List of works published posthumously

List of works published posthumously

The following is a list of works that were published, performed or distributed posthumously (after the parties involved in its creation died).




Films whose director died before the release

  • All of Louis Le Prince's surviving films, following his mysterious disappearance in 1890.
  • The Song of Songs (1918), released just seventeen days after Joseph Kaufman's death in the 1918 flu pandemic.
  • Tabu (1931), released a week after F.W. Murnau's death in a car accident.
  • Ambush (1950), released four months after Sam Wood's death from a heart attack.
  • The Lovers of Montparnasse (1958), released over a year after Max Ophüls's death from rheumatic heart disease, while shooting interiors on the film. Because he died in the middle of production, Ophüls's friend Jacques Becker took over after the director's death and finished the picture; it was dedicated to Ophüls's memory.
  • The Fly (1958), released just over a week after Kurt Neumann's death; Machete (1958), Watusi (1959), and Counterplot (1959) were also released after his death.
  • The Hole (1960), released less than a month after Jacques Becker's sudden death; Becker, who had shot the film over a period of ten weeks, himself died of an undisclosed illness just two weeks after filming had wrapped. The picture was edited and assembled by Marguerite Renoir and Geneviève Vaury based on notes the director had written before his death; the completed film was nominated for a Palme d'Or at the 13th Cannes Film Festival.
  • Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1976), released twenty days after Pier Paolo Pasolini's murder; the killer ran over him several times with Pasolini's own car while at the Ostia beach, near Rome.
  • Watership Down (1978), released over a year after John Hubley's death during heart surgery; the film was eventually finished by Martin Rosen, and Hubley went uncredited.
  • Avalanche Express (1979), released over a year after Mark Robson's death from a heart attack during filming; production was completed by his friend and fellow director, Monte Hellman, who went uncredited for his work.
  • Lightning Over Water (1980), released over a year after co-director Nicholas Ray's death from lung cancer.
  • Querelle (1982), released two months after Rainer Werner Fassbinder's death from heart failure, due to a lethal mixture of sleeping pills and cocaine.
  • The Dead (1987), released almost four months after John Huston's death from emphysema and complications from a heart attack.
  • Blue Sky (1994), released nearly three years after Tony Richardson's death from complications from AIDS.
  • Be a Wicked Woman (1990), shelved by director Kim Ki-young and screened publicly in 1998, following his death that same year in a house fire.
  • The Argument (1998) and Wild Side (1999), both released over two years after Donald Cammell's suicide, following a disastrous recut of Wild Side by the film's producer.
  • Eyes Wide Shut (1999), released over four months after filmmaker Stanley Kubrick's death from a heart attack.
  • Quiet Flows the Don (2006), released over twelve years after Sergei Bondarchuk's death from a heart attack; disputes after filming had wrapped in 1994, over unfavorable clauses in Bondarchuk's contract with the Italian studio co-producing the film, left the tapes locked in a bank vault until some time after the director's death. Bondarchuk's son, Fyodor Bondarchuk, assembled and edited the film for its final release on Russian television in 2006.
  • California Dreamin' (2007), released nearly nine months after Cristian Nemescu's death in a taxi accident; the crash also killed the film's sound designer, Andrei Toncu.
  • Waitress (2007), released just over six months after Adrienne Shelly's murder at the hands of Diego Pillco; the Ecuadorian immigrant was caught stealing money from Shelly and decided to strangle her to death with a bedsheet, then frame it as a suicide by hanging.
  • The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (2008), television film pilot, aired five days after Anthony Minghella's death from a cancer-related hemorrhage.
  • Dhaam Dhoom (2008), a Tamil (Indian language) film co-written and partly directed by Jeeva shortly before his death from acute cardiac arrest; the film was completed by Jeeva's widow, Anees Murugaraj, and his longtime assistant, V. Manikandan, and was overseen by veteran cinematographer P. C. Sriram.
  • Buy a Suit (2008), released just over a month after Jun Ichikawa's death from a cerebral hemorrhage, following his collapse at a restaurant.
  • Casino Jack (2010), released just over a month after George Hickenlooper's death from an accidental overdose of oxymorphone and alcohol.

Films whose screenwriter died before the release

Films whose actor/actress died before the release

In several cases, actors or actresses have died prior to the release of a film: either during filming or after it has been completed, but is yet to be released. In the case that the actor dies during filming, their scenes are often completed by stunt doubles, or through special effects. Only people who actually appear in some capacity in a posthumously released film are listed here. Those who were scheduled to start a project, but died before filming began, are not included.

