"I could die for you in every way known to man, and in a few ways known only to scriptwriters. I could see now that provided I remained fit, the future held many more deaths yet. I could only hope that they would serve some purpose, and that perhaps a reputation might come in the same way as a coral formation, which is made up of a deposit of countless tiny corpses."This actor's character always dies. Almost inevitable if the actor is confined to villainous roles or ill-fated mentors... which explains the high number of British actors on this page. See also Vasquez Always Dies, when actresses that play Action Girls meet this fate; Black Dude Dies First, when it's a black character that gets offed; and They Killed Kenny Again, where the repeated deaths happen to a character rather than an actor. See also Dead Star Walking, and contrast Contractual Immortality. Websites such as Cinemorgue help compilate which actors are bound to this. As of December 2016, the official count can be found here.
As this is a Death Trope, expect unmarked spoilers. Beware.
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Anime & Manga
- As mentioned in her article, characters voiced by Houko Kuwashima end up dead conspicuously often. If it isn't her character, then characters close to her character will do.
- Mamoru Miyano is a mild example if Death Note, High School Of The Dead, and Tekken: Blood Vengeance are anything to go by.
- Micah Solusod is famous for this; over half his roles have died. Though he's coming out of it with roles like Soul and Touma, it's still a Running Gag with his fans.
- Brett Weaver is also made famous because of his roles as Roy Fokker, Gai Daigoji and Toji Suzuhara, all of which die, even if he's occasionally got roles where he didn't die (although played with when he's playing Goh Saruwatari, the guy isn't dead, but he came really close to it, cocooned by the Insania Virus and all). Up to the point that he was nearly chosen to play Kamina, until it was announced that Kyle Hebert got the role.
- A lot of anime love casting Yoshino Takamori whenever they need a Disposable Woman.
Films — Live-Action
- The great Christopher Lee, a serious contender for the greatest amount of recorded screen deaths. A side effect of being Type Cast as so many bad guys, as seen here. Also provides the page quote. According to his autobiography, he once caught his kids watching late-night TV and playing a guessing game called "How Will Daddy Die This Time?"
- Sean Bean, who also happens to be the Trope Codifier.
YouTube Commenter: Kid named after Sean Bean — dies immediately.
Commenter: If Sean Bean was in a horror movie with a black guy, who would die first?
Commenter: Sean Bean would play the black guy.
Lary Williams: (sputters in disbelief) How is it that...the character that you portray as the central main character...as the protagonist of this fucking series...not to mention, Sean Bean is probably the highest...is probably among the highest if not THE highest paid actor on your payroll... He's on all the advertisements. Your press photos. He's on the goddamn cover of the FUCKING BOOK! And he doesn't make it past season one?
- There's a list of his on-screen deaths here as of 2009. Interestingly, it also provides a surprisingly large list of roles he survives. But still, you know it's impressive when someone can put together a 4-minute death montage and still be accused of missing a few examples.
- Silent Hill: Revelation 3D becomes borderline hilarious thanks to this trope. Chronically Killed Actor, plus a character that dies in the original source material, somehow equals Spared by the Adaptation?
- Watching his star-making performance in Sharpe while aware of this reputation can get pretty surreal, too. Scenes where the original audience would have been confident in our hero's Plot Armor - such as his (faked) execution in Sharpe's Honour - can become surprising nail-biters today.
- A popular meme lampshading this trope is Richard Sharpe: So badass being played by Sean Bean couldn't kill him.
- Parodied in The Order of the Stick's take on "Jack and the Beanstalk." Bean appears in three panels, and is shot dead by an orc archer in the second.
Wizard: Hrmph. I suppose I should have seen that coming.
- Which makes his role in Troy almost a Casting Gag: He plays Odysseus. The only main character who doesn't die.
- And on the small-screen, his death as Ned Stark in the first season of Game of Thrones was surprisingly shocking to fans of the show (less so to fans of the then 15-year-old book).
Honest Trailers: Ride along on an adventure where any lead character can die, whether you're Sean Bean, Sean Bean's wife, Sean Bean's best friend, Sean Bean's son, Sean Bean's daughter-in-law, Sean Bean's family dogs, or Sean Bean's unborn grandkid. All men must die...who are in any way close to Sean Bean!note
- He gets killed off in the TV Mini Series Scarlett also.
