Saturday, January 29, 2011


On March 31, 1993, while making The Crow, the crew filmed a scene in which his character walks into his apartment and discovers his fiancée being beaten and raped by thugs.

Actor Michael Massee, who played one of the film's villains, was supposed to fire a pistol at Lee as he walked onto the scene.

Because the movie's second unit was running behind schedule, they decided to make dummy cartridges (cartridges that outwardly appear to be functional but contain no propellant or primers) from real cartridges by pulling out the bullets, dumping out the propellant and reinserting the bullets.

However, the team neglected to remove the primers, which, if fired, could still produce just enough force to push the bullet out of the cartridge and into the barrel (a squib load).

At some point prior to the fatal scene, the live primer in one of the improperly constructed dummy rounds was discharged by an unknown person while in the pistol, leaving the bullet stuck in the barrel.

This malfunction went unnoticed by the crew, and the same gun was later reloaded with blank cartridges and used in the scene in which Lee was shot.

When the first blank cartridge was fired, the stuck bullet was propelled out of the barrel and struck Lee in the abdomen, lodging in his spine.

He fell down instantly, and director Alex Proyas shouted "Cut!".

When Lee did not get up, the cast and crew rushed to him and found that he was wounded.

He was immediately rushed to the New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington by ambulance, but following a six-hour operation to remove the bullet, Lee was pronounced dead at 1:04 pm on March 31, 1993. He was 28 years old.

Lee's body was flown to Jacksonville, North Carolina, where an autopsy was performed.

He was then flown to Seattle, Washington, where he was buried next to his father at Lakeview Cemetery, Seattle[  in a plot that Linda Lee Cadwell had originally reserved for herself.

The private funeral took place in Seattle, Washington, on April 3, 1993.

Only close family and friends were permitted to attend, including Lee's immediate family as well as fiancée Eliza Hutton's parents and younger sister, who flew in from Missouri.

The following day, 250 of Lee's family, friends and business associates attended a memorial service in Los Angeles, held at the house of actress Polly Bergen.

The gravestone, designed by North Snohomish County sculptor Kirk McLean, is a tribute to Lee and Hutton. Its two twisting rectangles of charcoal granite join at the bottom and pull apart at the top.

"It represents Eliza and Brandon, the two of them, and how the tragedy of his death separated their mortal life together", said his mother, Linda Lee Cadwell, who described son, like father, as a poetic, romantic person.

The shooting was ruled an accident.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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