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10 Famous People Who Died While Performing

10 Famous People Who Died While Performing
In this article I have listed the 10 famous artists who have died while performing in the most tragic and dramatic way. It's like death had preplanned their end, and was asking them to follow the steps prescribed by him. Read more..
Foram Mehta
All the famous people that I am going to mention in this article have died in the most surprising and shocking way, while performing. The way in which these artists have died is very dramatic and sounds more like a movie script more than a real life story. The famous personalities I have mentioned come from different genres like actors, magicians, musicians, show anchors, singers, comedians, and wrestlers. Their death was sudden and unexpected. One of them died because of a heart attack and one accidentally ended up shooting himself. None of them in their wildest dreams would have imagined that their life would end like this.
10 Famous People Who Died While Performing
Following is a list of the 10 famous people who died while performing. The only thing common between all the personalities mentioned above is the fact that they died while doing something they loved, Performing! They have left their mark in the world history and will be immortal in millions of hearts.


February 22, 1962 - September 4, 2006
Cause of Death: Stingray Spine's Sting

Steve Irwin was a man with no fear. He was like Tarzan as he was born with the crocodiles and other reptiles and was actually pally with them. He became famous performing for the wildlife shows on Animal Planet. He Starred on Croc Files, New Breed Vets, and The Crocodile Hunter Dairies. He dealt with all sorts of animals and he loved doing what he did. He directed a few shows and had discovered a new species of turtle and it was named after him. He was certainly the USP of the Channel. However, the 'Crocodile Hunter' died while snorkeling for his documentary 'Ocean's Deadliest' at the Great Barrier Reef, Batt Reef, North Queensland after a Stingray Spine fatally pierced him in his chest. The invincible man was laid down! I wish he never died! Though you can relive him on Animal Planet yet!

"I have no fear of losing my life - if I have to save a koala or a crocodile or a kangaroo or a snake, mate, I will save it."

February 1, 1965 - March 31, 1993
Cause of Death: Gunshot

He is the son of the legendary martial arts superstar, Bruce Lee. He was gorgeous and only 28 when he died. He died while shooting for a film 'The Crow'. The team of 'The Crow' decided to shoot the scene where another character was to shoot him using dummy cartridges. But unfortunately their negligence they forgot to remove the primers from them. Lee performed his scene in which he was shot. He hit the floor and the crew applauded for his extraordinary performance; but Lee did not rise after the director said "CUT". They rushed to him and realized he was shot in reality and took him to hospital. He was declared dead after an unsuccessful six hour operation was performed to remove the bullet. His last lines were "Bang! Bang! Don't forget to send flowers!". He was asking one of the crew members if the flowers for a dead in the movie were arranged for.

"Because we do not know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. And yet everything happens only a certain number of times. And a very small number really."

April 2, 1861- March 23, 1918
Cause of Death: Gunshot

If you Google his name, the first thing that appears on your searched list would be 'Chung Ling Soo'. He was a famous American Magician who claimed himself to be the 'Original Chinese Conjure'. He died accidentally when he was performing a trick where his assistants who act as Boxers with two large guns shoot at William. William's trick was to stop the bullets from hitting him with his hands. Sometimes he would also act as if he has been shot, but would pop out the bullet from his mouth. This time accidentally the gun was not unloaded and it hit him straight in his chest.

His last words were, "Oh my God. Something's happened. Lower the curtain!"

March 19, 1921 - April 15, 1984
Cause of Death: Heart Attack

Tommy was a very popular magician and a British prop comedian. He died whilst performing an act on 'Live From Her Majesty's'. He was playing the part where he would pull out different props from his robe like it was magical. These props were actually passed on to him by his assistant. Once he was done performing, he was supposed to walk out but instead he fell on his head on the floor and everyone heard the snoring sound. They all assumed it was a joke, but when he did not wake up, that's when it was realized that he passed away after having a heart attack.

"I used to be indecisive but now I am not quite sure."

May 7, 1965 - May 23, 1999
Cause of Death: Internal Bleeding

Owen was a professional amateur wrestler. He has been the WWF Champion twice, WWF World Tag Team Champion (four times), won USFA Unified World Heavy Weight Championship (once), WWF King of the Ring, WWG European Championship (once). Owen died in the most tragic way while making an entry for the Intercontinental Championshipin Kansas City, Missouri. This match was against the Godfather. He was making his entry with a harness and while it was lowering, the equipment malfunctioned and Owen fell from a height of 78 feet. His chest first bumped on the first rope and he then crashed on the floor. He was later taken to the hospital but was announced 'dead on arrival'. He is still remembered as the 'The Blue Blazer'.