- Also "Red Wedding" related, this quote from Honest Trailers:
- Ironically, there's only one character killed in National Treasure, in which Sean Bean played the villain. And it was not Bean's character.
- Subverted in Pixels. Knowing his reputation, you expect his character to die when the Centipede is after him, but against all odds, he survives.
- In The Martian, Bean plays the base commander of the Mars mission gone awry. And he lives, although he is forced to commit career suicide after okaying an extremely risky maneuver to get the stranded astronaut back from Mars behind his bosses' backs. The maneuver works, but he still has to fall on his sword to save NASA's reputation.
- The reaction to Sean Bean being cast as the English dub voice of the father of the protagonist from Final Fantasy XV in the prequel movie Kingsglaive was that Square Enix basically spoiled his fate in the game proper in advance. Sure enough, he dies at the end of the film which occurs concurrently with the first chapter of the game.
- He gets framed for murder and hanged in The Frankenstein Chronicles. Then gets brought back to life.
- Averted in Jupiter Ascending.
- Played straight in Civilization VI, of all things. He's the Narrator, but he also voices a character in the intro movie. Said character dies.
- There was a character named "Shawn Bawn" in Erfworld. He's been a type of undead called "Decrypted" since his introduction except in flashbacks/prequels/interquels, but in the forums, it wasn't considered a question of if he would die ("re-die"?) so much as when.
- Kylie Minogue. Even though she hasn't starred in many roles, she dies in the majority of them. In Holy Motors, she is Driven to Suicide; in San Andreas, she is among the casualties of an earthquake; in Cut, she is slashed to death. Not to mention her role in a special Doctor Who episode, Voyage of the Damned, where her character dies as well, and her role in the video of "Where the Wild Roses Grow", where she is killed by Nick Cave's character.
- Michael Biehn. Frequently in the military. Frequently dies. On the rare occasions when he survives (e.g., Aliens or Navy Seals) he ends up badly wounded before the final reel.
- Humphrey Bogart is this in almost all of his pre-The Maltese Falcon roles, as well as several after, including: Sirocco, The Desperate Hours, The Two Mrs Carrolls, and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. His earlier deaths include, but are not limited to: Dead End, High Sierra, Angels with Dirty Faces, The Big Shot, Kid Galahad, The Return Of Dr X, The Petrified Forest, and the dozens of movies in which he played a gangster.
- Ironically, Bogart's stardom is the reason he doesn't die onscreen in The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre. Producers thought him dying would tank the film.
- Helena Bonham-Carter, most notably in Harry Potter, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and Dark Shadows. Usually, her character had it coming.
- Richard Beymer. Let's see: Shot in West Side Story, dies in The Diary of Anne Frank, death by andiron in Twin Peaks, shot again on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine... as a consolation prize, he achieved immortality on The X-Files.
- Katie McGrath has had five gruesome deaths in film and TV, most notably in Jurassic World (where she is snatched by a pterosaur who then tries to drown her... only for a huge mosasaur to eat both).
- Steve Buscemi, when he's not either the Only Sane Man or protected by the Lunatic Loophole. It was once observed that each time he dies in a Coen brothers movie, his remains get smaller and smaller (as seen when the other characters scatter his character's ashes at the end of The Big Lebowski).
"When I get cast, I always flip to the end of the script to see if my character gets beaten up or killed. I really thought that after getting killed on The Sopranos, I should not accept scripts where I die. I mean, there's nowhere to go after getting killed by Tony Soprano. But then I got offered this great part in The Island. I didn't even make it a third of the way through the movie."
- The very same The Island, it is amusing to note, that also featured another death of Sean Bean.
- Laetitia Casta gets it an awful lot on screen - she's stabbed in Gitano, shot in Rue des plaisirs, executed in the Italian miniseries Luisa Sanfelice, killed in a car crash in her first American movie Arbitrage...
- Adolfo Celi can never seem to last to the credits. Thunderball, Danger: Diabolik, and The Next Man are only a few examples.
- Kim Coates dies much more often than he survives. His death reel has its own website and includes 32 deaths, but there are so many that the maker of that video is apparently contemplating doing a follow-up death reel with 20+ more deaths. Curiously, whenever he co-stars with Sean Bean, Kim always survives.
- Billy Connolly has made light of this in some of his standup routines.
