Top 10 Actors Who Died in Fires - Listverse (2022)

Many know the names of actors who died in airplane crashes (Audie Murphy, Vic Morrow), or in automobile accidents (James Dean), but which actors have died in fires? Here is a list of the Top 10 Actors Who Died in Fires. Many died at home, others on the stage. Some are well known, others not so much. Some died in famous fires with hundreds of other people, others have died alone in the privacy of their own house. Each tells a story, just as they did when they were acting. Only these stories are all too real.


Claude Burroughs

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Claude Burroughs was a young up and coming actor who had the misfortune of dying in a fire better-known than his short acting career. He died on December 5, 1876, in the tragic and devastating Brooklyn Theater fire. He was only 22 years old at the time. At least 278 people were killed in the fire, possibly more than 300. In terms of lives lost, it is the third worst theater fire in US history, behind only the Cocoanut Grove and Iroquois theater fires. The fire started when a drop hanging came into contact with a border lamp. As the fire spread, the actors at first stayed in character, trying not to cause the audience to panic. When the flames spread and the audience members grew frightened, the actors on stage pleaded for calm, to no avail. Burroughs and another actor thought they had time to get their coats (it was winter and cold outside). They never escaped the building. Their mangled bodies were found together beneath the collapsed stage, burned and battered beyond recognition. . At the time of his death he was playing Picard, the valet, in the play “The Two Orphans”. He made his first appearance on the stage in 1865, in “Hamlet” alongside Edwin Booth, who was the older brother of a more famous Booth – John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of President Lincoln.


Bobby Young

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Robert Howard “Clifton” Young died on September 13, 1951, at the age of 33. He died in a hotel fire that started when he fell asleep while smoking. He was born Robert H. Young, and as Bobby Young he played “Bonedust” in nineteen Our Gang films from 1925 to 1931. His most notable films included School’s Out, Nora Prentiss, Pursued, Possessed, Dark Passage and Blood on the Moon. One of Young’s last films was the Roy Rogers western, Trail of Robin Hood, in which he played a sneering villain.

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Gloria Dickson

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Gloria Dickson was an American stage and screen actress of the 1930s and 1940s. Dickson died on April 10, 1945, during a fire at her Los Angeles home. She was 27 years old. The fire began when an unextinguished cigarette ignited an overstuffed chair on the main floor, while she slept upstairs. Her body, and that of her pet dog, were found in the bathroom, and it was assumed that she had attempted to escape through the bathroom window. She died from asphyxiation. Flames had seared her lungs, and her body had suffered first and second degree burns. Ms Dickson starred in over 20 Hollywood films, such as They Won’t Forget and They Made Me a Criminal.

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On April 10, 1965, Hollywood actress Linda Darnell died in a house fire. She was 41 years old. The fire occurred at the house of her former secretary. She had been staying there, with friends, while preparing for a stage role. Her 1940 film, Star Dust, had played on television the night of the fire, and it was widely reported that Darnell had fallen asleep with a lit cigarette while watching it, but there was no evidence this was true. One account claims Ms Darnell was burned over 90 percent of her body when she ran into a burning area trying to save her friend’s child, not knowing that the young girl had already escaped. Ms Darnell had appeared in over 30 films and several TV programs. She played the lead role in Forever Amber (1947), and received positive reviews for her work in Unfaithfully Yours (1948) and A Letter to Three Wives (1949).


Butterfly (Thelma) McQueen

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Top 10 Actors Who Died in Fires - Listverse (5)

On December 22, 1995, actress Butterfly (Thelma) McQueen, famous for many film roles, but especially for her portrayal of Prissy in Gone with the Wind, died from burns received in a fire in her Augusta, Georgia, apartment. She was 84 years old at the time of her death. She had been attempting to light a kerosene heater in her apartment when it malfunctioned and burst into flames. She was found by firefighters lying on the sidewalk outside with severe burns over 70 percent of her body. She was taken to the hospital but died shortly afterwards from her burns.


