lee and kill him. Contrary to urban legend, the footage of his death was not kept in the movie. Instead, they re-shot the scene using a different actor, whose death in the film was by a throwing knife.