Billy: I'm a huge filmstar...but you have to hurry to the movies, because I usually die in the first fifteen fucking minutes. I'm the only guy I know who died in a fucking Muppet movie!note
- Elisha Cook, Jr. was known as Hollywood's "fall guy" for several years in the Golden Age of Hollywood for dying in a surprising amount of movies (usually in the role of an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain or a shady Hired Gun). Cook even stated in an interview that he might have died in "fifty, a hundred... at least that many."
- Tom Cruise is usually an aversion, with an article noting how he only died in Collateral and Valkyrie (though the latter was Foregone Conclusion as it is based on historical events) before a role basically built around repeated deaths in Edge of Tomorrow. (this of course ignores his Death by Cameo in Young Guns, and Taps, his second overall movie role, where he's riddled with bullets in a Kill 'em All ending)
- Willem Dafoe, both when he plays good and bad guys. Most notably in Wild at Heart (accidentally blows his head off with a shotgun), Spider-Man (impaled), Platoon (shot fleeing from NVA soldiers, complete with Crucified Hero Shot), Shadow of the Vampire (disintegrated in sunlight) and The Last Temptation of Christ (crucified).
- Robert De Niro, who had died on-screen 14 times by 2010. It's usually due to being either the villain (Cape Fear, Heat) or someone with a hard life that caps accordingly (The Mission, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein).
- Jeffrey Dean Morgan, in most of his television roles (such as Supernatural, Grey's Anatomy, and -posthumously - on Weeds), and both Watchmen and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
- Johnny Depp started his career being killed by Freddy Krueger. He followed it by playing protagonists with plot relevant deaths (Dead Man, Transcendence, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest), historical figures bound to die (Public Enemies, The Libertine), Villain Protagonists who earn their deaths (The Astronaut's Wife, Sweeney Todd), or small roles just to bite it (21 Jump Street, Into the Woods).
- The French film Les cent et une nuits de Simon Cinéma, directed by Agnès Varda in honour of the centenary of cinema in 1995, features a funny conversation between Michel Piccoli and Gérard Depardieu in which they discuss the many varied ways in which they died unnatural deaths with clips of their death scenes from various movies, including Piccoli eating himself to death and dying with a long loud fart in La grande bouffe and Depardieu being burned at the stake in Le retour de Martin Guerre.
- Leonardo DiCaprio: The Quick and the Dead, Total Eclipse, Romeo + Juliet, Titanic (1997), Blood Diamond, The Departed, Shutter Island (sort of), Inception (also sort of), J. Edgar, Django Unchained and The Great Gatsby.
- With 7 deaths, Mike Doyle claims that it is easier to die with your eyes open.
- Idris Elba has a bunch of roles that involve getting killed off, including The Wire, American Gangster, Prometheus, Star Trek Beyond and Pacific Rim.
- Dwight Frye's roles consisted of two things: playing weirdos who die.
- Terry Gilliam in the Monty Python films: Apart from Patsy, all his characters in Monty Python and the Holy Grail die (including in a Creator Cameo); he's one of the crucified in Monty Python's Life of Brian; and in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, he's disemboweled for a liver donation and is among the people who eat a rotten salmon mousse.
- Danielle Harris has, over the course of her career, played characters who have been killed off. Then again, that's what happens when you're a horror movie star.
- John Hawkes has actually had to say "I don't die in every movie I appear in."
- Lance Henriksen, who works a lot, and often doesn't get to end, helped by often playing the villain. Even in an animated role, as he voices Tarzan's gorilla father in the Disney movie and is shot by the bad guy.
- John Hurt has died over forty times in his career, as attested by a video on his official YouTube channel. Even when he didn't die, he often lived up to his name. This is even lampshaded in his cameo in Spaceballs.
Kane: "Oh no. Not again..."
- Klaus Kinski, especially in his early movies. He was one of the actors who appeared most in the Edgar Wallace series and his characters really never got to see the end of the one they appeared in.
- Chiaki Kuriyama is known both for starring in low-profile horror flicks and dying dramatically in them. About the only media she does not die in are J-dramas and Japanese dubs of foreign media.
- When she first started out, Queen Latifah seemed to get killed a lot; she was in three movies in quick succession (Set It Off, The Bone Collector and Sphere) where she was respectively shot, stabbed and killed by jellyfish.
