Can you imagine a world without Leonardo Dicaprio or Ryan Reynolds? It's hard to picture, but it's a reality we almost had to face. In fact, you might be surprised at how many celebrities have faced near-death experiences and lived to tell the tale.
From a failed parachute to a run-in with a great white shark, it seems celebrities don't always live the safe, stress-free lives we tend to assume they do. Here are 12 celebrities who have almost died. Which surprised you the most?
George Clooney almost died on the set of his 2005 film Syriana. The actor was filming a torture scene which resulted in a broken back. "I was lying in a hospital bed with an IV in my arm, unable to move, having these headaches where it feels like you're having a stroke," said Clooney. "For a short three-week period, I started to think, 'I may have to do something drastic about this' ... but I never thought I'd get there."
The Titanic actor almost died while swimming with sharks in South Africa. Dicaprio was in a cage that was supposed to protect him from the great white sharks swimming around him. But when a wave flipped the cage, a shark landed with half its body in the cage, and snapped at Leo. “ I sort of fell down to the bottom and tried to lie flat. The great white took about five or six snaps an arm’s length away from my head," said Dicaprio. "The guys there said that has never happened in the 30 years they’d been doing it.”
While vacationing in Hawaii, Anne Hathaway was pulled underwater by a rip current. Luckily, a nearby surfer was able to pull the actress back out to safety. Her husband was ready on shore with a first aid kid.
While flying a plane with director Bruce Robinson, Depp felt the engines stop. "The plane just shut down," Depp explains. "The sound of the engines stopped. There was silence. Bruce and I were looking at each other and I think I said, 'Is this it?' It was like this weird extended moment when you're just floating for a second and you could feel this unpleasant descent." Luckily, the engines restarted moments later.
Rachel Bilson was 14 when she got into a horrific car accident. “I basically died and then came back. The window went into my head," she said. "It was really gross.” The actress still suffers from migraines and memory loss as a result of the accident.
The controversial rapper almost died in a car accident in 2002. "To nearly lose your life, to nearly lose your mouth, your voice, your whole face, as a rapper... and I had to be on TV," said West about the accident. "My face looks crazy to me now... But I have to just thank God for the situation that I am in..."
Isla Fisher almost died on the set of her film Now You See Me. The actress was filming a scene in a tank of water when she became trapped in her chains. Fisher was underwater for 3 minutes before she was able to escape.
Eminem suffered from a near-fatal overdose of meth in 2005. "My doctor told me the amount of methadone I'd taken was equivalent to shooting up four bags of heroin," said the rapper of his near death experience.
The actress almost died in 2001 when her house caught fire. Her dog woke her and her then-husband Tom Green by barking in the middle of the night, alerting them to the fire. While Barrymore was able to escape unscathed, the house cost an estimated $700,000 in damages.
When Ryan Reynolds was 17, he was alarmed to find his parachute fail to open while skydiving. "That was the point where my whole world collapsed and the panic attack kicked in," he added. Luckily, he was able to pull the reserve on his backup parachute, saving his life.
While filming Inglorious Bastards, director Quentin Tarantino nearly strangled Diane Kruger to death. In order to get a realistic shot, Tarantino said "I'm gonna just strangle you, alright? Full on, I'm gonna cut off your air, for just a little bit of time. We're gonna see the reaction in your face, and I'm gonna yell 'cut.'" The shot went a bit too far, and Kruger lost consciousness momentarily.
Finally, Hugh Hefner has one of the most bizarre near death experiences on the list. Hefner himself described the incident by saying, "There was a moment when I was having sex with four Playmates and I almost swallowed a Ben Wa ball.” Hm!