It’s hard to believe how long some of these folks have been gone.

And it’s interesting to learn that all of these famous actors sadly passed away during the production of films.

Let’s take a look at what happened and how the films they were working on ultimately were completed.

1. Phillip Seymour Hoffman

Hoffman tragically passed away from a drug overdose in 2014 while making The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.

Hoffman had already filmed a decent amount of scenes for the film so it was decided that his role would be scaled back for the finished product and this included changing the ending of the film.

2. Jean Harlow

Harlow was an early Hollywood star who unexpectedly passed away at the age of 26 in 1937.

She was making a movie called Saratoga at the time and, since her fans had complained when word got out that her role might be recast, producers decided to use body doubles to finish the film.

An actress named Paula Winslowe was also brought in to impersonate Harlow’s voice for some scenes.


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3. Bruce Lee

The legendary martial arts star passed away in 1973 in his prime at the age of 32.

The previous year, Lee had begun filming a movie called Game of Death but left that production to star in the film that ultimately made him a superstar, Enter the Dragon.

Lee passed away six days before Enter the Dragon was released and the producers of Game of Death were determined to finish the film because he had become a worldwide sensation.

Game of Death was finally finished in 1978 using various stand-ins for Lee.


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4. Vic Morrow

Vic Morrow tragically passed away on the set of Twilight Zone: The Movie in 1982 when a stunt went wrong. Two young children also passed away in the incident.

In order to finish the film, director John Landis decided to make that segment of the film with Morrow shorter so the film could still be released.


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5. Carrie Fisher

The actress who will forever be known as Princess Leia passed away at the age of 60 in 2016.

Carrie Fisher had reprised her iconic role for Episodes 7 and 8 in the Star Wars series and director J.J. Abrams wanted her to have a role in Episode 9.

Abrams utilized unused footage from The Force Awakens to create new scenes in order to include Fisher in Episode 9.


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6. Brandon Lee

Brandon Lee, son of Bruce, also met an untimely ending when he was accidentally shot on the set of The Crow in 1993. Brandon Lee was only 28-years-old and this was the film that would ultimately make him a major movie star.

Paramount was originally making the film but Miramax decided to pour $8 million into The Crow to finish the project using CGI and a stunt double.

7. Chris Farley

The larger-than-life comedic actor passed away in 1997 at the age of 33 and had been working on the movie Shrek for over a year at that point.

In fact, Farley had already completed 80-90% of his lines at that point. The producers decided to bring in fellow Saturday Night Live alum Mike Myers to take over the part.

8. Heath Ledger

Ledger was only 28-years-old when he passed away from an overdose in 2008. At that time, he was filming Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

In order to finish the film, Gilliam enlisted actors Jude Law, Johnny Depp, and Colin Farrell to play Ledger’s part in various dream world sequences.


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9. Paul Walker

Paul Walker sadly passed away in a car accident in 2013 at the age of 40 while he was in the process of making another The Fast and the Furious sequel.

A decision was made to use all of Walker’s footage from all the films in the series to make a CGI version of the actor. Walker’s two brothers were also hired to stand in for some scenes and the actor’s face was imposed over theirs using CGI and they read some of his lines to complete Furious 7.


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10. Don Rickles

The famous comedian passed away in 2017 at the age of 90 and was supposed to reprise his role in Toy Story 4.

The producers decided to use all the dialogue Rickles had recorded for the previous three Toy Story films and all the associated things that went along with it to include his Mr. Potato Head in the fourth film in the series.


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What other actors do you think passed on way too soon?

Talk to us in the comments.

We’d love to hear from you!