On March 30, 1993, Brandon Lee, the son of martial arts icon and legendary actor Bruce Lee, was killed accidentally on the set of “The Crow.”
It happened when co-actor Michael Massee shot him at close range with what he thought was a harmless prop pistol. However, when Massee fired the .44 Magnum revolver, the gunpowder in the blank cartridge lit a bullet fragment that became embedded in the barrel.
This propelled it into Lee’s body about 15 feet away at the Carolco Studios in Wilmington, North Carolina. The fragment was a dummy bullet from a previous scene lodged in the barrel of the prop gun without anyone realizing it.
When the blank round was fired at Brandon, it shot the dummy bullet at him with virtually the same force as a live round. He was hit in the stomach area, and after six hours of surgery, he died on the operating table.
Massee, who died from stomach cancer in October 2016, refused to watch the film after its release and admitted that he couldn’t get over his unwitting role in the death of his co-star.
“What happened to Brandon was a tragic accident. It’s something I’m going to live with. It took me the time it took to be able to not so much put it in perspective but to be able to move on with my life,” he told Extra TV in 2005.
Brandon’s Lee Death Was A Bit Spooky
A scene from Bruce Lee’s Hong Kong martial arts film “Game of Death,” made in 1972 and released in 1978, had scary similarities to his son’s real-life death.
“Gentlemen, these are blanks,” a man tells them in the scene emulating a movie set. “Only aim upward. There’s a wad of paper that comes out and can injure someone.”
However, a hit man stood amongst the ‘actors’ and put a real bullet in the pocket to insert it into the prop gun. Bruce Lee’s character, Billy Lo, was shot in a mid-acrobatic kick and fell to the ground – acting to be wounded.
Bruce Lee died at 32 in his apartment in 1973. His autopsy reports showed his brain was badly swollen as a cause of death.
Who Is Brandon Lee?
The actor, who was 28 years old at his death, was best known as the son of late kung fu star Bruce Lee. He had appeared in several low-budget movies before landing his breakthrough role as the star of “The Crow,” which eventually came out in 1994.
In the gothic superhero movie, Eric Draven, Lee’s character was described as a murdered rock musician brought back from the grave. It also adopted the persona of a night bird to avenge he and his girlfriend’s untimely deaths. The film went on to gross $94 million.
Lee followed in his late father Bruce’s footsteps by training in martial arts and studying acting at Emerson College and the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute.
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In 1990, Lee met his beloved Eliza Hutton at director Renny Harlin’s office. She worked in his office as his assistant. Lee and Hutton moved in together in early 1991 and became engaged in October 1992. They planned to get married in Ensenada, Mexico, on April 17, 1993, a week after Lee was to complete filming on “The Crow.”
After being cast to appear in “The Crow,” Lee had filmed nearly all of his scenes before was fatally wounded on set by a prop gun. He received praise posthumously for his performance, and the movie became a critical and commercial success.
What Was Brandon Lee’s Net Worth?
Brandon Bruce Lee doubled as an American actor, fight choreographer, and martial artist. By following in his father’s footsteps, he was active in the entertainment industry from 1985 to 1993, when he passed away.
It was reported that he had a bright future ahead of him in acting before he died. This was because he had received several nominations and awards for movies he appeared in.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Brandon Lee’s net worth was estimated as $5 million when he died.
Martial arts, as well as acting, were the main sources of Brandon Lee’s wealth.
Recent Accidents On Movie Sets
On October 21, 2021, Alec Baldwin accidentally discharged a prop firearm on the set of the upcoming film “Rust.” This instantly killed the cinematographer and injured the film’s director in an on-set incident.
A helicopter transported the 42-year-old cinematographer Halyna Hutchins to the University of New Mexico Hospital. Unfortunately, according to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, she was pronounced dead on arrival by the medical personnel.
On the other hand, the director, 48-year-old Joel Souza, was transported to Christus St. Vincent’s hospital via ambulance. He is hale and hearty and has since been released, according to his representative Matt Delpiano.
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Sister of Brandon Lee, Shannon Lee, stated that the use of real guns on movie sets should be banned. She also noted that 28 years ago, she could not avoid her brother’s death, but the Lee family intends to help now.