Actors Who Predicted Their Own Deaths

No one knows exactly when they're going to die. If you get sick with a terminal illness, a doctor might give you a range of time in which you can expect to survive, but people miss those estimates all the time. In movies, fortune-tellers or time travelers might be able to tell you when you're going to pass, but unfortunately, Doc Brown isn't real. At least in this timeline.

But every once in a while, in what seems to be an eerie coincidence, someone might say, "I could get hit by a bus tomorrow," and then they actually get hit by a bus the next day. Rarer still, sometimes these people are famous and may have said something publicly or to a close associate. Celebrities don't have the ability to know when they're going to die (er, hopefully), but there have been some actors who've said or done some things right before their deaths that do seem pretty spooky...

Tupac Shakur predicted his own death (a lot)

Tupac Shakur, legendary rapper, died at age 25 in 1996 while in Las Vegas leaving a Mike Tyson boxing match. He was shot by unknown assailants (in fact, there's a lot we still don't know about Tupac's death) and died days later in the hospital. It was a tragic end for a promising young musician and actor.

Tupac envisioned his death many times. His songs frequently had morbid lyrics about death and gun violence, and he used a lot of the same imagery in album art and music videos. Calling these predictions might be exaggerating. Tupac knew he lived a dangerous lifestyle, and gun violence is a common way for people involved with gangs to go out. Some of the "predictions" out there are pretty esoteric, to the point where there's a whole subculture of people thinking that Shakur coded messages into his own works that indicated he planned to fake his own death.

But perhaps the eeriest of these involves his final music video, "I Ain't Mad At Cha," filmed a month before his death. In the video, Tupac is shot numerous times outside of an event and then dies in an ambulance on the way to the hospital, according to the Las Vegas Sun. In real life, Tupac died several days later, but it's still strange. The video was released three days after he died.

Aaliyah had a fear of flying

Similar to Tupac Shakur, Aaliyah Haughton was a young musician, branching out into an acting career, who died tragically young. In 2001, at the age of 22, Aaliyah and several members of her crew were leaving the Bahamas to return to Miami after filming a music video for her single, "Rock the Boat." She and eight others packed into a small Cessna aircraft that crashed after takeoff, killing everyone on board.

But things get pretty weird when looking at the event in retrospect. First of all, according to Newsweek, Aaliyah's friends say she was actually afraid of flying, especially in small aircraft like a Cessna. The music video production company actually offered to charter a private jet because she wasn't happy about the small plane, but she ended up declining because it meant it would take longer before she got back home.

The strangest part of all is the interview she gave to German weekly newspaper Die Zeit a month before she died, according to the New Zealand Herald. In it, she described a recurring dream where it's pitch black and someone is following her. She's scared, but suddenly, she flies up into the air and begins to feel at peace. "How do I feel? As if I am swimming in the air. Free. Nobody can reach me. Nobody can touch me." She described it as "a wonderful feeling."

Oliver Reed gave his own eulogy on TV

Oliver Reed was a legendary British actor best known for his roles in films like 1966's The Trap and 1968's Oliver! He may be most well-known to modern audiences for his final role in Gladiator. He actually died during production of that film in 1999, according to Neatorama.

Without Walls, a documentary series on Britain's Channel Four, had a few special episodes called "The Obituary Show," wherein they would memorialize famous people (who were actually still alive) as if they had passed away. Most curious about these episodes was that the "decedent" would actually say how they died in first-person language (presented as them recounting their own death from the afterlife), as though they were reading a eulogy at their own funeral.

Oliver Reed had just such an episode in 1993, and in it, Reed describes his own imaginary death, saying he died of a heart attack in a bar "full of laughter" where he was participating in a "cabbage competition." It's unclear just what a cabbage competition is, but just six years later, Reed died in a bar in Malta, where he had been filming on Gladiator, of a heart attack during a competition — an Irish drinking contest with no cabbage in sight, but it's still pretty amazing.

The Ultimate Warrior's final appearance had several references to death

Pro wrestling legend The Ultimate Warrior (born James Hellwig, though he legally had his name changed to Warrior, with no last name, later in life) was an extremely popular World Wrestling Federation athlete in the 1980s, when huge names like Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, and "Macho Man" Randy Savage, among numerous others, reinvigorated pro wrestling after it saw a decline in the 1970s.

This era of wrestling, known as the "Golden Age," introduced the sport to a whole new generation of people and catapulted the WWF into a massive, household brand name. One could find Warrior and his cohorts on lunchboxes, as action figures, and, of course, on TV every week. Each of the league's wrestlers, called "Superstars" for obvious reasons, was an icon to fans all over the world.

