How many movie people have died due to auto accidents?

Open, general discussion of classic sound-era films, personalities and history.
Chris Snowden
Posts: 768
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 1:20 am

Unread post by Chris Snowden » Sun Apr 03, 2011 10:11 am

In March 1927, actress Helen Howard was killed in a car crash at age 27 (William Demarest was injured in the same wreck).

Howard is an obscure figure to us today, but she appeared in Mary Miles Minter's The Ghost of Rosy Taylor (1918) and Vitagraph's epic Captain Blood (1924).

Evidently her scenes were edited out or she was replaced by somebody else, but at the time of her death she was working on Warners' The First Auto (1927). Four days later, another car crash killed that film's star, Charles Emmett Mack.
-------------------------------------
Chris Snowden
https://televisiondiary.wordpress.com" target="_blank

User avatar
bobfells
Posts: 2989
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:03 pm
Location: Old Virginny

Unread post by bobfells » Sun Apr 03, 2011 10:45 am

When Paul Whiteman brought his orchestra to Universal to film KING OF JAZZ during the summer 1929, some band members were in a car accident that killed accordian player Mario Perry. Violinist Joe Venuti injured his arm and there was some question of whether he would be able to play but he recovered.
Official Biographer of Mr. Arliss

http://www.ArlissArchives.com" target="_blank
http://www.OldHollywoodinColor.com" target="_blank
https://www.Facebook.com/groups/413487728766029/" target="_blank

CliffordWeimer
Posts: 165
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:13 pm
Location: Sacramento
Contact:

Unread post by CliffordWeimer » Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:51 am

Lois Wilde of "Undersea Kingdom" and other films was permanently crippled in a car accident in 1938. Supposedly, so was Priscilla Lawson of "Flash Gordon".

Speaking of Miss Wilde, today's In The Balcony time machine feature heads to 1936, and one of the films reviewed is her "Step on It" with Dick Talmadge: http://s13.zetaboards.com/In_The_Balcon ... 6774994/1/

User avatar
mndean
Posts: 771
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:04 pm
Location: Sacramento, CA

Unread post by mndean » Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:40 pm

CliffordWeimer wrote:Lois Wilde of "Undersea Kingdom" and other films was permanently crippled in a car accident in 1938. Supposedly, so was Priscilla Lawson of "Flash Gordon".
Wasn't Sidney Fox also seriously injured in an auto wreck?

sepiatone
Posts: 2407
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:10 pm
Location: East Coast, USA

Unread post by sepiatone » Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:11 pm

Harrison Ford(no not him! obviously) was struck by a female driver in 1951 and never recovered dying in 1957.

sepiatone
Posts: 2407
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:10 pm
Location: East Coast, USA

Unread post by sepiatone » Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:20 pm

Ian Elliot wrote: Alan J. Pakula.
I remember when Pakula died on the freeway. Ticked me off at the time cause it was totally unnecessary. A piece of metal on the highway ricocheted through his windshield killing him. I guess you could say it's the same thing that brought the Concord down in Paris, crap lying on the runway.

sepiatone
Posts: 2407
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:10 pm
Location: East Coast, USA

Unread post by sepiatone » Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:23 pm

Two great UK actors

Desmond Llewelyn - Q in the James Bond films

Ian Bannen - Flight of the Phoenix (1965)

Richard M Roberts
Posts: 1385
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2007 6:56 pm

Unread post by Richard M Roberts » Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:54 pm

Katherine Grant, leading lady to Charley Chase and other comics at Hal Roach in the mid 1920's, also suffered injuries from an auto accident that ended her career and apparently kept her in and out of hospitals for the rest of her life.

RICHARD M ROBERTS

User avatar
The Blackbird
Posts: 532
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:38 pm
Location: London, Ontario

Unread post by The Blackbird » Sun Apr 03, 2011 10:17 pm

Herbert Mundin, Gene Roth, Roger Delgado....

Lokke Heiss
Posts: 691
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 10:25 pm

Unread post by Lokke Heiss » Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:10 pm

Will Rogers wrote a fascinating piece about this in his weekly column around (I think) in the late '20s. His point was that if you added up the weekly death toll from cars already happening in the U.S. and treated it like say, the numbers of dead from a war, there would be a national wringing of hands and an outcry that something must be done to make driving safer. But instead, he wrote, people just keep getting in more accidents and just keep dying.