  • A Dash Through the Clouds (1912), released just twenty three days after aviator and actor Philip Orin Parmelee's death in a plane crash; he was piloting an airplane at an air show in Yakima, Washington, on June 1, 1912, at altitudes variously described from 400 to 2,000 feet, when air turbulence flipped over his airplane and caused it to crash, killing him instantly.[1][2]
  • Across the Border (1914), released over a month after Grace McHugh's death during filming; while on location on the Arkansas River in Colorado, re-shooting a scene of McHugh fording the river on horseback, her horse lost its footing, and the actress was thrown into the swift current. Cinematographer Owen Carter stopped filming and plunged into the river to save her; together they succeeded in reaching a sandbar, which unfortunately proved to be quicksand, and they both drowned. Shooting of the picture was otherwise complete, and the film was released with the majority of Grace McHugh's work intact.
  • The Great Romance (1919), Shadows of Suspicion (1919), and A Man of Honor (1919), all released after Harold Lockwood's death in the 1918 flu pandemic; because he died before filming on Shadows of Suspicion was completed, changes were made to the script, and the film was completed using a double shot from behind to stand in for Lockwood.
  • The Lone Star Ranger (1919), Wolves of the Night (1919), The Last of the Duanes (1919), and The Spite Bride (1919), all released after Lamar Johnstone's death at the age of 34.
  • Paid in Advance (1919), released six days after William Stowell's death in a train accident, while scouting locations for Universal in the Belgian Congo.
  • The Skywayman (1920), released just over a month after daredevil stunt flier and actor Ormer Locklear's death on the last day of filming; while shooting the finale by night, Locklear had to dive the plane, carrying himself and co-pilot Milton 'Skeets' Elliott, towards some oil derricks and appear to crash it. He forewarned the lighting crew to douse their lights when he got near the derricks, so that he could see to pull out of the dive; the lights remained full on, blinding him, and he crashed. The finished film showed this crash, and its aftermath, in gruesome detail.
  • Everybody's Sweetheart (1920), released less than a month after Olive Thomas's death, at the age of 25; on the night of September 5, 1920, Thomas and her husband, Jack Pickford, went out for a night of entertainment and partying at the famous bistros in the Montparnasse Quarter of Paris. Returning to their room in the Hotel Ritz around 3:00 a.m., Pickford either fell asleep or was outside the room for a final round of drugs. An intoxicated and tired Thomas accidentally ingested a large dose of a mercury bichloride liquid solution, which had been prescribed for her husband's chronic syphilis. Being liquid it was supposed to be applied topically, not ingested.[3] She had either thought the flask contained drinking water or sleeping pills; accounts vary. The label was in French, which may have added to the confusion. She screamed, "Oh, my God!", and Pickford ran to pick her up in his arms; however, it was too late, as she had already ingested a lethal dose.[4] She was taken to the American Hospital in the Paris suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine, where she succumbed to the poison a few days later.
  • Coincidence (1921), released a year after Robert Harron's suicide; he fatally shot himself in the left lung with a revolver due to disappointment that director and mentor D.W. Griffith had passed him over for the starring role in Way Down East.
  • Foolish Wives (1922), released almost a year after Rudolph Christians's death from pneumonia; the German actor, father of Austrian stage and screen actress Mady Christians, was playing the central part of the cuckolded American envoy in Erich von Stroheim's film. As Christians died in the middle of production, von Stroheim was forced to bring in actor Robert Edeson (back to camera) to finish Christians's scenes.
  • The Warrens of Virginia (1924), almost a year after actress Martha Mansfield's death at the age of 24; on November 30, 1923, while working on location in San Antonio, Texas on the film The Warrens of Virginia, Mansfield was severely burned when a match, tossed by a cast member, ignited her Civil War costume of hoopskirts and flimsy ruffles. Mansfield was playing the role of Agatha Warren and had just finished her scenes and retired to a car when her clothing burst into flames. Her neck and face were saved when leading man Wilfred Lytell threw his heavy overcoat over her. The chauffeur of Mansfield's car was burned badly on his hands while trying to remove the burning clothing from the actress. The fire was put out, but she sustained substantial burns to her body. She was rushed to a Physicians and Surgeons Hospital in San Antonio, where she died in less than twenty-four hours; however, most of Mansfield's scenes had already been shot, so production on the film continued.
  • Son of the Sheik (1926), was publicly released a month following Rudolph Valentino's death from peritonitis, although the premiere was a month prior to Valentino's death.
  • Two Masters (1928), released nearly a month after Rex Cherryman's death from septic poisoning, which he contracted while sailing to France to read for a play in Paris; he died in Le Havre, France at age 31.
  • The Rush Hour (1928), released almost five months after Ward Crane's death from pneumonia, following an attack of pleurisy that sent him to a rest cure lodge at Saranac Lake, New York.
  • The Hottentot (1929), The Argyle Case (1929), and The Drake Case (1929), all released after Gladys Brockwell's death in an automobile accident; the car, driven by her friend Thomas Brennan, went over a 75-foot (23 m) embankment on the Ventura Highway near Calabasas, and Brockwell ended up crushed beneath it. Brennan later said that a bit of dust had blown into his eye before the accident, temporarily blinding him. Seriously injured, Brockwell died a few days later in a Hollywood hospital from peritonitis; Brennan eventually recovered from his own injuries.