- Jared Leto dies in many of the films in which he appears (Panic Room, The Thin Red Line, Alexander, American Psycho, Lord of War, Prefontaine, Dallas Buyers Club) and even in the ones in which he doesn't something horrible usually happens to him (his character is subject to a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown in Fight Club and ends up looking like this◊, while his character in Requiem for a Dream gets one of his arms amputated). Leto was even killed in a music video for his own band, 30 Seconds to Mars. Suicide Squad is a variant, as Leto plays the Trope Namer for "villain who always comes back", and his apparent death by Hellish Copter doesn't stick.
- Steve McQueen died in Hell Is for Heroes, The War Lover, The Sand Pebbles and Tom Horn.
- Liam Neeson, which makes his character in Les Misérables (1998) being Spared by the Adaptation all the more surprising and ironic. Even in video games, he ain't safe. Granted, many of Neeson's roles do fit the Mentor Archetype, which has its disadvantages.
- Gary Oldman has too many to count (to the point Cinemorgue has Oldman in a coffin in its main page), but it started with playing real life people like Sid Vicious and Joe Orton and then playing villains; after that meant getting killed a lot. Even his more sympathetic characters buy the farm sometimes, like Sirius Black or Rosencrantz (although the latter was a Foregone Conclusion). And like Liam Neeson, his deaths aren't restricted to outside of video games., either.
- David E. Paetkau is one of the horror genre's whipping boys, having been offed in several horror movies he appeared in, including, most famously, Final Destination 2.
- Joe Pantoliano (probably best known as Cypher from The Matrix) gets killed in most of his major film roles and quite brutally on The Sopranos. The chronologically-reversed Christopher Nolan film Memento even starts with his character's brains blown out!
- Bill Paxton, who's essentially never played a character that's survived him appearing in anything with Michael Biehn, and holds the distinction of being killed by an Alien, a Predator, and The Terminator (Lance Henriksen is the only other person to share the title). Like Tom Cruise, he dies many times during Edge of Tomorrow. Then there's Navy Seals and Tombstone. Granted, if Michael Biehn's not in the movie, his characters don't die nearly as often (one notable exception being on TV, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.). He was even shot and killed at the end of Big Love, in which he played a family man who owned a home improvement store.
- The late Harve Presnell had a reputation for getting killed on camera a lot: getting shot in Fargo, beaten to death in Face/Off, a memo spike in an episodes of Monk, sky-jumped sans parachute in The Pretender, and probably many more.
- Up until recently, Olga Kurylenko's roles generally consisted of her having sex and then getting killed (rare exception: Quantum of Solace, where the other girl sleeps with James Bond and dies, while Kurylenko does neither and survives). This is taken to its logical conclusion in Seven Psychopaths, where she spends her ten minutes of screentime having sex and getting killed.
- Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney were quite often sentenced to death by the Hays Office, their only crime being that they were also typecast as gangsters. They generally only survived after making a Heel–Face Turn.
- Michelle Rodriguez tends to pick roles of the Vasquez Always Dies kind, although she now has a few aversions, two because the franchises went on long enough that she got resurrected.
- Hilary Swank. It was once remarked, after Million Dollar Baby's release, that she seems to have made a career out of being beaten to death. Her third attempt at going after the Oscar was in Amelia, about a woman who mysteriously vanished.
- Quentin Tarantino, tends to cast himself in small roles in his movies, generally as stupid and unpleasant characters who are rapidly killed off. Which makes a certain amount of sense — limiting your onscreen time by having your character die means you don't have to do two jobs for the entire shoot. The few times he's appeared as an actor in films he didn't direct have also tended to involve violent deaths. The biggest, if not only, exception is Pulp Fiction, where he aids and abets the main characters and is handsomely rewarded for it.
- Daniel Radcliffe is being slowly but surely molded into one, as seen in December Boys, The Simpsons (granted, his character did have it coming, having suckered Lisa into becoming a vampire and not letting her back out once she starts to have second thoughts), and The Woman in Black. Additionally, in the infamous Swiss Army Man he's already dead. Technically, he also died in Harry Potter, although not permanently.
- Giovanni Lombardo Radice, most infamously with a drill to the head in City of the Living Dead.