If I could respond to Will R. I'd bring up the point that death and destruction that people are used to is not news. And while cars where new, people dying on the road from traffic accidents from horses, buggies and trains was commonplace by 1926, so it was easy for people to transition into thinking that getting killed by a moving vehicle was not such a novel idea.

If I could digress slightly from the topic of cars killing people, I'd like to repeat Vonnegut's point that people wring their hands over the U.S. dropping two atom bombs that killed a lot of people, when just before the fire bombing in Dresden and in Tokyo killed a whole lot more people and caused far more destruction (movie tie-in-the bombing in Tokyo wiped out most of the Japanese film archives). It's the getting killed part that counts a lot more than how it happens, but that's not how people write about it.

In other words, if in just one year, the number of people dying in car accidents in the U.S. had died by radiation poisoning, it would be a story of the century. But the world doesn't end in a bang, but rather in a little piece at a time, and that's not news.

Okay, I know this is a film forum, so radiation poisoning is getting off topic, but I thought my reaction to Will Rogers talking about people dying from cars is fair game. I want to close with James Dean. Anyone see the PSA he did just days before his accident? It's a psychic forecast session. Talk about watching a Dead Man Talking.
"You can't top pigs with pigs."

Walt Disney, responding to someone who asked him why he didn't immediately do a sequel to The Three Little Pigs

Doug Sulpy
Posts: 431
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:59 pm

Unread post by Doug Sulpy » Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:56 pm

Shaw Brothers star Alexander Fu Sheng.

sepiatone
Posts: 2407
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:10 pm
Location: East Coast, USA

Unread post by sepiatone » Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:03 pm

HENRY E. DIXEY, more famous as a Broadway star from the Victorian and Edwardian eras, he appeared in a few films.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_E._Dixey

User avatar
mndean
Posts: 771
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:04 pm
Location: Sacramento, CA

Unread post by mndean » Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:31 pm

I don't think anyone has mentioned Françoise Dorléac.

User avatar
drednm
Posts: 7692
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:41 pm
Location: Belgrade Lakes, ME

Unread post by drednm » Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:02 pm

Did anyone mention Hal Skelly???
Ed Lorusso
Writer/Historian
-------------
https://wordpress.com/view/silentroomdo ... dpress.com" target="_blank

sepiatone
Posts: 2407
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:10 pm
Location: East Coast, USA

Unread post by sepiatone » Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:30 pm

mndean wrote:I don't think anyone has mentioned Françoise Dorléac.
you beat me, I had it set up after I did Dixey , went off to something else, and the computer timed out.
:)

User avatar
drednm
Posts: 7692
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:41 pm
Location: Belgrade Lakes, ME

Unread post by drednm » Sat Apr 09, 2011 3:50 pm

Did anyone mention Marjorie White?
Ed Lorusso
Writer/Historian
-------------
https://wordpress.com/view/silentroomdo ... dpress.com" target="_blank

sepiatone
Posts: 2407
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:10 pm
Location: East Coast, USA

Unread post by sepiatone » Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:46 am

the great cinematographer Ernest Haller, car related death in 1970.

User avatar
Native Baltimoron
Posts: 175
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:45 am
Location: Delaware

Unread post by Native Baltimoron » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:19 pm

Movie director, Raoul Walsh, and Sammy Davis Jr both lost their vision in an eye due to automobile accidents. In Walsh's case he was driving in the desert while on location shooting "In Old Arizona". He was to play the part of the Cisco Kid, as well as direct. Supposedly, a jackrabbit jumped across the path of his windshield, and shattered it. Sammy was driving in the Nevada desert when his occurred, his head hit the steering wheel which had a pointed suicide knob, putting his eye out. Both men went on to have extremely successful careers, and both could have easily died in these accidents.
Native Baltimoron
"You too, Uncle Fudd" William Phipps to Bert Mustin in "The FBI Story"

User avatar
mndean
Posts: 771
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:04 pm
Location: Sacramento, CA

Unread post by mndean » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:23 pm

Native Baltimoron wrote:Sammy was driving in the Nevada desert when his occurred, his head hit the steering wheel which had a pointed suicide knob, putting his eye out. Both men went on to have extremely successful careers, and both could have easily died in these accidents.
Suicide knob? I always remember them being called "necker knobs", though the idea of necking while driving didn't seem safe to me. BTW, they're still used today on forklifts.

