We’ve all heard of Mama Cass choking on a ham sandwich, and while that may be an urban legend, there are a slew of other real celebrity deaths that are even stranger. Tennessee Williams, for example, choked on a bottle cap he held in his mouth while putting in eyedrops.
The circumstances surrounding some celebrity deaths are so bizarre, they’re hard to fathom. Here are a few of the most outlandish ways some celebrities have met their maker.
They say if you play with fire, you’re gonna get burned. Similarly, if you tug on enough crocodile tails, you’re gonna get stung to death by a sting ray. Irwin made a name for himself with his crazy animal antics, but nature finally won in 2006. While filming an underwater documentary, Irwin was impaled by a stingray’s barb.
Carradine was found dead in his hotel room in June 2009. The cause of death? Autoerotic asphyxiation. “Wow! How bizarre,” you might be thinking. “I bet no other celebrity has died of pleasuring themselves via choking!” Well, you’re wrong. Michael Hutchence, the lead singer of INXS, also died of autoerotic asphyxiation, as did American actor Albert Dekker. More on him later.
Novarro played the ‘Latin lover’ role in many of Hollywood’s silent films. On October 30, 1968, Novarro paid for two men to come to his home for sex. So far, nothing out of the ordinary, right? Well, the two men, who also happened to be brothers, arrived and murdered Novarro. Their weapon of choice? A lead dildo. Yup. Novarro apparently had a lead dildo given to him by Rudolph Valentino hanging around his house, and the men shoved it down his throat, suffocating him.
While filming The Crow on March 31, 1993, the son of Bruce Lee was accidentally shot and killed. In the scene, actor Michael Massee was required to fire a gun at Lee. But when fired, the gun’s blanks propelled parts of a bullet that had been fired earlier but was still stuck in the gun. It hit Lee in the stomach and lodged in his spine.
Duncan was an American dancer known for her penchant for scarves. She died on September 14, 1927, while driving, but ironically, her scarf was what killed her. It became entangled around one of the car’s wheels and rear axle, and she broke her neck.
This guy was an American actor and politician. On May 5th, 1968, his fiancé hadn’t heard from him, so she went to his apartment and had the manager open the door. Here’s what they found:
“Dekker was kneeling nude in the bathtub. A noose was around his neck but not tight enough to have strangled him. A scarf was tied over his eyes and a horse’s bit was in his mouth, fashioned from a rubber ball and metal wire, the bit had chain ‘reins’ that were tightly tied beneath his head. Two leather straps were stretched between the leather belts that girded his neck and chest. A third belt, around his waist, was tied with a rope that stretched to his ankles, where it had been tied in some kind of timber hitch. The end of the rope, which continued up his side, wrapped around his wrist several times and was held in Dekker’s hand. Handcuffs clamped both wrists with a key attached. Written in red lipstick on his right buttock was the word, ‘whip.’ Sunrays had also been drawn around his nipples. ‘Make me suck,’ was written on his throat, and ‘slave,’ and ‘cocksucker,’ on his chest. On his stomach was drawn a vagina. He had apparently been dead for several days.”
The cause of death was determined to be autoerotic asphyxiation.