- Alan Rickman, in Die Hard, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Harry Potter, Truly Madly Deeply, etc.
- Eric Roberts. His Star-Making Role was as an infamous Murder-Suicide perpetrator in Star 80, and the subsequent Type Casting as a sleazy guy usually ensures he will get killed at some point. Even if he doesn't die in any given movie, his fate will probably be ambiguous, as demonstrated when Sal Maroni gets involved in a car accident and at the very least suffers further injuries in The Dark Knight.
- Chico Roland, a Token Minority African-American actor in many Japanese films from the 50s to the 80s, usually died horribly in most of his appearances, for example, getting his tongue telepathically ripped out by Hiroshi Fujioka in ESPY, Getting skeletonized TWICE in Warrior of Love Rainbowman, being killed in a laboratory explosion in Kamen Rider Super-1, being emasculated by Sonny Chiba in one of the most infamous scenes from The Streetfighter... about the only roles where he did not die a horrible death are as an MP in Toshio Masuda's The Imperial Japanese Empire and Prophesies of Nostradamus.
- Liev Schreiber, in Scream 3, Salt, Sphere, Phantoms, The Manchurian Candidate, etc.
- Tom Sizemore bites the bullet in most films he appears in, particularly when they're crime dramas. A short list: True Romance, Heat, Saving Private Ryan, Red Planet, Natural Born Killers, Devil In A Blue Dress and Wyatt Earp among others. Oddly, Sizemore manages to make it out of the rather causalty heavy Black Hawk Down nearly unscathed.
- Averted by Sylvester Stallone (the only movie where he dies on-screen is Death Race 2000note ), who even tried to change the ending of F*I*S*T so his character Johnny Kovak wouldn't get killed - he failed, but the film freezeframes just as a gunshot is heard so Johnny technically doesn't bite it onscreen. It's telling that Joe Eszterhas, who wrote the original script (guess who shares screenplay credit) and the novelization, saw to it that Johnny had a more protracted demise in the latter.
- Charlize Theron, in Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest, 2 Days in the Valley, The Devil's Advocate, Reindeer Games, The Yards, Sweet November, Monster, Head In The Clouds, Hancock, The Road, Prometheus, Snow White and the Huntsman and The Huntsman: Winter's War. In two of these she gets better, but as if to make up for that, in the Huntsman films her character gets killed twice. With a record like that, Charlize should be considered Sean Bean's Distaff Counterpart.
- To be a fan of Danny Trejo is to watch a movie he's in bearing the additional burden of hoping his character doesn't die early in the film.
- When his role is more substantial than a cameo, Meat Loaf gets killed quite a bit. In The Rocky Horror Picture Show, it happens close to dinner. With an icepick.
- Noticeably averted by Clint Eastwood, who in his six-decade career has only been killed four or fivenote times. He dies in The Beguiled, Honkytonk Man, The Bridges of Madison County (this one, off-screen) and Gran Torino, and High Plains Drifter hints that his character may have been Dead All Along.
- Robert Redford has inverted and defied this for the most part, which is why Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid has its Bolivian Army Ending (he claimed that Redford characters don't die to achieve such an ending for the film). It should be noted that the first of his characters to ever die was The Great Gatsby.
- If she's not the lead performer, there's a good, if not 100%, chance that Sue Shiomi will die in her movies (particularly if it's an actioner), as seen in The Streetfighter, The Franchise/Streetfighter's Last Revenge, Golgo 13: Kowloon Assignment, Shogun's Ninja, and Legend Of Eight Samurai. Usually her death is a result of being an Action Girl in a film that also features a more feminine supporting character.
- Her frequent costar during the heyday of her career, Shinichi Chiba, doesn't fare much better outside of the martial arts genre, dying in The Yakuza Papers: Hiroshima Deathmatch, Dragon Princess, The Resurrection of Golden Wolf, G.I. Samurai, Shogun's Ninja, the NHK historical drama Furin Kazan note and Legend Of Eight Samurai and getting a Bolivian Army Ending in Samurai Reincarnation.
- Michael Ironside. His deaths are often quite gory and messy, and he loses a limb or two in the process.
- Benicio del Toro, more often than not. Not counting Big Top Pee-wee, his very debut involves dying trying to kill James Bond in Licence to Kill. Then comes The Usual Suspects, Snatch., Sin City...