User avatar
spadeneal
Posts: 649
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:58 pm
Location: Hamilton, OH

Unread post by spadeneal » Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:37 pm

Not only did Charles Emmet Mack die in an auto accident, Charles E. Mack did also, in 1934. Mack Sennett was behind the wheel of that car.

spadeneal

sepiatone
Posts: 2407
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:10 pm
Location: East Coast, USA

Unread post by sepiatone » Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:17 pm

actor / director Ralph Ince

bradleyem
Posts: 116
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 8:46 pm

Re: How many movie people have died due to auto accidents?

Unread post by bradleyem » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:46 pm

Here are some details on the Albert Gran incident mentioned earlier in this thread. It is the latest post in my blog at earlysoundguy.com.

https://earlysoundguy.com/2018/08/05/a- ... bert-gran/" target="_blank" target="_blank

User avatar
Hamilton's Grandson
Posts: 423
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:56 pm
Location: Tacoma,WA

Re: How many movie people have died due to auto accidents?

Unread post by Hamilton's Grandson » Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:23 pm

FW Murnau on the pacific coast highway with a 14 year old servant at the wheel.

Wonder when seat belts were used in vehicles? Lap belt 1950's?

Even though vehicles during this era didn't travel very fast compared to today's vehicles, didn't take much to die at slower speeds without seat belts.
Mark Hamilton (I) is on imdb.com
Joseph Hamilton (I) is on imdb.com
Gertrude Brooke Hamilton is on imdb.com

Lamar
Posts: 151
Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 8:26 am

Re: How many movie people have died due to auto accidents?

Unread post by Lamar » Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:16 am

The Greek director Theo Angelopoulos (Landscape in the Mist, Eternity and a Day) was hit by a motorcycle when he was crossing a street and later died.

User avatar
MaryGH
Posts: 329
Joined: Thu May 14, 2015 6:10 pm
Location: FL
Contact:

Re: How many movie people have died due to auto accidents?

Unread post by MaryGH » Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:14 am

Director Louis King eventually died from injuries in September 1962 related to a car accident he had in Oklahoma in August of that year.
Petition: Turner Enter./Warner Bros: Please digitalize Tom Tyler's FBO silent film westerns

http://bit.ly/2ueCvHe
---
Aventuras de Tom Tyler

http://triggertomblog.blogspot.com/

User avatar
silentfilm
Moderator
Posts: 9540
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:31 pm
Location: Dallas, TX USA
Contact:

Re: How many movie people have died due to auto accidents?

Unread post by silentfilm » Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:18 am

"Tucker" cars were the first general production vehicles to have seat belts installed in 1949, but they were soon eliminated because they were afraid that the public would view Tucker cars as less safe. In 1954, the Sports Car Club of America (precursor to NASCAR) required race car drivers to wear seat belts. Volvo introduced them in Sweden in the late 1950s.

Ford included lap belts in 1956 models, but again their cars were seen by the public as less safe. They were eliminated in 1957. Chrysler and Buick offered them as an option in 1956, but few buyers purchased them. Ralph Nader's research in 1965, "Unsafe at Any Speed", was the impetus for The Highway Safety Act and The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, which helped the NHSA to convince manufacturers to include front lab-belts in all cars sold in the USA.

There is a detailed history of seat belts here.

User avatar
Ray Faiola
Posts: 1050
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 10:18 am
Location: Ellenville, NY
Contact:

Re: How many movie people have died due to auto accidents?

Unread post by Ray Faiola » Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:35 pm

Comedy writer Howard Snyder
Classic Film Scores on CD
http://www.chelsearialtostudios.com

sepiatone
Posts: 2407
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:10 pm
Location: East Coast, USA

Re: How many movie people have died due to auto accidents?

Unread post by sepiatone » Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:42 pm

Ralph Lewis was struck by a limousine driven by Jack Warner's chaeuffeur.

User avatar
Spiny Norman
Posts: 1349
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:21 am

Re:

Unread post by Spiny Norman » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:45 am

Frederica wrote:
Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:54 am
CliffordWeimer wrote:THIS is an odd thread.
We do seem to be making a lot of lists lately (she lilted, alliteratively).
I wonder if anyone has died from an auto cue accident?
This is nøt å signåture.™

LostEmulsion
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:54 pm
Location: Long Island, New York
Contact:

Re: How many movie people have died due to auto accidents?

Unread post by LostEmulsion » Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:52 pm

Did anybody mention James Dean?

Post Reply