We often see the lives of actors and wish that we had that for ourselves but as the saying goes you need to be careful what you wish for. Actors spend their lives portraying other people on big screens but sometimes the actors we think we know based on their roles on camera, can emerge in different ways.
Being an actor does not guarantee a perfect life, from shooting someone with a prop gun to killing someone out of pure hatred. Here is a list of actors who killed people in real life.
11. Alec Baldwin
Alec Baldwin, a renowned actor, was involved in a tragic accident on the set of his new film, “Rust.” He accidentally shot and killed Halyna Hutchins, a cinematographer, while also critically injuring Joel Souza, the film’s director. The incident occurred during a scene that was either being rehearsed or filmed at Bonanza Creek Ranch, just outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico. The prop gun Baldwin was handling discharged either shrapnel or a bullet, striking two people on set.
Halyna was airlifted to the hospital, where she tragically died as a result of her injuries. Baldwin was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter, along with the movie’s armorer, for failing to make sure the gun and ammunition were properly checked. However, the charges against Baldwin were dropped in April 2023. Baldwin had already pleaded not guilty to the charges in a court filing and waived his right to appear at the preliminary hearing. Baldwin also filed a negligence lawsuit against several crew members on November 11, 2022, alleging that they caused the tragedy. Baldwin maintains that he did not pull the trigger and that the gun contained live rounds.
10. Matthew Broderick
Matthew Broderick, who had just made his big break with “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” was involved in a fatal car accident on August 5, 1987. While driving a rented BMW 316 on Tempo Road outside Tempo, Northern Ireland, he crossed into the wrong lane and collided head-on with a Volvo. The accident resulted in the deaths of the driver, Anna Gallagher, 28, and her mother, Margaret Doherty, 63, who were both killed instantly.
Broderick suffered a concussion, broken ribs, a broken leg, and multiple other injuries. Jennifer Grey, who was with Broderick at the time, was left with chronic pain from the accident, eventually requiring spinal surgery. The accident still affects her today, and she has spoken about it in her book, “Out of the Corner: A Memoir.” Broderick was initially charged with”causing death by dangerous driving”, facing up to five years in prison, but was convicted of the lesser charge of careless driving and fined £100 (US$175).
9. Fay Dewitt
In 1965, Fay DeWitt, known for her role in “Mork & Mindy,” found herself in a dangerous situation when her abusive ex-husband, Ray Allen, broke into her house. In an act of self-defense, she stabbed him multiple times with a letter opener, leading to his death.
When it was later discovered that Ray had been subjecting Fay to years of abuse, she was not prosecuted for his death. This incident put her in the spotlight for the wrong reasons, but she managed to overcome this dark period and continued her acting career.
8. Felicia Pearson
Felicia Pearson, an actress, author, and rapper, is most notable for her role in “The Wire.” However, she had a troubled past before her acting career. As a teenager, she started selling drugs, which was just the beginning of her troubles.
At the age of 14, she got into a fight with a 15-year-old girl who was armed with an aluminum baseball bat. Felicia claimed that the girl attempted to beat her with the bat, and in response, she pulled out her gun and shot the girl dead. Felicia was charged with second-degree murder and sentenced to two consecutive eight-year prison terms. She was released after serving six and a half years.
7. Lane Garrison
Lane Garrison, an American actor recognized for his role as an inmate in “Prison Break,” had a real-life encounter with the law. On December 2nd, 2006, Garrison, then 26, met three teenagers during a grocery shopping trip in Beverly Hills. The teens invited him to a high school party, where he consumed alcohol and cocaine.
Under the influence, he offered to drive the teenagers to buy more alcohol, resulting in a car crash that severely injured two girls and killed a 17-year-old boy. Garrison pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter and was sentenced to three and a half years in prison. He was also ordered to pay over three hundred thousand dollars in restitution to the families of the teenagers. Despite his sentence, Garrison was released from prison in 2009 after serving just two years.
6. Michael Jace
Michael Jace, known for his role as a Los Angeles police officer in the TV series “The Shield,” betrayed his on-screen character’s duty to protect. He had been married to April for 11 years, and they had two sons together. However, Michael began to suspect that April was unfaithful.