- Peter Stormare. Steven Spielberg even said Stormare's Cruel and Unusual Death in The Lost World: Jurassic Park was to compensate how he didn't die in Fargo despite his cruel character deserving to do so.
- That nice looking guy Danny Nucci has died on Eraser, Titanic, The Rock, and many more films .
- Denzel Washington. Most notably, won two Oscars playing guys who die, and out of six nominations, only The Hurricane and Flight had Washington's character surviving. Déjà Vu has the amusing variation of Denzel performing Heroic Sacrifice yet still surviving due to Timey-Wimey Ball.
- Samuel L. Jackson, according to his page. It helps that when he's not playing a villain, it's Dead Star Walking ("Deep Blue Sea! They ate me! A fucking shark ate me!").
- Dina Meyer dies an awful lot, and it's usually bloody (one was even in a Saw movie).
- Jeff Fahey has died in Darkman and a bunch of other movie and TV roles.
- Giancarlo Giannini. Most notably, eaten by a mutant cockroach in Mimic, hung and disemboweled in Hannibal and shot in Quantum of Solace in a Redemption Equals Death case.
- CCH Pounder. She starred in movies such as RoboCop 3, Face/Off, and End of Days, and she dies in those three.
- Conrad Veidt got cast as doomed tragic heroes or villains so often he rarely survived a movie without dying. His female fans started a "Don't Let Conrad Veidt Die On The Screen" club in 1941 and lobbied MGM to give him parts in which he wouldn't get killed at the end. It didn't help.
- Owen Wilson, before his claim to fame in Shanghai Noon, notably died in movies for three years in a row: 1997's Anaconda, 1998's Armageddon, and the remake of The Haunting (1999).
- Most of Chow Yun-Fat's Hong Kong and Chinese roles had him dying near the end of the thing, primarily because CYF is good at playing tragic heroes.
- Porn star Ron Jeremy dies in pretty much every non-pornographic movie he stars in.
- Classic French actor Jean Gabin seems to die in every other movie he starred in during the '30s. These films include (but are not limited to) Pépé le Moko, Le Quai des brumes, La Bête Humaine, and Le Jour Se Lève.
- Udo Kier is known for his memorable death scenes, from suicide via film projector in Cigarette Burns, to having his liver removed via spear in Flesh for Frankenstein, to death by mono-filiment whip in Johnny Mnemonic. Here is the full list.
- Being an aversion, Jodie Foster dies in feature film roles only twice, but her one on-screen death (in Elysium, where Foster's Delacourt is stabbed with a mirror shard by mercenary Kruger (Sharlto Copley)) is very graphic.
- Kevin Durand has a few under his belt too: Walking Tall, Smokin' Aces, 3:10 to Yuma (2007), I Am Number Four, Resident Evil: Retribution, Noah (2014), among others. Although not actually seen, it is heavily implied Fred Dukes was killed by Sabretooth in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. On TV, there's also Lost.
- Ciaran Hinds has died in movies like Road to Perdition and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance to his more famous TV roles like Rome and Game of Thrones.
- Max von Sydow dies a lot. He is expecially prone to Mentor Occupational Hazard.
- Bruce Willis, whose biggest box office success was playing a ghost, and has more than ten other on-screen deaths.
- Sienna Miller herself is not an example. But in a weird variation, her love interests have a habit of getting killed off: American Sniper, Foxcatcher, GI Joe The Riseof Cobra (and the sequel too technically, even if she isn't in it), Layer Cake...
- The same extends to Shailene Woodley, most of whose major roles feature her as a character whose friends and family end up dying around her. The Descendants, Divergent, The Fault in Our Stars. The Spectacular Now doesn't feature a death, but her boyfriend nearly gets into a car crash.
- Eva Green is known for two things - being very pretty and dying a lot in movies and TV Shows. Casino Royale, Dark Shadows, 300: Rise of an Empire, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Penny Dreadful - Just to name a few. She even lampshaded this in an interview with W Magazine.
I die a lot in movies and I don't know why. It's a big rehearsal for me, yeah.
- Mads Mikkelsen made his Hollywood debut getting killed in King Arthur. He's ever since emassed villains who die, a return to his home Denmark only to get beheaded in A Royal Affair, and a sympathetic role in Rogue One also not saving him. While the title character of Hannibal is presumably Saved by Canon, the series still ends with Mikkelsen falling down a cliff.
