Deaths on Stage

Phan#24601
Stand-by
joined:11/29/11
Deaths on Stage
Posted: 12/12/12 at 08:58pm
Do you guys know of any deaths on stage,especially during the scene where the character died? The only one I can recall is when Anthony Wheeler hanged to death during "Judas' Death" in JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR(1997), but I was wondering if you guys knew of any others.
My biggest pet peeve right now is when people pronounce it "Marry-us" and not "Mah-ree-us".
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Deaths on Stage
Posted: 12/12/12 at 10:06pm
I know Dick Shawn (one-man show) and David Burns (70 GIRLS, 70) died on stage (or in Burns' case very nearly so), but I don't know that either was playing a character who died in that same scene.

(The only time I ever "hanged" an actor on stage, we attached the rope to the rafters with scotch tape. There was no way I was taking a chance on actually hurting him.)
Phyllis Rogers Stone
Broadway Legend
joined:9/16/07
Deaths on Stage
Posted: 12/12/12 at 10:08pm


Updated On: 12/12/12 at 10:08 PM
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Deaths on Stage
Posted: 12/12/12 at 10:11pm
I missed all those deaths, Phyllis. Do you know the names of any of the deceased?
dreaming
Broadway Legend
joined:4/24/09
Deaths on Stage
Posted: 12/12/12 at 10:13pm




Updated On: 12/12/12 at 10:13 PM
Phyllis Rogers Stone
Broadway Legend
joined:9/16/07
Deaths on Stage
Posted: 12/12/12 at 10:13pm
Heh. I totally misread the post.
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Deaths on Stage
Posted: 12/12/12 at 10:14pm
I think the question is about actors dying on stage, not characters. The OP only wondered if there were examples of actors actually dying in scenes where their characters were supposed to die.

(We were posting simultaneously, Phyllis. I wasn't trying to be a smart ass.)

Updated On: 12/12/12 at 10:14 PM
GlindatheGood22
Broadway Legend
joined:7/17/07
Deaths on Stage
Posted: 12/12/12 at 10:45pm
Is it awful if I say I got a little worried when Elaine Stritch choked and died and the end of Night Music?
I leave the room smiling.
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
Deaths on Stage
Posted: 12/12/12 at 10:56pm
Moliere died while playing The Imaginary Invalid.
South Fl Marc
Broadway Legend
joined:6/23/04
Deaths on Stage
Posted: 12/13/12 at 09:22am
There have been two deaths on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera (one in the old house which I was too young to see and one in the new house whcih I did)

During a performance of La forza del destino Leonard Warren died on stage. Eyewitnesses including Rudolf Bing (Director of the MET at that time) report that Warren had completed La Forza's Act III aria, which begins Morir, tremenda cosa ("to die, a momentous thing"), and was supposed to open a sealed wallet, examine the contents and cry out "E salvo, o gioia" (He is safe, oh joy), before launching into the vigorous cabaletta. While Rudolph Bing reports that Warren simply went silent and fell face-forward to the floor, others state that he started coughing and gasping, and that he cried out "Help me, help me!" before falling to the floor, remaining motionless. A man holding a spear on stage didn't do anything for a long moment before bending over him. He looked up and glanced from side to side before saying something to the people backstage and the curtain was closed. A few minutes later he was pronounced dead and the rest of the performance was canceled by Bing stepping out from behind the closed curtain and announcing the death to the audience. The cause of death was determined to be a massive cerebral hemorrhage; Warren was only forty-eight years old.

The second one, which I was witness to, was on January 5, 1996 the opening night of a Metropolitan Opera production ended prematurely only a few minutes into Act 1 when tenor Richard Versalle, 63, suffered a heart attack while climbing the 20-foot ladder which was part of the set, fell, and died on stage immediately after singing Vitek's line: "Too bad you can only live so long" The image of his falling off that huge ladder still haunts me.


Now living in DC. I really have to change my name on the board.
Updated On: 12/13/12 at 09:22 AM
DEClarke
Broadway Legend
joined:11/22/06
Deaths on Stage
Posted: 12/13/12 at 09:28am
Wow. What a morbid but fascinating discussion. Those Opera ones sound terrible as does the Judas story. I never knew of Judas actually dying on stage. What a nightmare! The opera ones at least don't sound as bad as they were natural causes. Still tragic though. But what a way to go. Those performers will be remembered won't they?
humbugfoto
Broadway Legend
joined:6/16/07
Deaths on Stage
Posted: 12/13/12 at 10:57am
This list includes many who don't fit the OP's criteria, but several who do. And it's fascinating (if morbid) reading.
Died Onstage
Sarcasm is an allergic reaction to stupid people.
WOSQ
Broadway Legend
joined:7/18/03
Deaths on Stage
Posted: 12/13/12 at 01:41pm
Cabaret singer and stage actress Sylvia Syms died of a heart attack just before her encore while performing in The Oak Room at the Algonquin.
"If my life weren't funny, it would just be true. And that would be unacceptable." --Carrie Fisher
Jon
Broadway Legend
joined:2/20/04
Deaths on Stage
Posted: 12/13/12 at 03:09pm
Re: David Burns in 70 Girls 70: The show was in previews. He was on stage doing a scene in which the old folks are being questioned by the police about a string of robberies. In order the throw the cops of their tracks, the old folks are deliberately acting senile, hard of hearing, etc. Burns slumped forward in his chair, as if he had fallen asleep. The other actors though he was trying a new comedy bit - until it was time for him do deliver a line. the show was stopped.

