Celebrities That Defied Death More Than Once

Celebrities mostly live a pretty charmed life, but no amount of money is going to keep you safe all the time, and so every now and again, a celeb has a brush with death. This is usually good for a headline or two, but life goes on and the story fades away. That is, unless they're one of the following unlucky celebrities, who, for some reason, earned more than one ride on no-one's favorite merry-go-round.

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp almost became Johnny Depp-arted while filming 2011's The Rum Diary. They were filming in Puerto Rico, and while the scenery was spectacular, the reliability of the aircraft, however, was less so. Depp was flying with the film's director one day when an engine suddenly shut down. Most people in this situation would maybe scream, or suddenly wish they were wearing adult diapers. But there was no fear, or reason for loathing in Depp, who merely muttered, "Is this it?" before breaking into hysterical laughter with the director. The plane's engine restarted moments later and managed to land safely ... but for Depp, the crash landing was merely delayed.

And it would finally catch up to him during filming for the Lone Ranger, and he wasn't taking a ride in a plane at the time, but on a horse instead. While performing one of his own stunts involving riding a horse extremely fast alongside costar Armie Hammer, he slipped partially out of his saddle. Footage of the incident shows Depp hanging off the side of the horse for a few agonizing seconds before losing his grip and falling under. Fortunately, despite falling directly in the path of the horse's massive ground pounders, Depp escaped with just a glancing blow and a tumble in the sand. Lucky for him, the horse was very a-Depp-t at dodging clumsy actors.

Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio seems to have a knack for getting into trouble ... and getting out of it again. He has survived not one, not two, but three very unlikely life-threatening situations, and came away with little more than a few good stories to tell on TV chat shows.

The first incident happened while he was swimming with sharks in South Africa. He had descended into the water in a special cage while the water was sown with bits of tuna to attract sharks. In an almost unbelievable piece of timing, a piece of tuna was flipped into the air by a wave and a shark jumped up to get it, landing directly on the open top of DiCaprio's cage and falling partially inside.

Suddenly finding itself within chomping distance of a bigger meal, it proceeded to snap its terrifying, toothy maw at the frightened thespian, who by this time was wisely cowering at the bottom of the cage, just out of reach. Fortunately, the beast thrashed its way free of the cage before anything other than DiCaprio's desire to dive with sharks was hurt.

His next brush with death sounds like it wouldn't look out of place on the silver screen, and, in that context, it would probably be followed by lots of screaming and gunfire. But in the real world, when DiCaprio witnessed the engine explode on the wing of the aircraft that was taking him to Russia, all that happened after the fireball was silence. For some reason the flight crew decided to shut down the rest of the engines on the aircraft for a few minutes before restarting them, and in the meantime, the passengers all sat in complete silence. Despite having one engine that "exploded like a comet," the intact engines soon restarted and the aircraft made it safely to JFK airport for an emergency landing.

The third installment of DiCaprio Doesn't Die occurred while skydiving, which, considering his history with extreme pursuits, sounds like a recipe for ... not skydiving again. And that's exactly what happened. As he was falling through the air as fast as a DiCaprio can while harnessed to another guy, the time came to pull the cord. But instead of a big handkerchief deploying overhead, all they got was a tangled mess flapping in the breeze.

The instructor cut the tangled chute free, and with DiCaprio seriously expecting to become a DeadCaprio, pulled the spare ... which also got tangled. Luckily, the instructor left all the pondering of death to Leo, and instead worked to untangle the only chance they had of not sharing a crater. The parachute opened up just in time to keep the story PG-13, and the fortunate filmster escaped with nothing more than some bumps and bruises from the fast landing, though possibly in need of clean shorts.

Lil Wayne

Since 2012, Lil Wayne has repeatedly been in the news on account of his health. He was taken to the hospital on a number of occasions for seizures, and although some reports put it down to a codeine overdose, it was later revealed that he suffers from epilepsy and his symptoms are exacerbated by stress. On several occasions his seizures occurred on aircraft that then had to make emergency landings. But the most dramatic involved a sequence of three seizures in a row, and on the third, his heart rate dropped so low, his life was in danger. Fortunately, he received prompt medical attention and a Lil tragedy was averted.

Wayne's closest brush with death however, happened in 1994 when he was just 12 years old. Young Dwayne (his real name) had left school early and went home, buying himself a burger on the way. No one was home when he got there, so he sat on a bed to chow down. Unfortunately, the day before a guest who came over to watch football had left his handgun behind, and it was loaded. Uh oh.

