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Tragic Hollywood deaths have been the stuff of legend since the day cameras started rolling. But what happens when an actor dies while a film is still in production? Does the studio shut down or carry on? Turns out the answer to that is a nebulous “it depends.”
There are a surprising number of actors with credits that post-date their deaths. For example, Whitney Houston passed away while her movie ‘Sparkle’ was in post-production, and John Candy perished before ‘Canadian Bacon’ was released. In addition, Bruce Lee died while his final film ‘Enter the Dragon’ was still being finished, Peter Sellers appeared in ‘Trail of the Pink Panther’ two years after his death and, when she passed away, Brittany Murphy was filming a role in an independent film that was finally completed this year.
But other celebrities passed on while they still had lines to say and scenes to shoot, leaving studios, producers and — most often — movie insurer Lloyd’s of London to deal with the sticky situation in a variety of ways.