One of the longest running jokes in movie circles of the past decade has to have been the death count racked up by “Lord of the Rings” star Sean Bean. The British actor has actually become well known for the frequency with which he has died on film throughout his career.
But it turns out there’s three actors who have died on film and television more than he has, and one of them is still very much with us. The gang at Nerdist have complied a list of the top 39 actors and actresses who have died on screen the most with the results in a chart.
The clear winner is the legendary John Hurt who has died 43 times on screen to date since kicking off his career in 1962 including works such as “Alien,” “Spaceballs,” “Contact,” “The Osterman Weekend,” “The Elephant Man,” “The Black Cauldron,” “Snowpiercer,” “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” “The Proposition,” “I, Claudius,” “Scandal,” “Only Lovers Left Alive,” “Outlander,” “V for Vendetta,” “Hellboy”,” “Heaven’s Gate” and many more.
Classic horror actors Vincent Price and Bela Lugosi came in second and third with their death counts in the 30s, sitting above Sean Bean at 25. Cary Hiroyuki-Tagawa, Gary Busey, Mickey Rourke, Robert DeNiro, Lance Henriksen and Samuel L. Jackson round out the top ten, while Charlize Theron and Michelle Rodriguez were the two actresses to have died the most on screen.
However, there’s one area where Bean is on top – and that’s the death per film ratio with the “Goldeneye” villain clocking racking up 0.32 deaths per film. That effectively means he dies in just under one in every three of his films. His nearest rival is Hurt and Rourke who clock up 0.31 deaths per film.
Bean’s career is still very much kicking though with more deaths likely on the way sometime in the future.