On April 5, 2014, the WWE (formerly the WWF) honored the career of The Ultimate Warrior by inducting him into the WWE Hall of Fame, according to The Courier Mail. This was followed by a final appearance on WWE Raw on April 7, two days later. In the appearance, Warrior gave a pointed speech about death and legacies, even saying, "Every man's heart one day beats its final beat." He also used the words "blood," "pulse," and "bleed" during the promo. The day after the video aired, Warrior died of a heart attack, making his speech referencing hearts, pulses, and blood all the more spooky.

James Dean's eerie warning

James Dean was Hollywood's original bad boy. His hobbies included acting and driving cars very fast. Naturally, it was the latter that eventually killed him. On Sept. 30, 1955, Dean was driving his Porsche 550 Spyder from Los Angeles to Salinas, California, when a man named Donald Turnupseed turned left out of an intersection. Going way too fast, Dean was unable to stop in time and crashed into Turnupseed's vehicle. Turnupseed and Dean's passenger both survived with minor injuries, but James Dean himself was killed by the impact.

There's a famous Hollywood story about this crash. Sir Alec Guinness, best known to audiences today as Obi-Wan Kenobi, said he encountered Dean outside of a restaurant in Hollywood, and when Dean showed his new car off to Guinness, he took one look at it and told Dean that he'd be dead within a week if he drove that car, according to The Vintage News. This encounter occurred on September 23, 1955, one week earlier to the day.

But what's less known is that Dean predicted his death himself, as well. In an interview filmed earlier in 1955, Dean talked about his drag racing hobby and was asked about driving too fast on highways. Dean claimed he had "no urge" to speed on the highway (obviously false) and mentioned that it was dangerous because you couldn't know what other drivers might do. His final line? "Take it easy driving. The life you might save might be mine."

Paul Walker's creepy Furious 7 leaked scene

On November 30, 2013, actor Paul Walker and his friend, professional racer Roger Rodas, were driving through Valencia, California. Rodas was driving his 2005 Porsche Carrera GT with Walker as a passenger at approximately 94 miles per hour in a 45-mile-per-hour zone when he lost control of the car on a curve, crashing into a concrete lamp post. The car caught fire, and a combination of the impact and severe burns killed both men.

Walker had not yet finished filming Furious 7, then the latest in the long-running Fast and Furious franchise. Production was briefly put on hold, but the film eventually continued, using some special effects and Walker's two brothers as stand-ins to complete the rest of his scenes.

What's quite spooky, though, is a leaked scene from the film that emerged around the same time as Walker's accident. In it, the series' main crew is standing around discussing a major character's death, when one character asks that they have "no more funerals." Walker's character then says, "Just one more." The line is meant to be a threat to the film's primary antagonist, but it becomes downright chilling when you consider the timing: The scene leaked on YouTube just three days before Walker's own death, according to the National Post.

Rishi Kapoor predicted no one would come to his funeral

On April 27, 2017, Bollywood screen legend Vinod Khanna, star of films like Mera Gaon Mera Desh and Mere Apne, passed away. While he was very well-respected and beloved by fans, few other Bollywood actors showed up at his funeral, according to India Today. This incensed fellow venerated actor Rishi Kapoor, who appeared in films such as Agneepath and did actually go to the funeral. He tweeted that it was shameful that no Bollywood actors of the current generation showed up to pay respects to Khanna.

Kapoor was so angered that he followed this up with a second tweet, which read in part, "When I die, I must be prepared. None will shoulder me." While in the context of the tweet, it doesn't sound like anything ominous, Rishi Kapoor had no way of knowing just how right he'd be, and not for the reasons he thought.

Kapoor died almost exactly three years later, on April 30, 2020, and, indeed, no Bollywood actors of the current generation attended his funeral, but that was because COVID-19 had reared its ugly head. Indian authorities had already limited funerals to only 20 attendees, and they could only be family and close friends. Hopefully, Kapoor doesn't still hold it against the stars who couldn't make it to his funeral under those circumstances.

John Candy had a bad feeling about his final film

Legendary comedian John Candy appeared in just about every funny movie you can think of from the '80s and '90s. Splash, Spaceballs, Uncle Buck, Home Alone, and Cool Runnings were just a handful of the films that his good-natured humor shined in. To say that John Candy was a comedy icon would still come short of describing just how good he was at what he did.

But like many comedians, Candy fought some battles with addiction. He smoked heavily, drank, and even got into drug use as well. Regardless, audiences loved him, and his colleagues did, too. One of his closest friends was fellow Canadian comedy legend Catherine O'Hara (who appeared in Beetlejuice and alongside Candy in Home Alone, among numerous other films). According to Reel Reviews, before Candy traveled to Mexico for location filming on what would end up being his final film, Wagons East, he called O'Hara up and mentioned that he felt like something bad was going to happen to him in Mexico.

