ByKarly Rayner, writer at
Movie Pilot's celebrity savant
Karly Rayner

A seemingly disproportionate amount of celebrities have felt the cold touch of the grim reaper's bony fingers and it's a miracle some of our favorite stars are even here at all.

Thankfully seat-belts, heroic canines, parachutes and doctors were at the right places at the right times to prevent these talents from being snatched away from us, but that probably won't stop you from feeling a chill down your spine at the realization that the world could have missed out on Star Wars...

12. Johnny Depp

What happened? The much-beloved Johnny Depp almost died when he was flying in a small plane with director Bruce Robinson when the engines cut out. Luckily, they responded to an emergency restart in time and Captain Jack Sparrow lives to sail onto the silver screen once more.

When? 2011

Quote: "The sound of the engines stopped. There was silence. Bruce and I were looking at each other and I think I said, 'Is this it?' It was like this weird extended moment when you're just floating for a second, and you could feel this unpleasant descent."

11. Ryan Reynolds

What happened? A teenage Ryan Reynolds almost died in a skydiving accident when the chute failed to open, sending him plummeting toward the ground until he managed to release the reserve.

When? All the way back when the Deadpool actor was just 17-years-old.

Quote: "When I was 17-years-old, I took a skydiving course, and it was just awful. Every second of it was just truly horrendous. On my 13th jump, I jumped out of the plane, and my chute failed. It came out the wrong way, I had to pull the reserve. I got down on the ground, removed my urine-spackled jumpsuit, threw it at the guy, and got in my car and drove extremely slowly home. It was the worst. Now I get on planes, and I can't do it anymore."

10. Charlize Theron

What happened? Charlize Theron came close to death when she landed on her neck after performing a backflip while filming Æon Flux.

When? 2005

Quote: "I did a back handspring, gymnastics back handspring, and I had done 18 of them back to back and I just slipped and landed on my neck with my body straight out so with all my weight onto my neck I herniated the disk between my third and fourth vertebrae. And it had slipped and was really loose and was close to my spinal cord and I was hospitalized for five days in Berlin and then came back here and saw some doctors. I had some nerve damage, it was numb and on the right side of my body.

I think that we all realized that it was a pretty serious injury, especially when I came back here and did some tests and saw some doctors. I don’t really like the drama of it, but I realize I was pretty lucky."

9. Joaquin Phoenix

What happened? Joaquin Phoenix had a close call when he flipped his car on a winding Los Angeles side road after the breaks failed. Luckily, the German director Werner Herzog was nearby to rush to the star's aid.

When? 2006

Quote: "I remember this knocking on the passenger window. There was this German voice saying, 'Just relax.' There's the airbag, I can't see, and I'm saying, 'I'm fine.' I am relaxed. Finally, I roll down the window, and this head pops inside. And he said, 'No, you're not.' And suddenly I said to myself, 'That's Werner Herzog.'"

8. George Clooney

What happened? George Clooney sustained a serious head and spinal injury while filming Syriana after being hit over the head with a chair in a violent torture scene. Clooney sustained a torn dura mater, meaning the membrane that covers the spinal cord was ruptured and his brain was not properly supported by the fluid. This was not only incredibly dangerous in its own right, but it was also so painful that it left the actor contemplating suicide for a time.

When? 2005

Quote: "I was at a point where I thought, 'I can't exist like this. I can't actually live. I was lying in a hospital bed with an IV in my arm, unable to move, having these headaches where it feels like you're having a stroke, and for a short three-week period, I started to think, 'I may have to do something drastic about this. You start to think in terms of, you don't want to leave a mess, so go in the garage, go in the car, start the engine. It seems like the nicest way to do it, but I never thought I'd get there. See, I was in a place where I was trying to figure out how to survive."

7. Sharon Stone

What happened? Sharon Stone was almost killed by a serious brain aneurism nearly 15 years ago. The pain from the sudden attack was so severe that she felt like she had been shot in the head and it took the iconic actress two years to learn to read, talk without a stutter, and walk again.

When? 2001

Quote: "I called my mom and I said, 'Mom, I'm calling you from the emergency room...I'm having a brain hemorrhage...I had to learn to walk, hear, write, talk, remember and everything all over again. I thought that I was dying for a long time, even after I came home."

6. Michael J. Fox

What happened? Michael J. Fox was almost accidentally hung in a stunt that went wrong in Back to the Future Part III. The actor misplaced his hands during a hanging scene, and he ended up really hanging by a noose. He passed out before director Bob Zemeckis noticed that he wasn't acting.

When? 1990

Quote: "I swung, unconscious, at the end of the rope for several seconds before Bob Zemeckis, fan of mine though he was, realized even I wasn't that good an actor."

5. Orlando Bloom

What happened? When he was 21-years-old, Orlando Bloom fell off a three-story roof and broke his back. The young aspiring actor was told he would never walk again and has an impressive scar where screws and plates were installed to support his spine.

When? 1998

Quote: "I'm grateful for it, that period was the making of me."

4. Drew Barrymore

What happened? Drew Barrymore came close to perishing in a house fire with her then husband Tom Green, but luckily their pet dog, Flossie, woke the couple and allowed them to flee with their lives.

When? 2001

Quote: None available.

3. Jason Statham

What happened? Jason Statham almost died during the filming of Expendables 3 when the brakes of a truck he was driving broke and it was catapulted into the ocean. Somehow, Statham managed to free himself from the vehicle and swim to safety.

When? 2014

Quote: Jason Staham's castmate, Sylvester Stallone, explained: "He faced death. He was test-driving a three-ton truck and the brakes ran out. It went down 60ft into the Black Sea and became impaled...If anyone else had been in that truck we would have been dead because we were all wearing heavy boots and gun belts. We would have drowned. But because Jason is an Olympic-quality diver he got out of it."

2. Rachel Bilson

What happened? When she was a teenager, Rachel Bilson was so severely injured in a car accident that she was pronounced dead at the scene before belatedly showing vital signs.

When? Back when the O.C. actress was 14-years-old.

Quote: "I basically died and then came back. The window went into my head."

1. George Lucas

What happened? While he was in high school, Lucas was involved in a near lethal car crash that almost claimed his life. The Star Wars creator was driving home from school when a car slammed into the side of his vehicle causing it to flip several times, leaving him with several broken ribs and two collapsed lungs.

When? Exact year unknown.

Quote: "I was hit, broadsided, by a car that was going about 90 miles per hour. I should be dead... It did give me this perspective on life that said, you know, basically, I'm operating on extra credit... Let's just go for it. I'm never afraid of dying. I feel like what I'm getting is bonus material."

(Source: Ranker)


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