  • The Sea Wolf (1930), released six days after Milton Sills's death from a heart attack, while playing tennis with his wife at his Santa Barbara, California home.
  • The Miracle Man (1932), less than five months after Tyrone Power, Sr.'s death. Power was in the midst of filming the title role in a remake of the 1919 film, but collapsed and died of a heart attack in the arms of his son, Tyrone Power, Jr., while on the set; Power's part was taken up by Hobart Bosworth, but his work was not refilmed.
  • Thirteen Women (1932), released the night of Peg Entwistle's suicide by jumping off the Hollywood Sign.
  • Shoot the Works (1934), released just over a month after Lew Cody's death from heart disease and Dorothy Dell's death in a car accident.
  • Wake Up and Dream (1934), released just over a month after Russ Columbo's death in a shooting accident; the singer was shot under peculiar circumstances by his longtime friend, photographer Lansing Brown, while Columbo was visiting him at home. Brown had a collection of firearms and the two men were examining various pieces. Quoting Brown's description of the accident,[5]"I was absent-mindedly fooling around with one of the guns. [...] I had a match in my hand and when I clicked, apparently the match caught in between the hammer and the firing pin. There was an explosion. Russ slid to the side of his chair." The ball ricocheted off a nearby table and hit Columbo above the left eye. Surgeons at Good Samaritan Hospital made an unsuccessful attempt to remove the ball from Columbo's brain; he died less than six hours after the shooting.[6][7] Columbo's death was ruled an accident, and Brown exonerated from blame.[8][9]
  • Steamboat Round the Bend (1935) and In Old Kentucky (1935), both released months after Will Rogers's death in an airplane crash; while being flown through Alaska by famed aviator Wiley Post, they became uncertain of their position in bad weather and landed in a lagoon to ask directions. On takeoff, the engine failed at low altitude, and the aircraft, uncontrollably nose-heavy at low speed, plunged into the lagoon, shearing off the right wing and ending inverted in the shallow water of the lagoon; both men died instantly.
  • Frankie and Johnnie (1936), released over two years after Lilyan Tashman's death from abdominal cancer.
  • Counterfeit (1936) and Poppy (1936), both released just two months after character actor Tammany Young's death from a heart attack.
  • The Devil-Doll (1936), released almost a month after Henry B. Walthall's death from influenza and a nervous condition.
  • Saratoga (1937), following Jean Harlow's death, with 90% of filming completed; a body double and two voice doubles completed the filming in Harlow's role.[10]
  • Rikas tyttö (1939), released less than two months after Finnish actress Sirkka Sari's death; Sari played the lead role in the film. At a party with the rest of the cast and crew, while shooting at the Aulanko Hotel, Sari and one of the men there (she was engaged, but the man was not her fiancee) went up to the roof of the hotel; on the flat roof, there was a several-feet high chimney, with a ladder leading up to the top. Sari mistook this chimney for a scenery balcony, climbed up, and fell into a heating boiler, where she died instantly. Because of Sari's death, the end of the film needed to be changed a bit; the crew shot further away, and so another woman had to replace Sari on these final shots. It was only Sari's third film; she was 19 years old.
  • The Masked Marvel (1943), released two months after David Bacon's mysterious death; he was seen driving a car erratically in Santa Monica, California before running off the road and into the curb. Several witnesses saw him climb out of the car and stagger briefly before collapsing. As they approached, he asked them to help him, but he died before he could say anything more. A small knife wound was found in his back – the blade had punctured his lung and caused his death. When he died, Bacon was wearing only a swimsuit, and a wallet and camera were found in his car. The film from the camera was developed and found to contain only one image, that of Bacon, nude and smiling on a beach.
  • Captain America (1944), whose later segments arrived at theatres following Dick Purcell's death from a heart attack, just a few weeks after shooting had wrapped.
  • Hangover Square (1945), two months after Laird Cregar's death, due to complications from stomach surgery following a crash diet that included prescribed amphetamines.
  • Having A Wonderful Crime (1945), released nine months after Mildred Harris's death from pneumonia.
  • House of Horrors (1946) and The Brute Man (1946), both released after Rondo Hatton's death from a heart attack, due to his acromegaly.
  • Lost City of the Jungle (1946), following Lionel Atwill's death, from pneumonia caused by poor health due to lung cancer, while filming this serial; Atwill was playing the mastermind villain, Sir Eric Hazarias, a chief foreign spy. Universal could not afford to throw out the footage already filmed, so they were forced to adapt the serial: Firstly, another villain (Malborn, played by John Mylong, who was originally just a servant of Sir Eric) was introduced as the boss of Atwill's character to take over most of the villain requirements of the film; secondly, a double of Atwill was used to complete his remaining scenes. The double was filmed from behind and remained silent. The villain's henchmen were filmed repeating their orders back to the silent double and stock footage of Atwill was edited in to show a response.
