Tragic Injuries From 1970s Films and Television

The 1970s witnessed a multitude of films and television productions that captivated audiences around the world. However, amidst the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, there were instances where tragedy struck and cast a dark shadow over these productions. From on-set accidents to unfortunate incidents, here are some of the tragic injuries that occurred during 1970s films and television shows:

  1. Barquero (1970): During the filming of this Western film, actor Lee Van Cleef suffered a severe leg injury when a horse fell on top of him. The incident led to a lengthy recovery period and impacted the production schedule.
  2. Catch-22 (1970): The production of this war satire film was marred by a tragic accident involving actor Art Garfunkel. While filming a scene, Garfunkel fell from a prop ladder and sustained a head injury, resulting in hospitalization and a halt in production.
  3. Golden Eagle (1970): In this action-adventure film, a stuntman named Roy Alon suffered a life-changing injury. While performing a motorcycle stunt, Alon crashed into a fence, resulting in paralysis from the waist down.
  4. Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970): This historical war film encountered its share of tragedy. During the filming of a battle sequence, a Japanese Zero fighter plane unexpectedly crashed into a parked P-40 Warhawk plane, resulting in significant damage and injuries to the crew.
  5. Zeppelin (1970): A fatal accident occurred during the production of this British war film. A stuntman named Keith Buckley lost his life when a helicopter crashed into the sea during a scene, highlighting the risks involved in filmmaking.
  6. A Clockwork Orange (1971): This controversial film directed by Stanley Kubrick faced its own set of unfortunate incidents. During one scene, actor Malcolm McDowell suffered a scratched cornea while his eyes were held open with specula, requiring medical attention and impacting the shooting schedule.
  7. Kamen Rider (1971): In the Japanese superhero television series, actor Hiroshi Fujioka suffered a broken leg while performing a motorcycle stunt, leading to a temporary halt in production and necessitating adjustments to the storyline.
  8. Von Richthofen and Brown (1971): Tragedy struck during the filming of this World War I film when a replica aircraft crashed, resulting in the death of stuntman Alf Joint and injuries to several others.
  9. Matlock Police (1971): While filming an episode of this Australian television drama series, a stunt car collided with a tree, causing injuries to the driver and prompting increased safety measures in future productions.
  10. The Godfather (1972): This iconic crime film encountered a somber moment when actor Gianni Russo, who portrayed Carlo Rizzi, was involved in a serious car accident during production, leading to injuries and a temporary pause in filming.
  11. The Last Lion (1972): During the filming of this war drama, actor Michael Caine sustained a deep cut on his hand when a prop knife malfunctioned during a fight scene, requiring immediate medical attention.
  12. Napoleon and Samantha (1972): In this family adventure film, a young actor named Johnny Whitaker suffered a leg injury while filming a horse-riding scene, leading to a temporary pause in production.
  13. Enter the Dragon (1973): This martial arts film starring Bruce Lee encountered a heartbreaking incident. While performing a stunt, actor Kim Tai-jong, who portrayed a henchman, accidentally stabbed himself with a prop knife, resulting in a fatal injury.
  14. The Exorcist (1973): Considered one of the scariest films of all time, this supernatural horror movie faced its own share of misfortune. Actress Ellen Burstyn sustained a permanent spinal injury during a scene where she was thrown forcefully to the ground, highlighting the risks involved in creating realistic and intense performances.
  15. Primal Man (1974): During the production of this documentary film, a tragic accident occurred when a helicopter crashed, resulting in the death of the pilot and injuries to the crew, emphasizing the dangers inherent in capturing nature’s raw beauty.
  16. The Eiger Sanction (1975): In this thriller film, actor Clint Eastwood suffered a broken rib during a climbing scene on the treacherous Eiger mountain, demonstrating the physical demands and risks involved in performing challenging stunts.
  17. The Great Waldo Pepper (1975): Tragedy struck during the filming of this aviation film when a stunt pilot lost control of a vintage biplane, leading to a crash that resulted in the pilot’s death and injuries to others on set.
  18. Carrie (1976): This horror film based on Stephen King’s novel encountered a heartbreaking incident. While filming the climactic prom scene, a pyrotechnic effect malfunctioned, causing a fire that resulted in the death of camera assistant Ronald H. Clark.
  19. No Deposit, No Return (1976): In this family comedy film, actor Don Knotts suffered a broken arm during a chase scene, highlighting the physical demands and risks that actors face in creating entertaining performances.
  20. The Omen (1976): This supernatural horror film had its share of tragedy. During the production, special effects artist John Richardson and his assistant Liz Moore were involved in a car accident in which Moore lost her life, an eerie occurrence reminiscent of the film’s ominous themes.
  21. A Bridge Too Far (1977): This epic war film encountered a devastating incident during a parachute jump scene. A miscalculation caused multiple parachutists to land in trees, resulting in injuries and one fatality.
  22. Hi-Riders (1978): During the filming of this action crime drama, actor Mel Ferrer sustained a head injury when a stunt went wrong, necessitating medical attention and impacting the production schedule.
  23. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1978): In this cult comedy horror film, a stuntman named Gary Smith suffered a significant injury when he was hit by a car during a scene, highlighting the risks involved in creating comedic yet dangerous moments.
  24. Grease (1978): This beloved musical encountered a tragic incident. During the filming of the drag race scene, stuntman Buddy Joe Hooker lost control of a vehicle and crashed, resulting in injuries to several crew members and prompting a reevaluation of safety protocols.
  25. Apocalypse Now (1979): This war epic directed by Francis Ford Coppola faced numerous challenges during its production. Actor Martin Sheen suffered a heart attack on set, causing delays in filming and underscoring the physical toll of intense performances.
  26. Charlie’s Angels (1979): In this popular television series, actress Cheryl Ladd endured a fall during a stunt, resulting in a broken nose and requiring adjustments to the production schedule.

These tragic injuries serve as somber reminders of the risks and sacrifices made by actors, stunt performers, and crew members in bringing memorable and captivating stories to life on the silver screen. The entertainment industry continues to prioritize safety and learn from these past incidents, striving to create an environment that minimizes the occurrence of such tragedies.

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