Teresa Graves

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On October 10, 2002, actress Teresa Graves, who appeared in TV’s “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” and “Get Christie Love!,” died in a fire at her Los Angeles home. She was found unconscious inside the home, and was rushed to hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival. Fire officials suspected a faulty heater started the fire. She was 53 years old. Graves was best known for her title role as a police detective in the ABC series “Get Christie Love”. Graves was one of the first African American actresses to play a lead in a prime time TV show.


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Dennis Patrick

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On Sunday, October 13, 2002, only days after the tragic death of Ms Graves, actor Dennis Patrick was also killed in a fire at his house, also in Los Angeles. The 84-year-old Patrick, who played Vaughn Leland in the hit soap Dallas, was found dead by firefighters, with the body of his dog Josh on the floor next to him. It took more than 50 firefighters 30 minutes to put out the fire, cause of death was smoke inhalation. His ashes, and those of his dog, were spread at sea. Patrick was well known for his role in the TV show Dark Shadows. He logged over 1800 guest roles on TV programs during his four-decade career. He also holds the curious distinction of having played televisions first vampire in 1951, in a production of the show Stage 13.

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Amazingly, only ten weeks after the death of Dennis Patrick, yet another actor was to die in a house fire. On January 1, 2003 television and film actor Royce Applegate died at the age of 63, at his Hollywood Hills home. The cause of the fire is unknown. Applegate died of smoke inhalation. Two firefighters were seriously burned fighting the fire. Applegate appeared in such movies as “Splash”, “The Getaway”, “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”, and “The Rookie,” as well as TV series such as Dallas,” “CHiPs,” “Twin Peaks” and “JAG.”


Reg Evans

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Top 10 Actors Who Died in Fires - Listverse (9)

On February 7, 2009, veteran British/Australian actor Reg Evans and his partner, Angela Brunton, died in the 2009 Victorian bushfires. Also known as the Black Saturday bushfires, these were a series of bushfires that ignited or were burning across the Australian state of Victoria during extreme bushfire-weather conditions, resulting in Australia’s highest ever loss of life from a bushfire. 173 people died as a result of the fires, and 414 were injured. Evans is believed to have told friends he was planning to stay on to defend his property. Evans starred in many Australian TV series, as well as major motion pictures such as Mad Max, The Island and Gallipoli. His best-known role was as Keith Purvis in the TV series “Blue Healers.” He also appeared in ” “Matlock Police,” “Homicide,” and “Are You Being Served”.”


Jack Cassidy

Top 10 Actors Who Died in Fires - Listverse (10)

On December 12, 1976, noted TV and film actor Jack Cassidy died in a fire at his West Hollywood apartment. He was 49 years old. Cassidy had fallen asleep while smoking and the cigarette had set fire to the couch. Apparently, he had been drinking (actually he had been out on the town that evening with actress Nanette Fabray), his blood alcohol level after death was 0.12%. The fire then spread throughout the apartment. His body was found on the floor as if he were trying to crawl to safety through sliding glass doors. He never made it. His body was burned and charred beyond recognition and had to be identified by dental remains, as well as Cassidy Family Signet rings on his hand. Official cause of death was ruled “extensive thermal burns of the body”. Cassidy was nominated twice for Emmy Awards, and starred in scores of TV series and films, as well as numerous stage productions. He was married to actress Shirley Jones who starred in the TV series, Partridge Family, with Cassidy’s son, David Cassidy. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Cassidy was an eccentric figure, once caught watering his lawn stark naked. In an odd coincidence, he had starred in a 1971 episode of the TV series Night Gallery, called “The Last Laurel”, in which he played a character who accidentally killed himself while sleeping.