  • The Naked City (1948), released over two months after producer and narrator Mark Hellinger's death from a sudden heart attack; after Hellinger's death, executives at Universal Studios were ready to scrap the film, as they had no idea how to market it, and feared it would be a box office failure. Hellinger's widow, however, reminded the studio that Hellinger's contract for the film included a "guarantee of release" clause from Universal; having no choice, Universal released the film into theaters, and were subsequently surprised when it became a hit, garnering two Oscars for the studio.
  • Noose (1948) and Brass Monkey (1948), both released after Carole Landis's suicide; Landis was reportedly crushed when her lover, actor Rex Harrison, refused to divorce his wife, Lilli Palmer, for her. Unable to cope any longer, she committed suicide at her Pacific Palisades home by taking an overdose of Seconal.[11][12] She had spent her final night alive with Harrison; the next afternoon, he and the maid discovered her on the bathroom floor. Harrison waited several hours before he called a doctor and the police.[13] According to some sources, Landis left two suicide notes; one for her mother, and the second for Harrison, who instructed his lawyers to destroy it.[14] During a coroner's inquest, Harrison denied knowing any motive for her suicide and told the coroner he did not know of the existence of a second suicide note.[15]
  • Red River (1948) and So Dear to My Heart (1948), both released after Harry Carey's death from a combination of lung cancer, emphysema, and coronary thrombosis in 1947; both films had been delayed due to lengthy post-production problems, including the addition of several animated sequences to the latter, a Disney film.
  • My Son John (1952), eight months after Robert Walker's death, from an allergic reaction to sodium amytal given to him by his psychiatrist. Because Walker died in the middle of production, parts of the film were heavily rewritten; several scenes use a double shot from behind, and others recycle footage of Walker from Strangers on a Train. The final scene, where a recording of John delivers an anti-Communist speech, is lit with a halo around the tape-recorder.
  • Judgement of God (1952), released five months after French actor Pierre Renoir's death, due to complications from a kidney operation.
  • Rebel Without a Cause (1955) and Giant (1956), both following actor James Dean's death in an automobile accident in September 1955, just days after filming on the latter was completed; due to his trademark mumbling rendering him inaudible on his final scene of the film, his speech in that scene was overdubbed by friend Nick Adams after his death. Dean received a posthumous Best Actor Oscar nomination for his work on Giant.
  • Around the World in 80 Days (1956), released almost seven months after Robert Newton's death from a heart attack, brought on by chronic alcoholism.
  • Bop Girl Goes Calypso (1957) and Jailhouse Rock (1957), both released after Judy Tyler's sudden death in a car accident, alongside her husband.
  • The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock (1959) and The World of Abbott and Costello (1965), both released after Lou Costello's death; Costello was of Abbott and Costello fame.
  • Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959), following Bela Lugosi's death. He died having filmed two minutes of footage.[10] This footage, not shot for Plan 9, but for two separate, unfinished Ed Wood projects, was combined and then inter-cut with new footage featuring a double, Tom Mason, who looked nothing like Lugosi, in order to put a credit for Lugosi on the picture.[10]
  • La Fièvre Monte à El Pao (1959), released ten days after French actor Gérard Philipe's death from liver cancer, at age 36.
  • Solomon and Sheba (1959), following Tyrone Power's death of a sudden heart attack; having completed 75% of the required shooting, Power's death forced the production to recast the role with Yul Brynner and reshoot most of Power's scenes. Footage of Power, however, was retained for long shots, such as in the sword fighting sequence toward the end of the film, and reels featuring the rest of Power's performance are rumored to be kept locked away in vaults to this day.
  • The Misfits (1961), released on what would have been actor Clark Gable's 60th birthday; he had died three months earlier of a heart attack, brought on in part, according to later reports, by the stress of difficulties working with co-star Marilyn Monroe.
  • Advise & Consent (1962), where, appearing in two scenes as Senator McCafferty, who whenever awakened from a deep sleep automatically responds "Opposed, sir! Opposed!", was 87-year-old Henry F. Ashurst, one of the first senators elected by the state of Arizona and served five terms. Ashurst died on May 31, 1962, a week before the film's premiere. Although not posthumous, it also proved to be veteran actor Charles Laughton's final film; he made it while suffering from terminal bone cancer, and died later that year.
  • From Russia with Love (1963). released nearly four months after Pedro Armendáriz's suicide, following a long development of cancer that turned terminal during filming.
  • Muscle Beach Party (1964) and The Patsy (1964), both released after Peter Lorre's death from a stroke.
  • The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming (1966) and Incubus (1966), both released after Milos Milos's suicide in January 1966; the latter film was released just twelve days after Milos's co-star, Ann Atmar, also committed suicide.
  • Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966), released a month after John Reynolds's suicide; it was the only film appearance of Reynolds, who played the infamous character Torgo in the film.
