Sometimes life can get scary, even for our favorite celebrities. We all know someone, probably relatively close to us, that has been told the terrible news in that sterile, impersonal doctor’s office room that they have an incurable disease or a deadly type of cancer. They may have even been told they only have a few months to live. Then, the process started in which they had to fight like hell to survive– and hopefully they did, hopefully they made it off the operating table to tell their story and spend more time with those that matter the most.
Celebrities are no different. They have health issues just like the rest of us. Life can get scary for them, too. We know of some that barely survived their surgeries and some that unfortunately did not make it off the operating table. Below, we outline these celebrities, why they were on the table, and what happened in the aftermath.
16. Made It Off: Pamela Anderson — Baywatch Babe Put Under Multiple Times
Pamela Anderson is known for many things. She was a Playboy bunny, a Baywatch babe, a model, and the woman virtually always attached to Tommy Lee. We love to hate her and we love to love her. Above all of her controversial roles, she is a kind person, too. She is also known for her multiple surgeries as well. She has had her chest altered but, being unhappy with that choice, she again went under to have a chest reduction. It is also rumored that Anderson has had many more alterations done, to her cheek, lips and nose. How many times can you have surgery before it becomes dangerous? It seems as if Anderson is one of the many celebrities on this list that has jeopardized her life for maybe the wrong reasons.
15. Didn’t Make It: Andy Warhol — Famous Artist Shot, Survived, And Died After A Routine Surgery
Born in the summer of 1928, Warhol grew up to be an infamous artist of his era. There was no aspect of art he could not create something for– and it showed. Anything from photography to sculpture to painting allowed him to highlight his artistic expression. He quickly became a prominent figure in the hottest celebrity circles in the 1960s and 1970s, falling into the trap of illegal substances, drinking and partying. In 1968, there was an attempt on his life by a feminist who thought he rejected her writing. On the operating table, the surgeons had to break open his chest and massage his heart back to life. He was deeply affected by the shooting, artistically and personally. Then, almost twenty years later, Warhol died from complications of a simple and routine gallbladder surgery in New York.
14. Made It Off: Heidi Montag — Botched Reality Star’s Young Looks
Heidi Montag is another star similar to Pamela Anderson that went under the knife and put her life in danger for potentially the wrong selfish and unjustified reasons. Montag rose to fame for being Lauren Conrad’s best friend and roommate on MTV’s The Hills after their Laguna Beach days. After the girls’ public feud and Heidi’s act of falling in love with Spencer Pratt, a friend of Brody Jenner, Montag began a series of surgeries to improve her looks. She underwent a nose job, lip injections, and chest implants. She did have some complications and a few scares, but luckily for her she pulled through and learned not to go under the knife anymore. Her and Spencer welcomed their first child, a son, just a few months ago.
13. Didn’t Make It: Joan Rivers — The Fashion Icon That Sadly Was Not So Lucky
Rivers was a comedic and fashion genius who took the world by storm in many ways, including her brash and honest comments on E! News hit show, Fashion Police. At age 84, Rivers went into the operating room for throat surgery. She unexpectedly stopped breathing while under anesthesia and had to be put into a medically-induced coma by the doctors. When she seemed to be progressing health-wise, the doctors then decided to take steps to transition her out of the coma, but unfortunately, Rivers died just three days later in the fall of 2014. It was so unexpected that the whole world seemed to mourn together with her famous daughter, Melissa Rivers. It just goes to show that sometimes the simplest things can go wrong.
12. Made It Off: Travis Barker — Plane Crash Resulted In Going Under 16 Times
Born in 1972, Barker became the lead singer in the famous rock band Blink-182. In 2008, he survived a horrific plane crash in which four out of six passengers were killed. Barker, along with DJ Adam Goldstein, were discovered alive with second- and third-degree burns from the crash which occurred in South Carolina. Barker underwent several surgeries to attempt to salvage and repair the skin on his torso and lower body. Despite the emotional and trying times he was going through, he managed to stay emotionally positive and physically strong, but many thought he would succumb to the burns. Lucky for him, he survived to continue his music career and to parent his two young children, a boy and a girl, that he had with Shanna Moakler.