Charles (Buck) Jones

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Charles (Buck) Jones was one of the 492 victims of the November 28, 1942, Cocoanut Grove fire in Boston, Massachusetts. Mr. Jones survived the fire, but died two days later on November 30, 1942. On that fateful night, Mr. Jones was the guest of honor at a party when the fire broke out. The Cocoanut Grove fire was one of the worst fire tragedies in US history. Mr. Jones was a veteran of the Philippine-American War of 1899-1913, referred to as the Moro Rebellion. Jones started his film career as a stunt man before moving on to make more than 160 films. By the 1920s, Jones joined Hoot Gibson, Tom Mix and Ken Maynard as the top cowboy actors of the day. Jones was also a consultant to the Daisy Outdoor Products company, which issued a Daisy “Buck Jones” model pump action air rifle. Incorporating a compass and a “sundial” into the stock, it was one of Daisy’s top-end air rifles, and sold well for several years. It is really this Daisy rifle, and not the “Red Ryder” model, that Ralphie is constantly seeking in the well-known holiday film A Christmas Story.

fact checked by Alex Hanton


What famous actress died in a fire? ›

Linda Darnell
BornMonetta Eloyse DarnellOctober 16, 1923 Dallas, Texas, U.S.
DiedApril 10, 1965 (aged 41) Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Resting placeUnion Hill Cemetery, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, U.S.
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Has any actor died on set? ›

Brandon Lee

In a horrifically sad turn of events in March 1993, 28-year-old Lee died when an otherwise routine gunfire scene went awry. In capturing the moment when Eric is shot to death by a drug dealer, actor Michael Masse fired a prop gun at Lee, which was supposed to shoot blanks.

What movie star died in a fire? ›

BUCK JONES IS DEAD OF INJURIES IN FIRE; Cowboy Movie Star Succumbs Along With Most of Those at Party in His Honor WIFE TOO LATE TO SEE HIM Actor, 53, Was in the Films for Twenty Years -- He Served in France in the World War. As a subscriber, you have 10 gift articles to give each month.

What actor died in the middle of filming? ›

Marilyn Monroe. Hollywood's most famous blonde bombshell was in the middle of filming the comedy Something's Got to Give when she was found dead at her Brentwood, CA home on August 5, 1962. Monroe's cause of death was reported as an overdose of barbiturates resulting from a probable suicide.

Which celebrity died in a house fire? ›

EastEnders and On The Buses star Anna Karen has died in a house fire in east London. Firefighters were called to Windsor Road, Ilford, shortly after 10.30pm on Tuesday night. A statement from the London Fire Brigade said: "Part of the ground floor of a mid-terrace house was damaged by fire.

What famous singer died in a fire? ›

Death of Ricky Nelson
DateDecember 31, 1985, at 17:14 (CST)
SummaryIn-flight fire
SiteNear De Kalb, Texas, U.S.
Aircraft typeDouglas DC-3
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Who died while making a movie? ›

James Dean died in a car accident on Sept. 30, 1955, in Southern California. He was 24 years old.

What movie has the most deaths? ›

Titanic (1997) - 307 deaths

James Cameron's box-office breaking, Oscar-winning Titanic depicts one of the biggest disasters of the 20th century, and as such, it rather appropriately features the most on-screen deaths of any movie in that genre.

What actor died the most times on-screen? ›

Christopher Lee easily wins when it comes to the most on-screen deaths at an unprecedented 70. Lee passed away in 2015 at the age of 93, so technically this number could be beaten in the future. But with Trejo and Henriksen at 41 each - the most for any actor who is still alive - it doesn't look too likely.

Who is the most famous death? ›

2019 list
RankNameCause of Death
1Michael JacksonHomicide
2Elvis PresleyHeart attack
3Charles SchulzCancer
4Arnold PalmerHeart disease
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What age do most celebrities died? ›

Cultural phenomenon. The 27 Club includes popular musicians, artists and actors who died at age 27, often as a result of drug and alcohol abuse or violent means such as homicide, suicide, or transportation-related accidents. The "club" has been repeatedly cited in music magazines, journals and the daily press.

Who is the most famous actor? ›

Actually, based on science, Samuel L. Jackson is the most popular actor of all time, ever. According to a 2018 study published in Applied Network Science, using a wide range of metrics—including number of films, times appearing as top billing, and length of career—Jackson is peerless in the field.

Has anyone died on a TV show? ›

Since its debut in 2000, hundreds of castaways have played the game of “Survivor.” While many have been injured on CBS's reality TV show, no one has ever died during filming. Unfortunately, several former players have passed away since leaving the island.

