9 Movie Productions that Seemed Straight Up Cursed

Author Thumbnail Caitlin Donovan October 04, 2016 21:12 PM

4The 'Superman' Curse

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The Man of Steel is an icon of hope and heroism, but the actors who play him tend to have a hard time. George Reeves, who played him in the 1950’s show The Adventures of Superman, was found shot in the head. It happened during a small party was going on in his home downstairs. The guests and his fiancé were somewhat delayed in calling the police, as they were kind of drunk. The death was ruled a suicide. Reportedly, Reeves had been depressed because he had difficulty finding roles after Superman (likely because he was typecast).

However, many, including Reeves mother, insisted Reeves was murdered. There were no fingerprints on the gun, though police say this is because the gun was too oily to hold fingerprints. Reeves was also having an affair at the time, giving several people motive to kill him.

Christopher Reeve, who played Superman in the 1979 movie and its three sequels, also struggled with typecasting. And he suffered further misfortune when he was paralyzed in horseback riding accident. He died nine years later from a heart attack that was due to his condition. Lee Quigley played baby Clark Kent in the same film and died due to inhalant abuse at the young age of 14.  

Other actors who played Superman didn’t die, but had their careers killed. Kirk Alyn, who played Superman in the 1940’s serials, was unable to find work afterwards due to being too closely associated with the role. Dean Cain (Lois and Clark) and Brandon Routh (Superman Returns) have fared somewhat better, but haven’t really gotten any big parts since playing the role, being mostly relegated to small parts in TV shows.

Other actors involved in the movies have also suffered various misfortunes and premature deaths. Kate Bosworth (Lois Lane in Superman Returns) blamed the Superman curse for breakup with Orlando Bloom, which MIGHT be stretching it a little.

5The 'Poltergeist' Curse

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The Poltergeist trilogy’s curse is famous enough it got a E! True Hollywood Story episode. The horror trilogy focusing on a family who are terrorized by spirits and demons after they inadvertently disturb human remains by living on top of a graveyard….used real human remains in its production. Actual skeletons were used in the movie, which feeds speculation that the spate of tragic deaths that followed the movie were caused by wrathful spirits.  Four cast members died in the mere six years that passed between the first and third Poltergeist movie.

The actress who played the oldest daughter of the movie’s family, Dominique Dunne, was strangled to death by her abusive ex-boyfriend the same year the movie came out (and he only got three years in prison. I’m not saying that that (or his horrible actions- again, very real human murderer here) are because of the curse. Just pointing out what incredible unjust bullshit that is.) Julian Beck, who played a character in the second Poltergeist movie, died from stomach cancer (he’d had it before he went on the movie, though). Will Sampson, who played a medicine man in the second movie, died after a kidney operation Child actor Heather O’ Rourke, who was in all of the movies from the time she was six, tragically died of septic shock at age 12.

As a series of coincidences, it’s all quite sad. And if it was a curse, those are some misguided spirits, because it wasn’t the actor's idea to use real skeletons.

6'The Wizard of Oz' Curse

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Though it might be blamed on the poor safety regulations of the 1930s, The Wizard of Oz actors suffered a lot of misfortunes. The Tin Man, Buddy Ebson, nearly died thanks to his aluminum makeup and had to be replaced. Margaret Hamilton, the Wicked Witch, caught on fire during a pyrotechnic scene. Poor Toto even broke his paw!

Author Name
Caitlin Donovan is a long-time nerd with a passion for superheroes and epic fantasy. She lives in North Carolina with her cat and wrestles with writing novels and doing editorial work when she's not ranting about pop culture online. She runs a blog at ladyloveandjustice.tumblr.com
@Caitlin Donovan | [email protected]