11. Didn’t Make It: James Avery — Uncle Phil’s Sad End
Uncle Phil! Born in 1945 in New Jersey, our beloved Fresh Prince of Bel Air actor, who played Philip Banks opposite Will Smith, rose to fame in such shows as Rambo, Fresh Prince, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, as the voice of Shredder, among several other voices for the show. He also had short arcs in popular ’00s shows like Judging Amy, Charmed, and Grey’s Anatomy. He was a truly beloved figure in the Hollywood community. That is why the entire world was saddened by his unexpected death in 2013. He was only sixty-eight and died during an open heart surgery. The Fresh Prince cast has reunited a few times since then and it always hurts in our hearts when we see that Uncle Phil is missing!
10. Made It Off: Ozzy Osborne — ATV Accident
Late in December 2003, the Black Sabbath singer known for biting the head off of a bat (crazy train!), crashed an ATV in England. He fractured many bones and had to undergo emergency surgery at the ripe age of 55. Many of the bones fractured were ribs as well as part of his collarbone. Although his doctor at the time stated that the injuries weren’t too much of a problem, anyone suffering that many injuries at that age is bound to be prone to more complications than some others. Furthermore, Osborne was known to have addictive pill-popping habits and drug issues around this time. Let’s just say he was lucky to be alive and continue his MTV show The Osbornes for all of us to shake our heads at.
9. Didn’t Make It: Sean Taylor — Redskins Player Not So Lucky After Wounded In His Own Home
Born in 1983, Taylor turned eighteen, graduated high school, and jetted off to the University of Miami where he played football, starring as a defensive player and making a name for himself early on. He entered the NFL draft in 2003 and was drafted by the Washington Redskins. He had four incredible seasons on this team, often leading the team in tackles. Over the course of his career, he did have a few legal issues, including a DUI. However, in late 2007, burglars entered his house and shot him in the leg as he tried to defend his home. They attempted surgery, but Taylor had lost too much blood and died not two weeks later. He was survived by his fiancé and their 18-month old son.
8. Made It Off: 50 Cent — Curtis Jackson’s Nine Bullets
In early 2000, a young and naïve 22 year-old 50 cent, otherwise known as Curtis Jackson, was gunned down in Queens while sitting in a parked car. Taking place midday, the shooting wounded Jackson in his legs and his jaw. An acquaintance that was also in the car drove the two of them to the Jamaica hospital in Jamaica, Queens. Jackson underwent emergency surgery, with the doctors retrieving nine bullets out of his body. How does someone survive after getting shot nine times? Jackson was very lucky to survive the shooting and the surgery. He’s a tough cookie– and was in stable condition after the surgery. 50 cent went on to become a (even more) famous rapper for hits like Candy Shop, Disco Inferno, and In Da Club.
7. Didn’t Make It: Caleb Moore — X-Games Star Dies After His Snowmobile Crashes
Caleb Moore was a force to be reckoned with when racing snowmobiles for the X games, winning several medals over the course of his career. He was found by an agent while riding a four wheeler in Minnesota and was quickly signed. From there, he began practicing on snowmobiles and mastered a difficult move in less than a month. His talents and skills were unprecedented, but we all know that accidents happen.
In early 2013, Moore was competing in the X games in Aspen when he crashed his snowmobile, landing face first in the snow with his snowmobile landing on top of him. He actually got up, although after some time, and was taken to a hospital. He had complications in his brain and bleeding around his heart, all seen in surgery; he died shortly after at the young age of 25. He is survived by his parents and his brother, who also races snowmobiles professionally.