What was the cause of Anna Karens death? ›

Death. Shortly after 22:30 GMT on 22 February 2022, the London Fire Brigade responded to a fire at Karen's home, where she was pronounced dead at the scene. She was 85. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation, though the Metropolitan Police said it did not appear to be suspicious.

Who has died from On The Buses? ›

Michael Robbins. Michael was best known as playing Olive's misogynistic husband and king of the put-downs Arthur Rudge. He tragically died of prostate cancer in his Surrey home in 1992, aged 62.

Who died in the fire on how do you get away? ›

In the mid-season finale, Annalise is arrested after Wes' corpse is retrieved from her burning house. However, Nate discovers that Wes was already dead before the fire started. The second part of the season focuses on the investigation about Wes' death, and the identity of his murderer.

Who died in the Small Faces? ›

Ian McLagan of the Faces and Small Faces has died at the age of 69 after suffering a stroke. Ultimate Classic Rock reports that the legendary keyboard player suffered a “massive stroke” and passed away in hospital in Austin, Texas. McLagan was born in 1945 in Middlesex.

Is Steve Marriott death? ›

Marriott was inducted posthumously into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 as a member of Small Faces.
Steve Marriott
Died20 April 1991 (aged 44) Arkesden, Essex, England
GenresRock rhythm and blues blues rock hard rock
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Who died out of Bronski Beat? ›

Steve Bronski, of the Pioneering Gay Band Bronski Beat, Dies at 61.

Who died while playing the Joker? ›

Ledger died on 22 January 2008 as a result of an accidental overdose of medications. A few months before his death, Ledger had finished filming his role as the Joker in The Dark Knight.

What actor died filming Batman? ›

Heath Ledger, too, was poised to ascend to a new level of stardom when he died at 28 in January 2008. The actor had been nominated for an Oscar for 2005's "Brokeback Mountain" and was set for another nod for "The Dark Knight" when he was found dead in his New York apartment.

How many people have died while acting? ›

The Associated Press reported there have been at least 43 deaths on television and film sets in the years between 1990 and 2014 in the US.

What horror movie has the most kills? ›

15 Horror Movies With The Most Kills, Ranked
  1. 1 Brightburn (2019) - 274 Kills.
  2. 2 Dawn of the Dead (2004) - 140+ Kills. ...
  3. 3 The First Purge (2018) - 130+ Kills. ...
  4. 4 From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) - 120+ Kills. ...
  5. 5 The Purge: Election Year (2016) 110+ Kills. ...
  6. 6 The Invisible Man (1933) - 105+ Kills. ...
  7. 7 Slither (2006) - 100+ Kills. ...
Oct 28, 2021

Who has the highest body count in history? ›

The most prolific modern serial killer is arguably Dr. Harold Shipman, with 218 probable murders and possibly as many as 250 (see "Medical professionals", below).

What actor has been shot the most in movies? ›

Buzz Bingo did a fun data dive and tallied up which actors have died the most times in their projects, and it turns out there's a new #1: Danny Trejo, who has been killed an eye-popping 65 times in his career.

What was the saddest celebrity death? ›

21 Celebrity Deaths That Made People Actually Cry
  • "Israel Kamakawiwoʻole. ...
  • "Gene Wilder. ...
  • "Michael Jackson. ...
  • "Satoru Iwata. ...
  • "Anthony Bourdain. ...
  • 343 comments Sign in to comment.
Oct 17, 2021

What were actors last words? ›

Here are a few:
  • “I'll be fine” - Heath Ledger.
  • “I'll be back in five minutes - alright?” - Paul Walker.
  • “I'm losing it” - Frank Sinatra.
  • “It's better to burn out than fade away” - Kurt Cobain.
  • “Money can't buy life” - Bob Marley.
  • “Yeah” - John Lennon.
Oct 10, 2021

Who just died 2022? ›

Bob Saget, Meat Loaf, James Caan, Naomi Judd, Ray Liotta, and Sidney Poitier have passed away. Filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich and singer Ronnie Spector also died in 2022.