  • The Gnome-Mobile (1967), released over a year after Ed Wynn's death from throat cancer.
  • The Jungle Book (1967), released ten months after Verna Felton's death from a stroke; she voiced Colonel Hathi's wife, Winifred the elephant.
  • Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), released six months after Spencer Tracy's death from a heart attack and emphysema; Tracy himself had died only seventeen days after filming wrapped, and was in failing health during the shoot — the filming schedule was thus altered to accommodate him.[16] All of Tracy's scenes and shots were filmed between 9:00 AM and noon of each day in order to give him adequate time to rest.[17] For example, most of Tracy's dialogue scenes were filmed in a such a way that during close-ups on other characters, a stand-in was substituted for him.[18] Tracy posthumously received his ninth Oscar nomination for his work on the film.[19]
  • The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967) and Billion Dollar Brain (1967), both released after Françoise Dorléac's death at the age of 25; the older sister of French actress Catherine Deneuve died when she lost control of the rented Renault 10 she was driving and hit a sign post ten kilometers from Nice at the end of the Esterel-Côte d'Azur motorway. The car flipped over, and burst into flames. Dorléac had been en route to Nice airport and was afraid of missing her flight. She was seen struggling to get out of the car, but was unable to open the door; police later identified her body only from the fragment of a cheque book, a diary, and her driving license.
  • The Night They Raided Minsky's (1968), over a year after noted comic actor Bert Lahr's death from pneumonia and undiagnosed terminal cancer; while working on the film, Lahr agreed to shoot an extensive night scene outdoors in New York City on a cold December night, causing him to develop the pneumonia that killed him. Due to his death occurring in the middle of production, his role was posthumously made smaller, and what footage needed to be reshot for scenes where Lahr had completed his close-ups employed burlesque legend Joey Faye, shot from behind, to fill in for Lahr.
  • Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), released seven months after Al Mulock's suicide; Mulock, a noted Canadian character actor, played the gunslinger Knuckles in the opening sequence. This sequence, the last filmed in Spain on the production, was scheduled for four days; Mulock committed suicide after the third day's shooting, for reasons that are still unclear, by jumping from his hotel room window, several floors up, in full costume. Production manager Claudio Mancini and screenwriter Mickey Knox, who were sitting in a room in the hotel, witnessed Mulock's body pass by their window. Knox recalled in an interview that while Mancini put Mulock, still in his costume, in his car to drive him to the hospital, director Sergio Leone said to Mancini, "Get the costume! We need the costume!" As Mulock had already shot most of his close-ups and a few medium and wide shots, only a double, of similar height and build, was needed to complete the sequence; looking similar enough to pass, screenwriter Knox was drafted into taking Mulock's place for those shots.[20] Mulock's absence is obvious in the last few minutes of the sequence; while the other two gunslingers, played by Woody Strode and Jack Elam, get close-up reaction shots to Charles Bronson's character, Knuckles gets none before he is shot to death.
  • The Wild Bunch (1969), released over a year after Albert Dekker's death by autoerotic asphyxiation; Dekker had played Pat Harrigan, the unscrupulous railroad detective, in the film.
  • The Thirteen Chairs (1969), following Sharon Tate's death; it was her last film before her murder.
  • Isle of the Snake People (1971) and The Incredible Invasion (1971), both following Boris Karloff's death.
  • Soylent Green (1973), three months after Edward G. Robinson's death; Robinson had died twelve days after shooting on the film wrapped.
  • Enter the Dragon (1973) and Game of Death (1978), both following Bruce Lee's death from cerebral edema, due to a severe allergic reaction to an Equagesic tablet; the latter was completed using several voice and body doubles throughout the film.
  • The Strongest Man in the World (1975) and The Rescuers (1977), both released after Joe Flynn's death in 1974.
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), released three months after Irish actress Bee Duffell's death; Duffell played the Old Crone whom King Arthur and Sir Bedevere shout "Ni!" at.
  • Watership Down (1978), released a year after Zero Mostel's death from an aortic aneurysm, following a respiratory disorder due to a nutritionally unsound diet he took in the last four months of his life.
  • The Deer Hunter (1978), following John Cazale's death from bone cancer.
  • Force 10 from Navarone (1978) and Avalanche Express (1979), both following Robert Shaw's death from a heart attack, while on break from shooting Express; the role was completed with a double filmed from behind. Because Shaw was so ill during filming, his voice and delivery were subsequently very weak and shaky. After his death, his voice was dubbed by actor Robert Rietty, although impressionist Rich Little also dubbed three words near the end of the picture ("Harry, come on"), and six words in Shaw's own voice were deemed usable ("Too hot in that train" and "Harry").
  • Brubaker (1980), released just under a year after Richard Ward's death from a heart ailment.
  • The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu (1980), released less than a month after Peter Sellers's death from a heart attack.