6. Made It Off: Tracy Morgan — Car Crash That Could’ve Ruined His Comedic Career
Maybe one of the most recent traumas on our list, Tracy Morgan’s accident scared the whole world when details came to light. Our beloved comedian had a terrible accident in the summer of 2014 on the New Jersey Turnpike. A tractor-trailer, owned by Wal-Mart and driven by someone who was almost to his legal limit of driving hours, rear-ended Morgan’s limo traveling 20+ miles over the legal speed limit causing a 6 car crash on the highway. The collision killed two other people, including a man from upstate New York and another comedian, but Morgan survived with the crash leaving him in critical condition. Many thought he would not recover, but doctors saved him in the operating room. Good for us, because now we are all lucky enough to get more of Morgan’s jokes and moments of comedic timing!
5. Didn’t Make It: Rodney Dangerfield — The Comedian And His 2004 Surgeries
Dangerfield paved his way to stardom as a comedic genius, often in the form of self-deprecation and sarcasm. He had roles in movies like Caddyshack, Back to School, and Little Nicky, alongside Adam Sandler in his glory days. Then, in 2001 while filming at The Tonight Show, Dangerfield suffered from a heart attack. A year later, on his 81st birthday, he reappeared on the show as good as new– or so the doctors thought. Soon after, the doctors realized he needed brain and heart surgery; he had both within sixteen months of each other. Not long after the heart surgery in August 2004, it was revealed that Dangerfield was in a coma. After more surgery complications and ups and downs, the beloved actor died in October of the same year.
4. Made It Off: Gary Busey — Motorcycle Accident That Almost Left Him Dead
Gary Busey is a famous actor who had several roles in hit movies in the 60s, 70s and 80s like Lethal Weapon, The Buddy Holly Story, and Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, among many others. When he was 44, he was riding a motorcycle in California (without a helmet) and was thrown off, hitting his head on the curb. He underwent emergency neurosurgery due to the extensive head trauma and subsequently has never been the same person ever since. However, any type of surgery on your head or brain is incredibly dangerous and risky, so Busey was lucky to have lived through not only the accident but the surgery, too. He went on to play other roles as well as a stint on Dancing With the Stars.
3. Didn’t Make It: Steve McQueen — Famous Actor Not So Lucky In Mexico
McQueen was born in 1930 and, after many years as a troubled youth, he became one of the most famous actors our world has ever known. Dubbed as the “anti-hero”, he starred in movies like The Magnificent Seven, The Thomas Crown Affair, and The Hunter. At the age of 48, McQueen feared that he had lung cancer and subsequently quit the bad habit of smoking. Not long after, he found out he had a form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Trying several treatments in Mexico, he failed to get any better and died just two years later on a surgery table while doctors attempted to remove tumors throughout his upper body. A talented and beloved actor was taken away from us way too soon!
2. Made It Off: Sharon Stone — Her White Light Experience
In 2001, the famous actress known for roles in movies like Basic Instinct, Total Recall, and Lovelace, suffered from a brain aneurysm and a stroke. She also suffered a brain hemorrhage and states that, during this time, she saw her friends who had passed and had a “white light experience”, believing that she was, in fact, dead. She said it happened instantly and she was back in her body, thankful to be back for her three children. During this moment though, the doctors had to save her life from all the brain bleeding that had occurred. She had to relearn basic functions at the ripe age of 58. Despite her near-death experience, Stone said she is now unafraid of death and will welcome it if it does ever show up on her doorstep again.
1. Didn’t Make It: Donda West — Kanye’s Mama Was Not So Lucky
Unlike many of our fallen stars on this list, West was under the knife for plastic surgery when she sadly lost her life. Her son, Kanye, was famous for his music, but Donda West was famous for her teaching in Chicago where she also was the head of the English department. She was also beloved for raising her son all on her own after a subsequent divorce. Kanye decided to pay for her plastic surgery and together they chose a surgeon in Brentwood named Dr. Jan Adams. Sadly, the day after her surgeries, just a tummy tuck and breast reduction, West had died. This was shocking due to deaths from cosmetic surgeries being very unlikely. Adams, the doctor who performed her surgery, was under review for several months afterward.
Sources: www.news.com, www.cbsnews.com, www.mtv.com, www.cnn.com, celebplasticsurgeryonline.com www.imdb.com, people.com, therichest.com
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