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February 13th, 2002

Posthumous Premieres

As I saw the ad for Anne Rice’s Queen of the Damned tonight, I thought about how depressing was to see a movie coming out starring an actress who had died a tragic death at such a young age. Then I thought about Brandon Lee’s death on the set of The Crow and how surreal it was to watch the scene that he died during. Raul Julia also died before the premiere of Street Fighter.

Perhaps the most famous example, though, is Bela Lugosi’s death after shooting just a few scenes for Plan 9 from Outer Space (rather than re-shooting the scenes, Ed Wood replaced him with a man who was much taller and of a totally different build and just had the new actor hold a cape over his face).

There’s something creepy about releasing a movie after one of the actors or actresses have died… a nagging feeling that the stars should be able to attend the premiere screening of the film they worked on. At the same time, it’s a kind of tribute to the actors’ lives. I would guess in the case of Raul Julia, though, he would have preferred to go out on a better note…

It seems commonplace for directors to die before one of their movies sees light, but besides the four above, I couldn’t think of any other examples of actors or actresses dying shortly before the release of one of their movies. A search on the web turned up Brian Glover dying before the release of Bob’s Weekend, Massimo Troisi dying before the release of Il Postino, and Colleen Dewhurst dying before the release of Bed and Breakfast. Can anyone think of any other more notable examples?

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

Ryan July 21, 2008, 6:35 pm

Actors who had films released after their deaths:
http://www.boston.com/ae/movies/gallery/posthumousfilms/

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