What celebrities have passed away so far in 2022? ›

In Memoriam: Notable people who died in 2022
  • Vin Scully, 94. Los Angeles Dodgers' Hall of Fame announcer Vin Scully was the longest tenured broadcaster with a single team in sports history. ...
  • Bill Russell, 88. ...
  • Nichelle Nichols, 89. ...
  • Pat Carroll, 95. ...
  • Tony Dow, 77. ...
  • Paul Sorvino, 83. ...
  • Claes Oldenburg, 93. ...
  • Ivana Trump, 73.

What musician just died in 2022? ›

Jay Weaver. The bassist and vocalist for the Christian rock band Big Daddy Weave passed away on January 2 following complications related to COVID-19. The 42-year-old musician was hospitalized a few days prior to his death.

Who is the youngest celebrity that died? ›

Aaliyah. Groundbreaking R&B singer Aaliyah was just 22-years-old when an airplane she was on in the Bahamas crashed and killed all nine passengers. Her life and impact on the music industry have been fiercely celebrated in the years since her 2001 death.

Do celebrities live longer? ›

Celebrities tend to die earlier than the rest of us, according to a new study. Australian researchers found that star athletes and artists who enjoy fame in their lifetime die at a younger age than those who live anonymously. Researchers found that accidents and cancer were the most likely culprits of their deaths.

Why do so many celebrities died at 27? ›

Consider: A majority of famous musicians, many of whom who have admitted to past drug use, have lived well past 27 years old. All of the musicians listed above had a history of drug use, with Joplin, Morrison, and Hendrix (and possibly Winehouse) either directly or indirectly dying as a result of drug use.

Who is No 1 actor in world? ›

Top 100 Stars in Leading Roles at the Worldwide Box Office
1Scarlett Johansson33
2Robert Downey, Jr.43
3Samuel L. Jackson64
4Chris Hemsworth25
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Who is the richest actor? ›

Making Jerry Seinfeld one of the world's richest actors. He makes approximately $50 million annually. Actress and investor Jamie Gertz is the richest actor in the world. The '80s star's net worth is estimated to be $3 billion.

Who is the most paid actor? ›

Dwayne Johnson

Has anyone died from being on alone? ›

Thankfully, no one has ever passed away while competing on the series, and we highly doubt that the History Channel would continue to air it into 2022 if someone had. "When we set out to make this show, it was always about everyone's safety first and the show second," EP Shawn Witt told Reality Blurred in 2017.

Has anyone ever died during a survival show? ›

After that, there was a casualty on Koh Lanta—the French version of Survivor—in 2013 when contestant Gerald Babin fell ill during a game of tug-of-war. He was airlifted to the hospital but was pronounced dead soon after, and the series was swiftly canceled.

Has anyone been attacked by an animal alone? ›

Despite the harsh conditions and wild animal attacks, no one has ever died on Alone. There have been grave injuries, but fortunately, the medical team has always managed to reach the participants in time. “It's always about everyone's safety first and show second,” assures EP Shawn Witt.

Who died in May 2022? ›

May 2022
  • James A. Andersen, 97, American politician, member of the Washington House of Representatives (1959–1967) and Senate (1967–1973).
  • Millie Bailey, 104, American World War II veteran (WAC) and civil servant.
  • Naftali Blumenthal, 100, Polish-born Israeli politician, MK (1981–1984).

Who died in BTS? ›

Kim Jong-Hyun was one of the essential members of the BTS team. He committed suicide on the 18th of December 2017 at the age of 27 years in Cheongdam-dong, Seoul. He reached his apartment on the 18th at around noon. Later on, he was found dead in the apartment at around 4.42 pm by Kim So-dam, his older sister.

What singers died recently? ›

NameAgeCause of death
Alan Merrill Arrows69COVID-19
Bill Withers81Heart complications
Cristina Singer with ZE Records64COVID-19
Adam Schlesinger Fountains of Wayne, Ivy52COVID-19
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Who died in the fire on how do you get away? ›

In the mid-season finale, Annalise is arrested after Wes' corpse is retrieved from her burning house. However, Nate discovers that Wes was already dead before the fire started. The second part of the season focuses on the investigation about Wes' death, and the identity of his murderer.

Who is Linda Darnell's daughter? ›


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