Unfortunately, his feeling turned out to be true. During the early hours of March 4, 1994, John Candy suffered a heart attack in his sleep, passing away at the age of 43. While Candy likely knew he wasn't in the greatest health, there's no way to know if he really anticipated his own death or meant something else with his bad feeling.

Brandon Lee believed his life would be shorter than his dad's

Martial arts master and action film superstar Bruce Lee died unexpectedly at age 32 on July 20, 1973, of a cerebral edema, exacerbated by a bad reaction to some medicine Lee had taken earlier that same day. The world, and Lee's family, were shocked. His son Brandon, only eight years old, was deeply affected by his death, so much so that he apparently believed his family was cursed. 

According to Celebrity Ghosts and Notorious Hauntings by Marie D. Jones, Brandon believed his grandfather, Bruce's father, had been cursed after a business deal went bad, and that meant that his descendants were destined to live short lives. It had come through for his father, and Brandon felt he was next. According to his former girlfriend, Shannon Bradley-Colleary, he once told her he thought he'd die even younger than his father.

This came true on March 31, 1993, when Brandon Lee was killed in an on-set accident while filming The Crow. He was accidentally shot after a prop mixup. He was 28. While this is creepy enough on its own, it gets even weirder when you consider that his father's final movie, Game of Death, had to be changed after Bruce Lee's death, according to the L.A. Times. To explain his character being taken over by another actor, Lee's character fakes his own death after an assassin swaps out a fake bullet for a real one on a movie set.

Prince gave an eerie death prediction to his sister

While best known as a musician, one cannot forget that rock icon Prince was also an actor, famous for his roles in films like Under the Cherry Moon and one of the greatest rock dramas of all time, Purple Rain. Making his mark on not one, but two branches of the entertainment industry, it was all the more tragic when Prince suddenly died on April 21, 2016.

Prince was found to have been taking opioids, which he had reportedly been self-administering due to chronic pain, and at least some of those pills had been counterfeits laced with fentanyl. While it's unknown just how long he had been taking painkillers, in the days and months before his death, he had been telling everyone that he was doing fine. Everyone except for his sister, Tyka Nelson, that is.

According to Nelson, she heard from her brother in a cryptic phone call three years before his death (when Prince would have only been 54), as reported by E! Online. She said Prince told her that he felt he had done "everything [he'd] come to do." Nelson says that she immediately knew he was talking about his own death, even though he statistically should have had many years left. According to Nelson, this call gave her extra time to prepare herself for Prince's death when it did inevitably come.

Did Naya Rivera predict her own death via Eminem lyrics?

On July 8, 2020, Glee actress Naya Rivera and her four-year-old son Josey rented a boat at Lake Piru near Los Angeles, California. Local boaters located the craft hours later with Josey asleep inside, but Rivera was nowhere to be found. Her body was recovered on July 13 — she had drowned.

While the world was still processing what had happened and mourning a bright young star, soon there was a full-blown conspiracy theory about Rivera's death. While Rivera's drowning was ruled accidental, a few fans took her final Instagram post as a death prediction/warning. She had posted a picture of herself and Josey with the caption "Just the two of us."

While this might sound normal, conspiracy theories began popping up all over social media, according to the International Business Times, claiming that the words were actually a reference to an Eminem song called "97' Bonnie and Clyde," also known as "Just the Two of Us," which contains said phrase in its opening lyrics. The song is about a mother who is murdered by her ex-husband, who covers it up by throwing her into a lake. This led to allegations that Naya Rivera's ex-husband, Ryan Dorsey, was somehow involved in her death, and she knew it was coming. There's no evidence supporting this, and it seems like quite a stretch (especially because there are dozens of songs with that phrase in them), leading a great many other fans to decry these theories as ghoulish and silly.

Carrie Fisher may have predicted her death down to the day

Beloved actress Carrie Fisher, best known for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars saga but also highly admired because of her no-nonsense stance on life in Hollywood, drug use, and mental illness, made a friend in the early 2000s in singer James Blunt, of "You're Beautiful" fame. He and Fisher were such good friends that he actually moved in with her for several months while he recorded an album at a studio near her house, according to Entertainment Weekly

Sadly, in 2016, the year of endless celebrity deaths, Fisher passed away on December 27 at the age of 60. She had been in intensive care for several days after suffering a medical emergency on a flight from London to Los Angeles. Fans worldwide were devastated, but a few months after her passing, James Blunt had a very interesting story to tell.

According to Blunt, when he was staying in Fisher's house, she displayed some of her trademark dark humor by putting a cardboard cutout of herself as Princess Leia outside of his bedroom with her date of birth and a seemingly random date of death written on the cutout's forehead. While Blunt couldn't remember the exact date she had written there, he did recall that it ended up being very close to her actual death date. Blunt remembered because he thought it was "too soon."