  • They All Laughed (1981), released exactly a year after Dorothy Stratten's murder by her estranged husband and manager, Paul Snider; he committed suicide the same day.
  • Kamikaze 1989 (1982), released just over a month after Rainer Werner Fassbinder's death from heart failure, due to a lethal mixture of sleeping pills and cocaine.
  • Trail of the Pink Panther (1982), which went into production a year after Peter Sellers's death, used deleted footage from The Pink Panther Strikes Again and various flashbacks to other previous films in the series to construct a "performance" from him.
  • Curse of the Pink Panther (1983), released twelve days after David Niven's death from motor neurone disease.
  • Brainstorm (1983), nearly two years after actress Natalie Wood's death from drowning, during a break from principal photography; a body double and obscuring camera techniques were used to complete Wood's scenes.[10]
  • Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), following Vic Morrow's death in a helicopter accident on the set, which also claimed the lives of two child co-stars.
  • Yellowbeard (1983) and Slapstick of Another Kind (1984; U.S. release), both following Marty Feldman's death in December 1982 from a sudden heart attack; his work on Yellowbeard had not yet been completed at the time of his death, and a stunt double, filmed later, was used to kill his character off and finish the role.
  • Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984) and Give My Regards to Broad Street (1984), both following Ralph Richardson's death.
  • 1984 (1984), following Richard Burton's death.
  • The Chain (1984), released two months after Charlotte Long's death in a car accident.
  • The Assisi Underground (1984), A.D. (1985), The Shooting Party (1985), and Dr. Fischer of Geneva (1985), all released after James Mason's death from a heart attack at his home in Lausanne, Switzerland.[21]
  • 9½ Weeks (1986) and Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986), both released after Julian Beck's death from stomach cancer the year before; in the case of the latter film, Beck's voice (due to his illness) proved so weak that many of his lines were later redubbed by voice actor Corey Burton, and his death during principal photography necessitated further rewrites with various demonic stand-ins taking his place.
  • The Transformers: The Movie (1986) and Someone to Love (1987), both released after Orson Welles' death in 1985.
  • The Big Easy (1987) and She Must Be Seeing Things (1988), both released after Charles Ludlam's death.
  • She's Having a Baby (1988), following Cathryn Damon's death from ovarian cancer.
  • Poltergeist III (1988), following child actress Heather O'Rourke's death; due to test audience problems, the film's ending was reshot a month after her death, utilizing a body double from behind in shots of O'Rourke's character.
  • The Land Before Time (1988) and All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989), both following child actress Judith Barsi's murder by her own father.
  • Scrooged (1988), Another Chance (1989), Meet the Hollowheads (1989), and Homer & Eddie (1989) all following Anne Ramsey's death.
  • The Chair (1988) and That's Adequate (1989), both following James Coco's death in 1987.
  • The Return of the Musketeers (1989) and The Princess and the Goblin (1992), both released following Roy Kinnear's death from a heart attack, due to an accident while filming Musketeers in September 1988 in which he fell off a horse and broke his pelvis; his role was completed by using a stand-in for two crucial scenes, filmed from behind, and dubbed-in lines from a voice artist.[22]
  • UHF (1989), released nearly a year after Trinidad Silva's death in a car accident, involving a collision with a drunken driver in Whittier, California, during production; had Silva survived, the film would have explored and developed the character he played, Raul, a little better, such as the fact that he was a postal worker, and would have shown an additional scene involving the revenge of the poodle he had thrown out of a 2-story-high window during the taping of his character's show. Aside from various scenes being rewritten to exclude his character, the scene with the attacking poodles was actually filmed using another actor doubling for Silva, with stuffed poodles attached to his body and covering his face; however, the scene was not included in the film's final cut.
  • Jetsons: The Movie (1990), following George O'Hanlon and Mel Blanc's deaths; O'Hanlon and Blanc were, respectively, the voices of George Jetson and Mr. Spacely.
  • Bed & Breakfast (1992), released nearly a year after Colleen Dewhurst's death from cervical cancer.
  • The Thief and the Cobbler (1993), released after Vincent Price's death.
  • Gettysburg (1993), following Richard Jordan's death from brain cancer; Jordan portrayed Confederate Brig. Gen. Lewis "Lo" Armistead in the film.
  • Silent Tongue (1994), released after River Phoenix's death; another, uncompleted film, Dark Blood, has never been released.
  • The Crow (1994), following Brandon Lee's death from a firearms accident while filming on the set.
  • Corrina, Corrina (1994), following Don Ameche's death.
  • Wagons East! (1994) and Canadian Bacon (1995), both following John Candy's death. This was the first time CGI had been used to complete an actor's scene after their death.[10]
  • Radioland Murders (1994), following Anita Morris's death.
  • Camilla (1994) and Nobody's Fool (1995; U.S. release), both released after Jessica Tandy's death.
  • Street Fighter (1994) and Down Came a Blackbird (1995), both following Raul Julia's death, due to complications from a stroke following surgery for stomach cancer.
