The enclave of celebrity fatalities over the years is guaranteed front page news. With all the alarming deaths over the years like Prince, Carrie Fisher and Michael Jackson we are now more aware than ever of the fact that celebrities are human too. However, there are celebrities that have stared death in the face and lived to tell their horrifying stories. In this list we dive into the most shocking cases of celebrities that almost became obituaries. Did you know that Leonardo DiCaprio almost died before winning that infamous, long overdue Oscar? Or that Quentin Tarantino nearly killed one of his actresses while trying to get the 'perfect scene'? Or one of the most recent, Kim Kardashian surviving the cool touch of a gun on her face. The one thing these celebrities have in common? They all lived to tell their wild stories. Below you will read all about these scary stories that changed the lives of these celebs forever.
15 Hugh Hefner Nearly Chokes to Death... on a Toy
Hugh Hefner became the authority in men’s magazines when Playboy became a household name. The sultry covers with busty blondes and pretty brunettes became a strange societal anomaly, along with Hugh Hefner himself. We got to see the inside of the legendary Playboy mansion when the show The Girls Next Door starring Hugh himself and his 3 girlfriends Bridget Marquardt, Kendra Wilkinson and Holly Madison aired in 2003 on E! Network. Accustomed to seeing Hugh in his smoker’s jacket, silk pajama sets and notorious captain’s hat, we knew that part of the perks of owning Playboy was being one as well.
So, is it any shock that Hugh nearly died in a nookie related incident? We can hardly imagine his tragic end any other way. This became especially true when Hugh’s most treasured possession: his bed, nearly became his grave. During an interview, Hugh mentioned that he had been having relations with 4 playmates when he nearly choked to death on a Ben Wa ball.
14 Orlando Bloom Falls 3 Stories
In 1998, a then 21-year-old Orlando Bloom, nearly died before we knew him as Legolas from The Lord of the Rings empire. The story goes that a young Bloom was climbing up a drainpipe on the side of a house to retrieve something from the terrace. When Bloom was near the top, a whopping 3 stories high, the drainpipe began to collapse and Bloom went with it. The actor was rushed to the hospital when it was discovered that he broke several vertebrae in his spine, he was told he would never walk again.
However, after several surgeries, a year and a half in physical therapy and a few nuts and bolts later the actor was able to regain full mobility. Still brandishing the large scar on his back Bloom claims this near death experience makes him grateful for life every day. The star returned to Hollywood in 2001 after a successful recovery, emerging as Legolas in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
13 Why Slash's Ex-Girlfriend Could be the Reason Nikki Sixx is Alive
It’s hard to imagine anyone that lives closer to the edge than rock stars, the bad boy image of a rock star always earned through excessive substance abuse, resistance to authority and loyal heard of groupies. This was especially true for Nikki Sixx, bassist for the 80’s super group Motley Crue. On the night of December 23rd, 1987 accompanied by friends and Guns N’ Roses band members Slash and Steven Adler, Nikki Sixx was in a drug fueled haze. However, Sixx decided to inject just one last syringe of heroin before ending the night. Shortly after the others began to notice Nikki wasn’t breathing, while emergency services were on the way Slash’s former girlfriend Sally McLaughlin began unsuccessfully giving the musician mouth to mouth. The rock star was reported legally dead for as long as 4 minutes.
Against all odds, Sixx woke up in a hospital bed not a few hours later. Stumbling out into the hospital parking lot in nothing but leather pants, the rock star noticed 2 teenage girls sitting in their car with a candle holding a vigil for the rock star after hearing of his death. Nikki recalls the girls giving him a jacket and a ride home.
12 Quentin Tarantino Nearly Kills Diane Kruger to Get the Perfect Scene
We’ve all heard the stories of directors and actors that will do anything to get their scene. Remember how Stanley Kubrick filmed the staircase scene in The Shining well over 100 times? Or how Heath Ledger quite literally became the Joker while filming The Dark Knight Rises. It’s no secret that Pulp Fiction director, Quentin Tarantino, loves to make cameos in his own films. This was no exception for the film Inglorious Basterds. Brandished in his Nazi uniform, Tarantino found himself repeatedly underwhelmed by the scene where he chokes Diane Kruger, who played Bridget Von Hammersmark in the film. Tarantino came to the conclusion that the only way to get the scene to work, was if he could choke the actress for real. He assured her that he would stop as soon as the actress’s reaction was caught on film. Kruger hastily agreed, however, Tarantino seemed to forget the promise he made to Kruger, choking her for so long it’s reported she actually lost consciousness.