Of course, being a 12-year-old boy, he couldn't resist playing with the gun, and before long, every parent's nightmare became a reality. Lil Wayne had managed to shoot himself through the chest, and although no major organ was hit, he was still badly wounded, bleeding, and there was no one home to help him. Before he got too weak, he was able to call 911, and although police arrived quickly and found the critically injured boy, no ambulance was available. Rather than wait for an ambulance that wouldn't have arrived in time, the cops carried the still-bleeding Dwayne to one of their cars and rushed him to the nearest hospital themselves, undoubtedly saving his life. This wouldn't be Wayne's first ride in a police car, but it's probably the only one he'd tell his kids about.

Sharon Stone

A few days after finishing 1990's Total Recall, Sharon Stone defied death by narrowly surviving a head-on collision with a vehicle driving down the wrong side of Sunset Boulevard. She suffered numerous severe injuries, including broken ribs, a dislocated jaw, and a sprained back. It took her many months, but she finally recovered.

The thing about injuries caused by car accidents is that you know you need to go to hospital to get better. But when something just goes wrong inside you with no obvious cause, it can be harder to make that call.

This happened the second time Stone came close to death, because instead of a dramatic external event putting her life at risk, it was a much smaller, but no less dangerous, brain aneurysm. Eleven years after she faced death head on, Stone suffered a stroke. And instead of being rushed straight to the hospital as soon as symptoms appeared, it took three days of extreme headaches and difficulty speaking before the decision was made to get help.

But she wasn't safe yet: despite undergoing immediate surgery, the aneurysm that caused the stroke wasn't found. It was another nine days before they tried again, and although this time they found the bleed, she came so close to death in the process that she reported seeing a white light and visions of deceased loved ones. You can't get much closer to death than that and still come back to tell the tale ... at least not without using a Ouija board, anyway.

Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford is well-known for playing an action hero who manages to survive through all sorts of unlikely scenarios. But when faced with similarly dangerous situations in real life, his luck hasn't been quite so good. In 1999, the actor was flying his helicopter north of Los Angeles, accompanied by a flight instructor who was giving him lessons. Unfortunately, something went wrong with the aircraft and the helicopter crashed down in a dry river bed. Ironically, the accident occurred because Ford was practicing what to do in the event of an accident. He had cut the engine power and was simulating a forced landing, but when the time came to increase power to avoid actually hitting the ground, Ford left it too late. The helicopter rolled over and was badly damaged, but both men walked away.

Proving himself to be more badass than most people give him credit for, Ol' Harry wasn't put off by his close call, and instead continued to fly both helicopters and small aircraft. But luck is a fickle thing, and in 2015 it turned on him again.

Ford had just taken off from Santa Monica Airport in his World War II vintage light aircraft, when a fault in the engine caused a loss of power. He radioed an emergency, and turned to try to make it back to the runway, but he didn't have the power to maintain height, and crash landed 800 feet short on a golf course, hitting a tree in the process. The fault in the engine wasn't the only problem with the aircraft, because according to a report by the National Transportation Safety Board, the shoulder harness may have been improperly installed, contributing to the severity of the actor's injuries. Where's a bullwhip when you need one?

After the mangled remains of his aircraft had come to a halt, he was dragged from the aircraft by golfers, before being treated by paramedics who quickly arrived at the scene. Although he was reported as conscious and responsive at the scene, he remained in the hospital for several weeks to recover.

Sylvester Stallone

He might look like a man who can take a punch or two in the movies, but as it turns out, that's just part of the cinematic illusion. In reality, Sylvester Stallone should really try to avoid getting into fights.

The first time this happened was when he was filming the fight scene with Dolph Lundgren for 1985's Rocky IV. Part of the scene involved Stallone's character taking a series of blows to the chest, and even though they were acting, it seems Lundgren wasn't exactly pulling his punches ... and it took three takes. After the third set of impacts, Stallone recalled feeling a sudden pain in the chest, which later that night evolved into difficulty breathing. A visit to the emergency room turned into an emergency flight to Santa Monica, where he stayed in intensive care for eight days being treated for a dangerously swollen heart.

