Whether it’s coincidence or something that just comes with the territory, actor car accident deaths are not hard to come by. Honestly, what is it about famous people and dying young and/or tragically? And in Porsches? On the other hand, after digging a little deeper into some of the more famous deaths behind the wheel, it really isn’t always the famous-actor-behind-the-wheel’s fault. Just usually.
This rebel without a cause is about as iconic as they come. At onl 24 James Dean had already solidified his place in cinema history (though it is arguable that his tragic and early demise may have something to do with his place in the pantheon). Dean’s infamous crash occurred on September 30, 1955 while speeding his brand new Porsche 550 Spyder through Northern California en route to an auto rally. Surprisingly, no drugs or alcohol were to blame for this fatal accident–just another car making a a left hand turn in front of them, resulting in an near head-on collision. The other driver survived with minor injuries, while Dean as we know did not.
Another Porsche-related accident, lesser-known Jackass Ryan Dunn crashed his 911 GT3 in the woods lining a Pennsylvania highway June 20, 2011, where it then burst into flames. Though it has yet to be confirmed, Dunn’s Tweet of himself pointing to a drink in his hand at the bar he was coming from also points pretty strongly to the fact he was drunk as well as speeding.
O.G. blonde bombshell Jayne Mansfield was about as girlie as they came–her pink mansion in Beverly Hills even had a heart-shaped pool which, given her propensity for nude scenes and Playboy spreads, surely saw a good amount of skinny dipping. Along with keeping her busy on the big screen, her feminine wiles also put her out on the road, which unfortunately got the better of her on June 29, 1967. While traveling in a Buick from Biloxi to New Orleans, Mansfield’s driver rear-ended and went under a tractor trailer, instantly killing her along with the others riding in the front seat.
Did you know Sam Kinison was in training to be a preacher before he turned to stand up comedy? That’s why he screamed so much. He did offend a lot of people (impressively enough even those accustomed to the offensive like Howard Stern could only take so much Kinison) but when it comes down to it, his death was a tragic one. Just five days after getting married, Kinison and his new wife were plowed into by 17-year-old drunk driver on April 10, 1992 near Needles, California. Mrs. Kinison survived.