  • The Quick and the Dead (1995), released just over a month after Woody Strode's death from lung cancer.
  • Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), following Donald Pleasence's death.
  • A Goofy Movie (1995), following Pat Buttram's death.
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), following Mary Wickes's death from cancer; because Wickes, who voiced Laverne the gargoyle, died before finishing the required voicework on the film, the producers hired Jane Withers to provide the remaining dialogue.
  • Bullet (1996), Gridlock'd (1997) and Gang Related (1997), all released after Tupac Shakur's murder.
  • Lost Highway (1997), released less than a month after Jack Nance's death.
  • Almost Heroes (1998) and Dirty Work (1998), both following Chris Farley's death; the former was completed with the help of a body double.
  • The Negotiator (1998) and Pleasantville (1998), both released after J. T. Walsh's death from a sudden heart attack.
  • Small Soldiers (1998) and Kiki's Delivery Service (1998; U.S. release), both following Phil Hartman's murder by his wife.
  • A Bug's Life (1998), released after Roddy McDowall's death.
  • Toy Story 2 (1999), Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders (2000; direct-to-video), Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure (2001; direct-to-video) and Balto II: Wolf Quest (2002; direct-to-video), all following Mary Kay Bergman's suicide by shotgun in 1999.
  • Gladiator (2000), following Oliver Reed's death; Reed's stunt double, augmented by CGI, was used to complete the actor's scenes.[10]
  • Daddy and Them (2001) and Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001), both released after Jim Varney's death.
  • Queen of the Damned (2002), following Aaliyah's death.
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), following Richard Harris's death.
  • Anger Management (2003), following Lynne Thigpen's death; Thigpen made a cameo appearance in the film as Judge Brenda Daniels.
  • The Matrix Reloaded (2003), following Gloria Foster's death.
  • Open Range (2003) and The Polar Express (2004), both released after Michael Jeter's death.
  • Bad Santa (2003) and Clifford's Really Big Movie (2004), both released after John Ritter's death from an aortic dissection.
  • Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004), released fifteen years after Laurence Olivier's death.
  • Bad Girls From Valley High (2005), two years following Jonathan Brandis's suicide by hanging.
  • Lords of Dogtown (2005), following Mitch Hedberg's death.
  • Kronk's New Groove (2005; direct-to-video), following John Fiedler's death.
  • Angels with Angles (2005) and The Onion Movie (2008), both following Rodney Dangerfield's death.
  • Everyone's Hero (2006), released after Dana Reeve's death.
  • Happy Feet (2006), following Steve Irwin's death from cardiac arrest while snorkelling, after removing a stingray barb lodged in his heart.
  • Cars (2006), following Joe Ranft's death.
  • The Darwin Awards (2006) and King of Sorrow (2007), both following Chris Penn's death.
  • Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut (2006), following Marlon Brando and Christopher Reeve's deaths; for sequences where shots of Reeve had never been filmed, a double was used.
  • Air Buddies (2006; direct-to-video), following Patrick Cranshaw and Don Knotts's deaths.
  • Illegal Aliens (2007), following Anna Nicole Smith's death.
  • Waitress (2007), released just over six months after Adrienne Shelly's murder at the hands of Diego Pillco; the Ecuadorian immigrant was caught stealing money from Shelly and decided to strangle her to death with a bedsheet, then frame it as a suicide by hanging.[19]
  • TMNT (2007), following Mako's death.
  • All Roads Lead Home (2008), following Peter Boyle's death.
  • Delgo (2008), following Anne Bancroft and John Vernon's deaths.
  • The Dark Knight (2008) and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009), both released after Heath Ledger's death from acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine, as part of an attempted self-treatment of insomnia and a respiratory illness; Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Colin Farrell, and stand-in Zander Gladish completed filming for Ledger's role in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, while filming for The Dark Knight had already been completed.[10]
  • The Informers (2008), following Brad Renfro's death.
  • Stargate: Continuum (2008), Far Cry (2008) and The Uninvited (2009), all following Don S. Davis's death.
  • Soul Men (2008), Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008), and Old Dogs (2009), all released following the death of Bernie Mac. (Singer Isaac Hayes, who died a day after Bernie Mac, also appeared in "Soul Men.")
  • Royal Kill (2009), released four years after Pat Morita's death.
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), following actor Rob Knox's murder.
  • Cinéman (2009) and Gainsbourg (Vie héroïque) (2010), both released after Lucy Gordon's suicide.
  • Michael Jackson's This Is It (2009), following Michael Jackson's death.
  • Deadline (2010) and Abandoned (2010), both released after Brittany Murphy's death.
  • The Wildest Dream (2010), released over a year after Natasha Richardson's death from an epidural hematoma, following a head injury she sustained while taking a beginners' skiing course; she was not wearing a helmet at the time, and refused medical treatment following the accident, only to collapse in her hotel room three hours later.
