During the century-long history of movies, a lot of famous actors have died during film productions, leaving those in charge to determine how -- or whether -- to continue without them. You know some of the bigger names -- James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Natalie Wood, Bruce Lee -- but there have been many others, each presenting unique challenges to the filmmakers.

I'm reminded of those premature deaths, of course, by that of Heath Ledger last year during the production of Terry Gilliam's soon-to-be-released 'The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus.' Ledger, coming off a bravura, Oscar-nominated performance in 'Brokeback Mountain,' and with his soon-to-be-canonized performance as the Joker in 'The Dark Knight' already in the can, arrived on the London set of 'Parnassus' on a career high, ready to assume a role that would have him appearing in almost every scene.
categories Features