"Nobody really knows for sure who the Blue Blazer is, but like I said in my interview, there's a little bit of the Blue Blazer in each and every one of us."

August 20, 1966 - December 8, 2004
Cause of Death: Shot in the Head

Darell was a famous American guitarist who founded the heavy metal bands - Pantera and Damageplan. He was accoladed with the title "One of the most influential stylists in modern metal" and his tone was also included in the "50 Greatest Tones of All Time". His career ended with his life when a gunman 'Nathan Gale' shot Darell. He was shot thrice in his head and died immediately. Besides him the gunman killed a few others too. His motive is not clearly known but it is said that he was a paranoid schizophrenic and ended up killing Darell thinking he was trying to steal his identity.

"I was lucky enough to get to see guys like Bugs Henderson, Jimmy Wallace, all those great Texas blues players."

November 5, 1957 - October 18, 1984
Cause of Death: Shot

Hexum was a famous American model turned actor. He killed himself, unintentionally. He was on the set of 'Cover Up' shooting for the 7th episode for the 'Golden Opportunity' Series. He performed a shot but Hexum's director was not happy with the outcome, which made Hexum uneasy and impatient. To change his mood, he started to play around with the revolver and pointed it on his temple like a Russian Roulettegame and pulled the trigger. The blanks were made out of plastic, but it can cause injuries if it is fired from a short distance, specially on a very vulnerable place. He was certainly not aware of his actions, but the paper wadding from the black struck him, right in his temple which created a trauma that damaged a part of his skull and caused a massive hemorrhage. He was under treatment for 6 days but couldn't survive any further.

"I worry about not being a great actor. I'd hate to die young and never have made Grapes of Wrath. Life goes by so fast...I just don't want to miss out on anything."

January 21, 1905 - March 22, 1978
Cause of Death: Multiple Injuries.

Karl Wallenda was a Daredevil. He used to perform with his family known as 'The Great Wallendas' which used to perform stunts like cycling on the wire and four-man pyramid. In 1970, Karl wire-walked across the Tallulah Gorge. The wire was very high and the distance was almost of a quarter mile and he managed it successfully. Approximately 30,000 people watching him do this. He had tried several stunts and in spite of several injuries and damage he never stopped. But unfortunately he couldn't successfully complete his final high wire-walk. Karl undertook a 10 story high wire-walk from one tower of the Condado Plaza Hotel to the other. The wire was about 121 feet high above the sidewalk. He began walking but just then wind started blowing at a speed of 32 miles per hour and made him lose his balance and pushed him off the wire. He fell on the ground and death had laid its icy hands on him.
He always said,

"Life is being on the wire; everything else is just waiting."

1914 - November 22,1986
Cause of Death: Heart Attack

Edith Webster was a famous stage actress in America. In 1986, the veteran stage actress was giving her final performance in, 'The Drunkard'- an off-Broadway play. She had played that role throughout the eight years period where she played the character of an old grandmother. In her final scene she was to sing the song "Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone" and then just collapse on the floor. Her performance went really well and the song she sang that is said to be her best interpretation of the song. She sang the song and collapsed on the floor, the audience gave her a standing ovation but she remained motionless in her body without life. She died at the same moment when she actually died in the play because of a fatal heart attack. I guess it was God's wish to call his beloved back before she could retire as performing was the soul of her life.

February 14, 1929 - July 23, 1982
Cause of Death: Helicopter Malfunction

Vic Morrow was an American actor who was known for playing the lead role of the 'Sgt. Saunders' in the Combat series. He died while he was shooting for 'Twilight Zone: The Movie'. His death is unimaginable. Morrow along with two other children was shooting a scene where they were trying to escape from a U.S Army helicopter in a Vietnamese village. The helicopter was 25 feet above them and suddenly because of a pyrotechnic explosion the helicopter fell on Morrow and the other two kids in a flash of time and they all were beheaded in the incident. A terribly tragic death.

Vic Morrow was once asked about the safety levels maintained in the explosions he films. As a reply he said,

"Because we are in a war situation, this can sometimes be dangerous work. But guys like A.D. Flowers and his technicians just take it in stride and get on with the job. In four years, we've never had a serious accident or injury working with all the explosions."