  • Alpha and Omega (2010) and The Last Film Festival (2011), both released after Dennis Hopper's death from prostate cancer that had metastasized to his bones.
  • Barney's Version (2010), Casino Jack (2010), Conduct Unbecoming (2010), and The Drunk and On Drugs Happy Fun Time Hour (2011), all following Maury Chaykin's death, on his 61st birthday, from complications of a heart valve infection.[23]
  • Love and Other Drugs (2010) and Bridesmaids (2011), both following Jill Clayburgh's death from leukemia.
  • Iron Cross (2011), released over three years after Roy Scheider's death from multiple myeloma; as Scheider died before production was finished, his scenes were completed utilizing CGI techniques to stand in for the actor.
  • Killing Bono (2011), released less than three months after Pete Postlethwaite's death from pancreatic cancer.
  • Stonerville (2011) and The Waterman Movie (2011), both released after Leslie Nielsen's death from pneumonia.
  • The Cup (2011), to be released nearly five months after Bill Hunter's death from cancer.




Note: Records released after the split of a band are also sometimes referred as "posthumous", even if all members are still alive.

See also


  1. ^ "Aviator Parmelee Plunges to Death. Caught by Treacherous Gust of Wind While Giving Exhibition Flight in Washington State.". New York Times. June 2, 1912. Retrieved 2007-07-21. "Philip Parmelee, the aviator, was killed here today while giving an exhibition flight from the fair grounds. Parmalee was the flying partner of Clifford Turpin, whose airship flew into the grandstand at Seattle Thursday, killing two persons and injuring fifteen." 
  2. ^ "Parmalee is Killed". Los Angeles Times. June 2, 1912. Retrieved 2009-08-04. "Aviation Star Has Fatal Fall. Graduate of Wright School Meets His Death at North Yakima, Wash. Biplane in High Wind Flutters and Dives from Four Hundred Feet. His Fiancee Is Among First to Reach Crushed Body of Fallen Birdman. Gives Life as Toll to Aerial Navigation." 
  3. ^ Long, Bruce. Editor. The Life and Death of Olive Thomas. Taylorology Newsletter. Issue 33, September 1995.
  4. ^ Lussier, Tim. "The Mysterious Death of Olive Thomas". 
  5. ^ "Russ Columbo Dies By Accidental Shot". The Miami News. 3 September 1934.,2312618&dq=russ+columbo&hl=en. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
  6. ^ "Bullet Fired Accidentally Kills Singer". The Evening Independent. 3 September 1934.,119602&dq=russ+columbo&hl=en. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
  7. ^ "Russ Columbo Is Accidentally Slain". The Rock Hill Herald. 4 September 1934.,2026386&dq=russ+columbo&hl=en. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
  8. ^ "Columbo's Death Held Accidental". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 6 September 1934.,468329&dq=russ+columbo&hl=en. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
  9. ^ "Coroner's Jury Hears Story of Colombo's Death". Berkeley Daily Gazette. 5 September 1934.,326998&dq=russ+columbo&hl=en. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Jonathan Duffy (2008-02-20). "How do you replace a film star?". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-04-09. 
  11. ^ Parish, James Robert (2002). The Hollywood Book of Death: The Bizarre, Often Sordid, Passings of More Than 125 American Movie and TV Idols (3 ed.). Contemporary Books. pp. 315. ISBN 0-809-22227-2. 
  12. ^ Gans, Eric Lawrence (2008). "The Good Die Young (1948)". Carole Landis: A Most Beautiful Girl. University Press of Mississippi. pp. 197–199. ISBN 9781604730135.,M1. Retrieved 13 June 2009. 
  13. ^ Mosby, Aline (July 6, 1948). "Carole Landis Mystery Death Clues Hunted". Oakland Tribune. p. 1. 
  14. ^ Gans, Eric Lawrence (2008). Carole Landis: A Most Beautiful Girl. Univ. Press of Mississippi. pp. 190. ISBN 1-604-73013-7. 
  15. ^ Actor Rex Harrison answering questions from coroner Ira Nance at inquiry on Carol Landis' suicide, a July 1948 Los Angeles Times photograph from the UCLA Charles E. Young Research Library website
  16. ^ Davidson, Bill (1987). Spencer Tracy, Tragic Idol. E. P. Dutton. pp. 206–209. ISBN 0-525-24631-2. 
  17. ^ Andersen,p.295.
  18. ^ Edwards,p.337.
  19. ^ a b
  20. ^
  21. ^ Obituary Variety, August 1, 1984.
  22. ^ Roy Kinnear Is Dead At 54 After Falling From Horse in Film Susan Heller Anderson, September 23, 1988 The New York Times, accessed 28 April 2008
  23. ^ Weber, Bruce, "Maury Chaykin, Character Actor, Dies at 61"; The New York Times, July 29, 2010
  24. ^

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