11 Eminem and the Time Relapse Went Too Far
Rappers certainly have no qualms about discussing their drug use and Detroit rapper Eminem is no exception. Em has always referenced his drug addiction in his music, even naming his albums things like Relapse and Recovery, depicting different stages of his struggle with addiction. However, the rapper admits he’s had brushes with death when it came to experimenting with drugs, but one occasion stands out in particular. The rapper recalls overdosing on a substantial amount of methadone after relapsing. Em says the substances were given to him by an acquaintance, and that he wasn’t aware that the mysterious pills were methadone. The rapper goes on to say that had he known it was methadone he probably wouldn’t have taken the pills, however, he admits that his addiction was so bad at points he has his doubts about his will power. He admits that the doctor had confided in him that the amount of methadone the rapper ingested was equivalent to 4 bags of heroin.
10 The Time 50 Cent Almost Died Tryin'
At number 10 on the list stands another famous rapper’s brush with death, this time it’s Queens, New York native 50 Cent. 50 Cent is most recognized for his early 2000s hits like In Da Club and Just a Lil Bit, after rocketing to fame from the movie Get Rich or Die Tryin’. At age 12 the rapper began to fall victim to a life of crime and began selling dope, even being arrested in high school for possession.
However, the story goes, that before the soon-to-be release of the 2000 hidden track Ghetto Qur’an, the words were thought to be the reason behind the shooting of the rapper. In this track, 50 gives us first hand insight into the Queens drug dealing scene in the 80’s, the lyrics were said to depict local king pin Kenneth McGriff. It’s said that after hearing the leaked track, McGriff put a hit on 50 for revealing such quaint details. Despite being shot 9 times in the arm, hip, legs, chest and even right cheek, the Queens rapper survived. 50 still has a bullet fragment in his tongue, making it sort of permanently swollen, giving him his signature slurred style.
9 Travis Barker and DJ AM Free Themselves From Burning Wreckage
Former member of the band Blink 182, Travis Barker, narrowly escaped with his life in September of 2008 when a Learjet carrying both him and DJ AM crashed. On a flight from Columbia, South Carolina one night when air controllers recalled seeing the plane sparking as it hit the runway. It was then that they were met with a chilling call that said the plane would run off the runway. The crash resulted in 4 fatalities, including the pilot and co-pilot of the plane. It was reported that the other 4 that died in the crash, were unable to free themselves from the burning wreckage before emergency services arrived on scene. Both Travis Barker and DJ AM suffered from severe burn injuries and had to be treated by a specialty burn center in Georgia.
8 Drew Barrymore's House Burns Down.... With Her Inside
In 2001 the Charlie’s Angels vixen, Drew Barrymore, and her fiancée John Green woke up to their 3,500 square foot home in Beverly Hills ablaze at nearly 4:00 in the morning. The lush mansion in North Beverly Hills was set ablaze in the middle of the night, had it not been for the couple’s dog, Flossie, they may not have escaped. The couple reports that they woke up to their dog quite literally banging on their door to alert them to the stuffy situation. The flames took over 50 firefighters and over an hour to put out, estimating nearly $700,000 in general. Barrymore was seen on the news that early morning with her head in her hands exclaiming “we lost everything!” Barrymore then went on to tell the reporters on scene that they were “great”, to which John Green quipped “except for the fact that our house burned down.”
7 Kanye West's Story Behind Through the Wire
On Chicago rapper Kanye West’s breakout album, the College Dropout, the world had been formally introduced to someone who would become one of our most fascinating celebs. However, it was the song Through the Wire that would always be remembered as one of Kanye’s most avant-garde moments, when he still managed to rap with his jaw wired shut.
Kanye had first appeared on the scene in the early 2000s after producing several beats for Jay Z on his platinum album The Blueprint. Two years after The Blueprint dropped on October 23rd, 2003 West was leaving a late night studio session when he collided with another car. The accident was bad enough to send him to the hospital with a jaw fracture, where he had to have his jaw wired shut. Through the Wire became the song that shifted the spotlight on Kanye the rapper, not the producer. West would later go on to say that the accident gave him a second outlook on life, even claiming it was the reason he started to take his rap career seriously. He has referred to the accident on several tracks after Through the Wire, often thanking God that his life was spared that night.
6 Johnny Depp Almost Kicks the Bucket
Can anyone imagine a world where Johnny Depp didn’t live to play infamous Irish mobster, Whitey Bulger, in Black Mass? This scary thought nearly became a reality when the actor and The Rum Diaries director, Bruce Robinson, nearly plummeted to their death in a plane. The Pirates of the Caribbean actor thought he would try his luck on land when he boarded a plane with Bruce Robinson. They were mid-flight when Depp recalls “the engines just shut off”. He reminisces that he and Robinson shared a tense moment of silence, before bursting into laughter after thinking that really was where the buck would stop. Thankfully, before the plane nosedived to a fiery end, the engines managed to turn back on with no action from either Depp or Robinson. Clearly the universe is telling us that Depp was meant to go on to play many more box office roles.