Opening was delays and he was replaced by Hans Conreid.

WOSQ
Broadway Legend
joined:7/18/03
Deaths on Stage
Posted: 12/13/12 at 04:09pm
70 Girls 70 was out of town at the Forrest in Philly when Burns died of a heart attack, collapsing in the wings just after a vigorous dance number. I think it was the second Friday of a projected 3 week stand. They were about 10 minutes from the end of the show and other actors, mostly Lillian (I'll Cry Tomorrow) Roth picked up his lines. The actors knew something was very wrong, but didn't know that Burns had died "with the applause of an 11:00 number in his ears" as someone wrote, until after the performance.

This was the story of the spring season and was documented in Variety.

They closed in Philly the next night with the underehearsed understudy playing both shows and limped back to the city to recast (Hans Conreid), rewrite and rehearse.

It was like the show was doomed from then on. They did no business during about 3 weeks of previews and then very lame business during the four weeks they were open. The reviews were mixed, but there were some favorable ones.

David Burns had been in another short lived musical earlier in the 1970-71 season and received a Tony nomination for it. It being "Lovely Ladies, Kind Gentleman", also known as the musical version of The Teahouse of the August Moon.
"If my life weren't funny, it would just be true. And that would be unacceptable." --Carrie Fisher
NoName3
Broadway Star
joined:8/12/11
Deaths on Stage
Posted: 12/13/12 at 04:13pm
Nelson Eddy collapsed from a massive cerebral hemorrhage in 1967 while performing his cabaret act at a Palm Beach hotel. He died a few hours later.
NoName3
Broadway Star
joined:8/12/11
Deaths on Stage
Posted: 12/13/12 at 05:06pm
The 17th century composer Jean-Baptiste de Lully died as a result of an accident that occurred onstage while he was conducting a Te Deum. At that time in France, conductors did not use a baton; they beat time on the floor with a long staff. He missed the floor and pierced a toe. The wound became gangrenous but he would not allow his doctors to amputate the toe. The gangrene spread, resulting in his death.
StageManager2
Broadway Legend
joined:10/21/05
Deaths on Stage
Posted: 12/13/12 at 05:17pm
The British comedian/magician Tommy Cooper suffered a heart attack onstage while conducting his act at Her Majesty's Theatre in London. The performance was televised, so it was caught on camera:

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=b77_1240142064

(Notice the audience continue to laugh 'cause they think it's all part of the act.)
Salve, Regina, Mater misericordiae
Vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra
Salve, Salve Regina
Ad te clamamus exsules filii Eva
Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes
O clemens O pia
SNAFU
Broadway Legend
joined:4/20/04
Deaths on Stage
Posted: 12/13/12 at 07:49pm
Let us not forget Simone.
Those Blocked: SueStorm. N2N Nate. Good riddence to stupid! Rad-Z, shill begone!
Emmaloucbway
Broadway Star
joined:10/16/11
Deaths on Stage
Posted: 12/13/12 at 08:04pm
Okay, i saw this on another thread too, and I've been wondering. Who is Simone?
artscallion
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/07
Deaths on Stage
Posted: 12/13/12 at 09:09pm
Annie Wan's Sister.
Art has a double face, of expression and illusion.
SNAFU
Broadway Legend
joined:4/20/04
Deaths on Stage
Posted: 12/13/12 at 09:17pm
Heard Annie was devestated at Simone's passing. So was her husband Noah Wan.
Those Blocked: SueStorm. N2N Nate. Good riddence to stupid! Rad-Z, shill begone!
Phyllis Rogers Stone
Broadway Legend
joined:9/16/07
Deaths on Stage
Posted: 12/13/12 at 09:19pm
Weren't they the parents of F. Ree Wan?
SNAFU
Broadway Legend
joined:4/20/04
Deaths on Stage
Posted: 12/13/12 at 09:27pm
Yes! They also teamed up with Sam Badtie to do that revue a few years back. Excellant show!
Those Blocked: SueStorm. N2N Nate. Good riddence to stupid! Rad-Z, shill begone!
StageManager2
Broadway Legend
joined:10/21/05
Deaths on Stage
Posted: 12/13/12 at 09:29pm
I thought SNAFU was referring to S1m0ne.
Salve, Regina, Mater misericordiae
Vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra
Salve, Salve Regina
Ad te clamamus exsules filii Eva
Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes
O clemens O pia
artscallion
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/07
Deaths on Stage
Posted: 12/13/12 at 09:38pm
You must be confusing her with her cousin from Jaipur, Hootha Phuknoes
Art has a double face, of expression and illusion.

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