- Oscar Isaac dies an awful lot, even in cases such as Sucker Punch, where he is stabbed in the fantasy world but survives in reality. He even appears to be a Decoy Protagonist who apparently bites it in The Force Awakens before a triumphant return.
- Michael Coleman is a go to for walk-on deaths in Canadian productions including Supernatural and Eureka.
- Michael Shanks is this for TV roles - Stargate SG-1, Smallville, Stargate SG-1, Burn Notice, Stargate SG-1, Andromeda, Stargate SG-1, Sanctuary, plus that Little Red Riding Hood remake. Seriously not kidding about SG-1. (It's said that Dr. Daniel Jackson doesn't have a medical history, he has a medical encyclopedia.)
- British actor Jamie Bamber, who has had so many of his characters get killed off (ten at last count) that they're apparently running out of ways to do it. Six have been shot—Tom from Ghost Rig, Tony Dewhurst from The Scarlet Pimpernel, Mitchell Hoban from Outcasts, Vincent Plowman from The Messengers, Archie Kennedy from Horatio Hornblower, and Matt Devlin from Law & Order: UK. The final two even died in an eerily similar manner—Blood from the Mouth and Heroic Sacrifice, prompting a commentator in one of LOUK's forums to snark, "Jamie looks pretty good dying onscreen. As well he should, he's done it so many times already." And the other four? Two of them (on Cold Case and Ghost Whisperer) were already dead when the show started, the third (on Star Trek Continues) was outright made a Red Shirt (prompting their commentators to wonder if the producers were poking fun at this trend), and the fourth, the titular John Doe: Vigilante, died after taking a Cyanide Pill. His appearances on House and Rizzoli & Isles just barely subverted this, having his character become very ill on the first show and fall from a bridge in the second, only to recover/be rescued in the next episode.
- Christopher Eccleston almost always ends up dying in whatever movie or TV series he's starring in, so much so that this isn't really considered a spoiler anymore (from a certain point of view, even including the end of his tenure as the Doctor). If the story is dark enough to feature character deaths, the question isn't if his character will die, just how. One could easily list at least 16 death scenes of varying brutality or (rarer) characters that die off-screen. His mini-series "Blackout" is probably an intentional subversion in this regard. His character ends up deciding not to commit suicide at the very last second.
- An in-universe example in Monk: In the 100th episode, Randy shows up with an actress girlfriend whose specialty is getting killed in TV shows. It becomes a Brick Joke in the end of the episode when Stottlemeyer and the culprit of the week are wrestling with a gun; it goes off randomly and she certainly looks like she's been shot by accident. But then she recovers and admits, embarrassed, that she acted like she'd been shot on reflex.
- Jacob Kogan, at least in some of his television roles.
- In the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Blood Brothers", Tripp Raines is killed with a rock to the head by his half-brother Arturo.
- In the final episode of Delocated, David is choked to death by his father.
- It remains to be seen whether his character Luca Jameson will live or die in The Tomorrow People.
- Kristen Bell has died in Heroes, Deadwood, and her 2 appearances in Robot Chicken have earned her brutal fatalities. Even video games aren't exempt since her character gets Killed Off for Real in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. Anna in Frozen even comes very close to getting killed, by freezing into an ice statue. The Good Place goes a bit further with Bell's character dying before the show takes place.
- Kevin Tighe. With the exception of Emergency! and Roy Desoto, Kevin seems to die in the majority of the roles he plays. He often chooses villain roles, probably to distance himself from Roy, and that is partly the reason.
- Alan Dale has now died of a heart attack on three different shows (Neighbours, The O.C. and Ugly Betty), and, oddly enough, each show had his character in a relationship with a gold-digger and in a strained relationship with his adult children at the time.
- A specific series example: Geoffrey Palmer has appeared as three different characters in three different Doctor Who stories and each time been killed off early on. By the third time it was a Running Gag.
- Noah Bean has died on four well-known shows already: a Victim of the Week on Cold Case, as Ellen's fiancè David Damages, Fletcher on Nikita and Regina's lost love Daniel on Once Upon a Time.
- Jaime Murray has died in Warehouse 13 (ok she gets better but still), Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, Dexter and Fright Night 2. Several jokes were made when Hustle finished that she had actually survived the shows run.
