“Live as if you were going to die today”: ten actors who died young

The death yesterday, Wednesday, of the French actor Gaspard Ulliel at 37 years old due to a head injury after a skiing accident has shocked the film world. Ulliel was not only a charismatic actor, winner of two César awards, who in recent times had shunned romantic comedies in search of auteur cinema, but at the end of March he was going to premiere the new Marvel series, Moon Knight, with Oscar Isaac and Ethan Hawke, with all the paraphernalia that a premiere of this caliber drags and that has become a posthumous work. Like Ulliel, there have been other stars who have died in the middle of interesting races. We review some of the most prominent cases.

Chadwick Boseman. colon cancer ended with the life of the protagonist of Black Panther on August 28, 2020, at age 43. He was at the height of his career, he was one of the most charismatic actors thanks to his participation in the Marvel saga as T’Challa (Black Panther), to the details of companionship that other actors revealed about him and to his work in a cinema more than author; now deceased, was nominated for an Oscar for best secondary for The mother of the blues. Boseman had also embodied several myths of the African-American community on the screen, and seemed called to great works.

Chadwick Boseman
Chadwick Boseman

Anton Yechin. Yelchin was a born worker until his death on June 19, 2016, at age 27, when his own car trapped him at home against a wall, in a fatal accidental hit. In addition to giving life to Chekhov in the new saga of star trek, Yelchin had accumulated more than sixty appearances in film and television, because he started very young, at the age of 10, when he worked on the series Emergencies. He achieved fame with the Nick Cassavettes movie Alpha Dog (2006) and also participated in films such as Hearts in Atlantis, Terminator: Salvation, Only lovers survive or GreenRoom.

Anton Yelchin, at the 2014 Venice Film Festival.
Anton Yelchin, at the 2014 Venice Film Festival.REUTERS

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Paul Walker. Walker, one of the protagonists of the saga fast and furious, passed away on November 30, 2013 at age 40 in, ironies of fate, a traffic accident. He was co-pilot in his Porsche Carrera GT, which crashed into a pole at about 150 kilometers per hour, on a highway in Santa Clarita, north of Hollywood. At that time he was filming the seventh installment of the series and his death was one of the first to become a viral phenomenon.

Paul Walker, in a portrait of the month of March 2013.
Paul Walker, in a portrait of the month of March 2013. REUTERS

Brittany Murphy. The death of Brittany Murphy, on December 20, 2009, At 32 years old, she was involved in all kinds of rumor mill. Icon of adolescent cinema, in which he had made his debut with Clueless (Out of wave), the cause of his death was cardiac arrest. He had just finished his last film, something wicked, whose premiere ended up being delayed almost six years. the actress of 8 miles, Girl, Interrupted, Just Married, Sin City or Happy Feet She had been ill for several days with pneumonia, to which she added anemia due to lack of iron. his widower, British screenwriter Simon Monjack, He died five months later, also of a myocardial infarction. The actress’s father, Angelo Bertolotti, with ties to the mafia but who had not had much to do with his daughter, spoke of poisoning. All the evidence rejected a possible homicide.

Actress Brittany Murphy.
Actress Brittany Murphy.CORD

Heath Ledger. It was a real catastrophe, such as had not been known since the days of River Phoenix or James Dean. On January 22, 2008, and only 28 years old, Ledger died in his apartment due to accidental drug poisoning. (of which I had a prescription). had not yet released The dark knight, which led him to win a posthumous Oscar giving life to the Joker. The statuette was collected by her parents and her sister. At the time of his passing, Ledger was playing Tony in The imaginary of Doctor Parnassus, by Terry Gilliam. On your resume, Brokeback Mountain, Knight’s Fate, The Brothers Grimm’s Secret, 10 Reasons to Hate You or I’m Not There, and the feeling that it was going to be great.

Actor Heath Ledger.
Actor Heath Ledger.AP

Brad Renfro. Brad Renfro’s career had already been cut short, due to his addictions to alcohol and drugs, before his death, due to an overdose, on January 15, 2008, at the age of 25. Discovered by Joel Schumacher, with whom he made his debut in 1994 in The client, later appeared in Let nothing separate us, Sleepers, Summer of Corruption or ghostworld, but it plummeted. Of his last works he is only redeemable the confidants (2008).

Brad Renfro, at the beginning of his career, and a year before he died.
Brad Renfro, at the beginning of his career, and a year before he died.Getty/Cordon Press

RiverPhoenix. The eldest of the Phoenix died at the age of 23 of an overdose on October 31, 1993, outside the club co-owned by his friend Johnny Depp, the Viper Room, in West Hollywood. At his side, his brother Joaquin and his girlfriend, actress Samantha Mathis. River Phoenix was the leader of a great generation of actors, and you only have to look at his resume to see his talent: Explorers, Count on Me, The Mosquito Coast, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, My Private Idaho, The Last Bet, Sneakers, Silent Tongue or That thing called love. The night of his death he was going to play at the club with Depp and Flea (bassist for The Red Hot Chili Peppers), but the stage was very small and he sat down to watch them. In time it was learned that he had had a drink with speedball without being told that it contained that drug. By the way, Federico Fellini died on the same day.

River Phoenix, in 1988.
River Phoenix, in 1988.George Rose (Getty Images)

Brandon Lee. Brandon Lee passed away on the set of The Raven on March 31, 1993, in an accident caused by a pistol loaded with live ammunition. He was 28 years old and starring in the film with which he hoped to become a star. The actor was the son of legend Bruce Lee, who died just two decades earlier, in 1973, at just 32 years old, due to cerebral edema.

Brandon Lee, a year before his death.
Brandon Lee, a year before his death.Photo: Getty

Sharon Tate. She was 26 years old and was going to conquer the world, because few like her combined beauty and talent. She was pregnant by Roman Polanski, her husband, who was in England at the time. On August 8, 1969, Sharon Tate She was two weeks away from giving birth when several members of the Manson family, led by Charles Manson, broke into her home and murdered the actress and her friends. That night was rewritten on the screen by Quentin Tarantino in Once upon a time in… Hollywood, a tribute to the interpreter of The Vampire Ball, The Valley of the Dolls, The Mansion of the Seven Pleasures or Which of the 13?

Actress Sharon Tate in New York in August 1967.
Actress Sharon Tate in New York in August 1967.Getty

James Dean. Before Dean There had already been prematurely cut short careers in Hollywood, such as Jayne Mansfield’s, but Dean’s death occurred in the midst of a generational change in Hollywood. The car accident in which this 24-year-old rising star was killed on September 30, 1955, while en route to a Salinas motor show in his Porsche Spyder 550, is remembered by generations of moviegoers. He only worked in three films as a leading man (Rebel Without a Cause, East of Eden Y Giant), Enough to build the legend of the guy who said, “Dream like you’ll live forever. Live as if you were to die today.”

James Dean at a gas station with the Porsche 550 Spyder, hours before the accident that ended his life.
James Dean at a gas station with the Porsche 550 Spyder, hours before the accident that ended his life.Bettmann (Bettmann Archive)

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“Live as if you were going to die today”: ten actors who died young