Tragic Accidents on Set

When I heard the news today about the death of Brazilian actor Tiago Klimeck, it brought to mind some other actors whose lives came to tragic ends during accidents on the set. Tiago was playing the part of Judas Iscariot in a local stage production of The Passion of the Christ when the hanging scene went horribly wrong. He was in a medically-induced coma for two weeks until he finally passed away on Sunday. He had apparently been wearing a harness for the scene, so the investigation is still ongoing to determine what happened.

Are you old enough to remember the helicopter scene accident that killed actor Vic Morrow and two child actors while filming Twilight Zone: The Movie in 1983?  I also recall in 1984 when Jon-Erik Hexum, star of one of my childhood favorite time travel shows, Voyagers, died after shooting himself with a blank during an apparent game of Russian Roulette on the set of the series Cover-Up.

One of the most shocking performance-related accidents was the fatal shooting of Brendon Lee in 1993 while filming The Crow.  The son of Bruce Lee, he was a promising young actor whose future seemed full of possibilities.

We often hear of performers dying before their time off-set, but to have it happen while working their craft is even more unsettling. It reminds me of the dangers these thespians face for their art. Some mock the craft as "just play-acting," but whenever I hear of another acting accident, big or small, I respect even more the performances I see on stage or screen and remember those who have passed away while doing what they love. May they rest in peace.

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