- Rick Cosnett has died in, so far, all three of his regular/recurring roles on American TV; killed as Wes Maxfield on The Vampire Diaries, suicide on both The Flash (2014) as Detective Edward 'Eddie' Thawne and Quantico as Elias Harper.
- Despite having a relatively small number of tv and film credits to his name, Colin Donnell is developing a reputation for this trope; most notably, his characters on Arrow and The Affair were both series regulars whose death had a significant impact on the show. He's died in at least one other guest star role (Unforgettable) as well.
- Denis O'Hare has died onscreen in three of his five American Horror Story roles. (Granted, he came back as a ghost in two of those.) In the other two seasons, his characters may have survived, though one had an inoperable brain tumour and the the other had been heavily mutilated.
- In-Universe, Mortimer from The Fantasticks. He specializes in death scenes and is known as "the man who dies."
- Lea Salonga always lands roles in Broadway where her character dies. Whether she's Fantine or Eponine on Les Misérables, or Kim in Miss Saigon.
- Samantha Barks has played Eponine and also Nancy from Oliver!. Of her role on Amélie The Musical, she remarks happily that she doesn't die for once.
- An odd case is Joe Buckley, a fan of Baen Books, who is frequently featured as a cameo within the books only to be killed off in short order.
- Italian actor Giuseppe "Beppe" Fiorello, brother of far-more-known showman Rosario Fiorello, is infamous for this, so much that he dedicated - with his brother - a stand-up sketch to parody and lampshade this trope, when Rosario's holding a dying Beppe in his arms. And they milk death being overly dramatic for all it's worth.
Beppe: You... you know, the moment my share reaches its top is whenever I die.
- David Bowie could qualify as this if you just considered his musical output. The protagonist in "We Are Hungry Men" is eaten by those men, Ziggy Stardust dies at the hands of his own fans, Major Tom is heavily implied to die of asphyxiation or thirst in space, his businessman in the "Jump They Say" video is Driven to Suicide, and one of his Loads and Loads of Roles in his Rock Opera 1. Outside is a murder victim. One of his first film roles was as a painting come to life — not for long — in the 1969 short The Image. From there his character dies in all of the following films and TV productions: Just a Gigolo, Baal, The Hunger (both the film and the TV anthology inspired by it, as two different characters!), Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, Gunslinger's Revenge, and Mr. Rice's Secret. His one major stage role was the title character in the stage version of The Elephant Man — he perishes at the end. Amazingly, his two best-known film roles, Thomas in The Man Who Fell to Earth and Jareth in Labyrinth, do survive, but then again, neither of them has anything to live for anymore.
- Jim Troken, who appears in the That Guy with the Glasses Massive Multiplayer Crossover films Suburban Knights and To Boldly Flee has played characters that die pretty early on in gory fashion.
- In Vocaloid songs and PVs, Len Kagamine has this fame in the fandom, to quote the Urban Dictionary, "He has yellow hair and dies periodically."
- In Sean Bean Saves Westeros, the "real life" Sean Bean is transported into the land of Westeros of A Song of Ice and Fire. Now living as Ned Stark, not just playing him on TV, Sean Bean lampshades this more than once! He goes out of his way to keep himself alive as the "resurrected" Lord Eddard Stark.
- Sean Bean again. This time in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, when Martin Septim summons the avatar of Akatosh to defeat Mehrunes Dagon.
- In this, he still outlasts his father Uriel Septim (Patrick Stewart), who doesn't make it past the prologue.
- Once more, with suspense: Kholat features Sean Bean as the narrator, who is already dead.
- Sean Bean again in Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV. He died saving Luna and Nyx near the end of the film.
- If Robin Atkin Downes is doing motion-capture for a Naughty Dog video game, you can expect him to be killed off. To date, only one character he's portrayed has made it to the end credits.
- The Russian speculative literature as a whole has a Chronically Killed Publisher: Yuri Semetsky, a prominent figure in the Russian science-fiction and fantasy fandom, whose namesakes and lookalikes keep popping up in various sci-fi authors' books as secondary characters, only to be killed before the story's end. Sergey Lukyanenko is credited with starting the trend in his early books, and in the early '00s, there was even a joke award for "The Best Literary Murder of Yuri Semetsky" at the Interprescon conventions.