On May 19, 2014, police arrived at Michael’s Los Angeles home after receiving a report of domestic violence and a call from Michael himself saying he shot his wife. When police entered his home, they found April dead from multiple gunshot wounds. Michael had shot her in the back first and then in the legs. Both of their sons witnessed the murder. Michael was sentenced to 40 years to life for the murder of April Jace.
5. Charles S. Dutton
Charles S. Dutton, a producer of HBO’s “The Corner” and both a television and screen actor, had a troubled past. At the age of 17, he dropped out of school to pursue his dreams of becoming a boxer. However, his life took a drastic turn when he got into a fight with a young man and ended up stabbing him, resulting in the man’s death.
Charles claimed that the act was one of self-defense, but he was found guilty of manslaughter and was sentenced to seven years behind bars. Despite this setback, he managed to turn his life around and build a successful career in the film and television industry.
4. Rebecca Gayheart
Rebecca Gayheart, an actress, and model, experienced a life-changing event on June 13, 2001. While driving her car through Los Angeles, a 9-year-old boy walked across the street and right into Rebecca’s path. Unfortunately, she was unable to stop in time and she struck the young boy who died of his injuries the following day. Rebecca pled no contest to vehicular manslaughter and was sentenced to three years of probation, a suspended license, a fine, and 750 hours of community service.
. She expressed deep remorse for the accident and has stated that she will carry the guilt for the rest of her life. Despite this tragic incident, Rebecca has continued her acting career and was recently featured in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”
3. Amy Locane
Amy Locane, known for her role as Sandy Harling in the first season of “Melrose Place,” a well-known soap opera in 1992, and for playing the love interest to Johnny Depp in the 1990 cult classic “Cry-Baby,” had a tragic incident on June 27, 2010.
After drinking, she was driving when she encountered an elderly couple returning to their driveway. Amy collided with their car, severely injuring the husband and killing his wife. It was discovered that Amy’s blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit at the time of the accident. Amy was eventually sentenced to three years in prison and was released on parole on June 12th, 2015.
2. Michael Massee
Michael Massee, an actor known for playing The Gentleman in “The Amazing Spiderman,” first gained recognition in the 1994 hit, “The Crow,” where he played the villain opposite the hero played by Brandon Lee, the son of Bruce Lee. “The Crow” was shaping up to be a major breakthrough for Brandon Lee.
However, during the filming of a pivotal scene, a tragic accident occurred. The crew, under time constraints, placed a blank round in the barrel of the gun, not realizing that the lead tip of a previous dummy round was still lodged inside. The gun was handed to Michael Massee, and the scene played out as rehearsed until the shot was fired at Brandon, sending the lead tip straight into his abdomen where it severed an artery. Brandon was rushed to the hospital, but after six hours of intensive surgery, he succumbed to his injuries. The death was ruled accidental, and Brandon’s family and the crew mourned their loss but went on to complete and release the film in his honor.
1. Johnny Lewis
Johnny Lewis, best known for playing Half-Sack Epps in the first two seasons of “Sons of Anarchy,” had a troubling past involving drugs and had been arrested three times between 2011 and 2012 for outbursts of violence and attempted break-ins. In 2011, Johnny suffered head injuries from a motorcycle accident but showed a great aversion to psychiatric treatment.
On Sept 26th, 2012, Johnny broke into the Los Angeles home of his 81-year-old landlord, Katherine Davis. He entered her bedroom and began beating her, eventually strangling her to death. He then violently attacked Katherine’s cat before killing and dismembering it. Johnny eventually ended up on the roof of Catherine’s garage, fell off, and died on the pavement of her driveway. The coroner ruled Johnny’s death as accidental and claimed that all tests indicated that Johnny had no drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of the murder. To this day, his motive remains unknown.
Remember, the lives of actors are not always as perfect as they seem on screen. Some have been involved in tragic incidents that have led to the loss of life, reminding us that they, too, are human and capable of making grave mistakes.