Despite the severity of that experience, Stallone can't have paid attention to the lesson, because 25 years later during filming for The Expendables, he was given the chance to learn it again. Once again he was filming a fight scene, and once again the "acting" barely fit the definition. Although Dolph Lundgren also starred in this movie, this time it was Stone Cold Steve Austin who landed the vicious blow and actually broke Stallone's neck. He later underwent surgery to reinforce the hairline fracture with a metal plate. Hopefully he's learned his lesson now ... if the punch left him any memory of it, that is.

Keith Richards

You may have heard it suggested that every day is a near-death experience for Keith Richards. And while this is often meant as a joke, as it turns out, it's not too far from the truth. If you go looking for details of Richards' death-defying escapades, you won't be short of reading material, but two occasions in particular stand out from the crowd.

Being a well known drug user, it's not hard to find stories of Richards putting stuff in his body. On one occasion, however, he got a little more than he was expecting. While in Switzerland in the 1970s, Keith unsurprisingly decided to get high. Unknown to him, someone had put strychnine in his heroin. Strychnine is a toxic chemical most often used for pest control, however it has no beneficial medical uses. According to his report, he was awake throughout, but also virtually paralysed and unable to react when people tried to check if he was okay. As he has a habit of doing, he came through the experience apparently no worse for wear, and a little more cautious about who he hangs out with.

If he was also more careful about what he hangs from, he would have saved himself some trouble in 2006, on an island near Fiji. He was on holiday with Ronnie Wood, and had climbed up on a branch to dry off. The branch was about seven feet off the ground, and when it came time to go to lunch, he tried to reach the ground by grabbing another branch and lowering himself down. Unfortunately, his hands were wet and covered with sand, and he slipped straight off.

In the process of returning to Earth, his head made contact with the base of the tree, and despite shrugging the incident off at the time, he later started to experience powerful headaches that didn't go away. As it turned out, he'd fractured his skull in the accident and was eventually diagnosed with a subdural hematoma. That earned him an emergency flight to New Zealand, brain surgery, and plenty of morphine ... because he's Keith Richards.

Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor was no stranger to hospitals, having been through a few in her time. And although for the most part the reasons for her visits were serious, but not deadly, on more than one occasion, it was very nearly both.

In early 1961, just before she was due to start filming Cleopatra, Taylor was diagnosed with "Asian flu." By March, this had evolved into double pneumonia, for which doctors had her sedated in an oxygen tent. But not long after that, she fell into a coma. She was rushed to a London hospital through a crowd of reporters, and according to an interview she did with Vanity Fair, she was pronounced dead four times, including once where she didn't breathe for five minutes. Her situation was improved when doctors performed an emergency tracheotomy, the scar from which is still visible on her neck in the movies she made soon afterwards.

She gained another scar in 1997, but this time on her head, when she needed surgery to remove a golf ball-sized brain tumor. The actress had reportedly been experiencing severe migraine headaches that she put down to stress, and the tumor was subsequently discovered at an annual physical. But with the use of MRI scans, computer-controlled equipment, and some no doubt talented surgeons, the tumor was safely removed, and was later revealed to be benign ... if a golf ball sized growth in your brain can even be called that.

Bob Dylan

Folk music legend Bob Dylan hasn't got where he is without creating some legends on the way, and one in particular continues to fascinate his fans. Back in 1966, his career was screaming skywards, but Dylan was starting to struggle under the pressure, and was rumored to be taking large amounts of amphetamines to help him copeā€”but help was about to arrive from an unexpected direction.

One day in June, as he was leaving his manager's home on a motorcycle, he was involved in an accident. Luckily he was being followed by his wife in a car, and she picked him up and went in search of medical attention. Details are sketchy, since no police report was filed, but Dylan himself has admitted since then that he broke vertebrae in the accident, and got a concussion. Despite his injuries, however, the experience may have been a positive one, as it forced an important pause in his career that was crucial to his future evolution.

Another pause in 1997, however, upset a lot of Dylan's fans in Europe, because they were forced to hear a new tune that they didn't like the sound of, called "The Dates They Are A-Changin'." Bob had been diagnosed with histoplasmosis, and was facing an indefinite stay in the hospital. Histoplasmosis is an infection that causes swelling around the heart, and while it's relatively easy to cure, can nevertheless prove fatal, if left untreated. Dylan soon recovered, of course, and his so-called "Never Ending Tour" picked back up a few months later. A little swelling of the heart, after all, had no chance of putting down a folk singer.