5 Joaquin Phoenix Saved From Mangled Car.... by Werner Herzog
Following the all too familiar Hollywood stint in rehab, Walk the Line actor, Joaquin Phoenix almost lost his life to a near fatal car accident. The actor recalls his brakes failing and the car flipping several times, even colliding with another car before finally coming to a violent halt. Phoenix and the car sat in silence for a few moments before a German voice filled the car, the voice screamed “just relax!” Phoenix recalls that he shouted back to the mysterious good samaritan that he was relaxed. Much to the actor’s surprise, director Warner Herzog popped his head through the mangled car and replied “no you’re not.” Oddly enough, the director lived impossibly close to the site of the crash and heard the whole thing. Phoenix credits Herzog for getting him through the near death experience, keeping him calm until emergency services arrived. Phoenix even claimed the director stopped him from lighting a cigarette in the distorted car for fear that it would incite an explosion.
4 DiCaprio Attacked by Sharks and Bears Oh My!
We all held our breath as Leonardo DiCaprio was attacked by a bear in the film The Revenant. However terrifying the scene seemed to us, the bear was CGI. This was not the first time the actor had been attacked by a wild animal, however, this animal was not CGI. In 2006 while filming Blood Diamond, DiCaprio was on an underwater excursion activity in Cape Town, South Africa when he decided to experience the inside of a shark tank. The tank was lowered under the salty blue surface when he was surrounded by several large great white sharks. South Africa is notorious for housing the biggest and most aggressive great white’s the ocean has to offer. While baiting the sharks toward the tank, a large block of tuna got stuck on the top of the cage. One of the sharks responded by jumping on top of the cage to get the tuna, actually pushing the shark’s body into the cage with the actor, jaws first. DiCaprio reminisces that the shark chomped a few times, only an arm’s length away before he freed himself.
3 Lamar Odom Dies 4 Times, and Comes Back
Following his fellow Kardashian clan member, Kanye West, on the list, we are finally met with the real story about the night Lamar Odom almost died. Odom achieved fame through the NBA, playing for teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, and most famously being married to Khloe Kardashian. The tall quiet character on Keeping Up with the Kardashians, affectionately referred to as Lam Lam nearly died in a brothel in October of 2015.
On an October night in 2015 by all accounts, Odom was on a bender that had lasted days. Lamar had used cocaine and had taken nearly 10 doses of a Viagra-like substance. The reports say Odom was laying on his side, snoring, in a Nevada brothel when others started to notice he was gurgling and being unresponsive, he had white foam on his mouth and his nose was bleeding. Because of Lamar’s 6’10” stature he was not able to be air lifted to a hospital, as a result the route to the hospital took over an hour. Lamar had 4 organs that were near failure and his heart stopped several times in the ambulance.
2 Kim's Infamous Paris Robbery
Most of heard of Kim Kardashian’s infamous Paris robbery when it was reported that husband, Kanye West, ran off stage after receiving word that Kim had been involved in a robbery. Kim had been in Paris for several days, her every move being chronicled by the paparazzi. She stayed active on her social media, even posting a photo of her 20-karat diamond ring, worth a dazzling $4 million.
Upon returning to the Hotel de Pourtales at around 1 am, Kim was followed into the hotel by 5 men. They entered the hotel and held a gun to the night concierge’s head, telling him “take us to the rapper’s wife”. The concierge led them to Kim’s room and opened the door with his key. Kim heard the door open and yelled “hello?”, she was met with no answer. When the thieves made it into Kim’s room they tied her up and duct taped her mouth shut after her incessant screaming. They told Kim they were after money, however she only had about 1,000 Euros on her. She then turned over her 20-karat ring and a jewelry box, all worth an estimated $6 million. The concierge recalls Kim screaming “please don’t kill me! I have babies!”
1 Mark Wahlberg Cheats Death on 9/11
The morning of September 11th, 2001 was a day no American will soon forget. The infamous 9/11 attacks were said to be orchestrated by a terrorist group called Al-Qaeda when they hijacked and flew 4 American commercial flights into iconic American intelligence buildings, including most famously the twin towers and the pentagon.
However, what we didn’t know that actor Mark Wahlberg narrowly escaped being one of the casualties that day. Mark Walberg, the Boogie Nights star, with his infamous Boston accent was scheduled to be on American Airlines flight 11 from Boston to LA that day. American Airlines flight 11 would later fly into the north tower of the World Trade Center that day. In a strange twist of fate, Wahlberg cancelled his tickets last minute because he and his friends had decided to fly to Toronto, Canada for a film festival instead. Wahlberg often talks about how the 9/11 near death experience still haunts him to this day, saying that he’s probably had “over 50 dreams about it”.