If you ever imagine that celebrities live charmed lives, think again. The stars slip, fall and crash just like the rest of us. From the silly to the scary, these 10 celebrity accidents made an impact on the news.
James Dean—While other stars have been killed in car accidents (e.g., Jayne Mansfield, Grace Kelly), Dean’s 1955 death from a sports car crash is still one of the most haunting. The star of Rebel Without a Cause remains iconic, and his image still sells plenty of merchandise every year.
Natalie Wood—James Dean’s co-star in Rebel Without a Cause also died accidentally. In 1981, she fell off of a boat and drowned, with the heavy coat she was wearing weighing her down. Alcohol consumption may have prevented her from removing it.
Levar Burton—The Reading Rainbow and Star Trek: The Next Generation star is lucky to be alive after being involved in a five-car pileup in West Los Angeles. He only had minor injuries.
Charlie Sheen—Leave it to King of the Bizarre Charlie Sheen to have his car seemingly drive itself off of a cliff—not once, but twice in a five-month period.
Gloria Estefan—She was in the midst of a career high as the lead singer of Miami Sound Machine when she severely injured her back in a 1990 accident involving the band’s bus. A stunning recovery and a comeback as a solo artist followed.
Gary Busey—A 1988 motorcycle crash led to head injuries that required two hours of neurosurgery for Busey, who is now, unsurprisingly, a big advocate of helmet-wearing.
Peter Fonda—The Easy Rider actor had at least one ride that wasn’t so easy. His 1964 motorcycle accident left him half an inch shorter.
Eric Estrada—When the star of the ’70s drama CHiPs was badly injured in a motorcycle accident, filming didn’t have to stop: The writers simply wrote an accident into the storyline.
Billy Joel—The Piano Man wasn’t a welcome, or invited, guest at Maria Dono’s Nassau County, N.Y., house. The singer ran off the road and crashed his car into it.
The cast of Broadway’s Spider-Man—Early performances of the big-budget production were fraught with mishaps and injuries, including a 30-foot fall for the actor playing the web-slinger.
Celebrity accidents are one of the downsides of fame. No matter how minor the mishap, a witness (or paparazzo) will no doubt put it under a microscope.