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 put together 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.
- 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, Black Butler and Tekken: Blood Vengeance are anything to go by.
- Soma Saito died in both of his big breakout roles (with one even being a Death by Adaptation!), and has since been reliably typecast as the "best friend character who dies." If he's in a show where Anyone Can Die, he's probably playing one of the bodies.
- Micah Solusod is famous for this; over half his roles have died. Though he's come 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 series love casting Yoshino Takamori when they need an attractive mom type who gets killed off, Trisha Elric and Carla Yeager being the biggest examples.
- Michael Sinterniklaas has a knack for voicing several characters who often end up meeting violent ends, both with anime roles Priest Mahad, Yuichi Kannagi, Dagger, Utakata and any of his Bleach characters, plus game ones such as Curtis, Godot Vilfort, and Oscar Dragonia. Even his Western Animation roles aren't completely immune to this, such as Leonardo (see "Same As It Never Was") or Dean Venture (see "Return to Spider Skull Island" and especially "Powerless in the Face of Death"). And then he was cast as Jyushimatsu in the English dub of Osomatsu-san, who has enough deaths to rival Dean. In other words, don't expect this status to go away any time soon.
- Satomi Koorogi has a few of her usual Token Mini-Moe roles exist solely for them to tragically die by the end, inluding Nina Tucker, Cal Devens, and Ushio Okazaki - Nina and Ushio in particular get ranked for many's saddest anime deaths. That said, the latter two's demises can either be prevented or undone.
- Kevin Bacon started his career with a grisly death in Friday the 13th (1980), and since many of his roles ever since are villainous, has emassed more than ten kills - aside from things like Flatliners, where he's one of a group of medical students experimenting with clinical death.
- Jonathan Banks has a such a reputation for biting it on-screen that his girlfriend gave him a "death reel" of his various characters' last moments over the years as a 40th birthday present. Notably defied when he voiced Commissioner Gordon in Batman: Arkham Knight, where he not only survives the entire game, but he's one of the few heroic characters in the series to earn a happy ending.
- Dave Bautista, and it's usually a big attack that fits such a large man dying (he's pulled off a train in Spectre, shot after a long fistfight in Blade Runner 2049, disintegrated in Avengers: Infinity War...).
- 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.
- 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).
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?
- He gets killed off in the TV Mini Series Scarlett also.
- Also "Red Wedding" related, this quote from Honest Trailers:
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
- 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.
- That's not the only video game in which Sean Bean dies. Back in 2006, Sean Bean voiced Emperor Martin Septim in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Septim performs a Heroic Sacrifice at the end of the main quest.
- He gets framed for murder and hanged in The Frankenstein Chronicles. Then gets brought back to life.
- Averted in Jupiter Ascending. Not for lack of trying.
- 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.
- He plays the first Elusive Target in Hitman 2, so he may or may not die depending on the player's skills. Ironically enough, his character is a rogue spy infamous for constantly cheating death.
- TNT's advertisements for their TV series Legends featured the hashtag #DontKillSeanBean.
- In 2019, Bean revealed in an interview that he had begun to turn down roles where he died in order to try and avert this.
- Richard Beymer. Let's see: Shot in West Side Story, dies in The Diary of Anne Frank, shot again on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine... as a consolation prize, he achieved immortality on The X-Files.
- 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 was this in his early career as a character actor, in which he mostly played gangsters that got killed at the end: Dead End, Angels with Dirty Faces, Kid Galahad, The Big Shot, The Return Of Doctor X, The Petrified Forest, Virginia City, and more. He gets killed in High Sierra, which was his breakout role as a leading man, and after that he kept getting killed: Passage to Marseille, Sirocco, The Desperate Hours, The Two Mrs Carrolls, and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
- 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.
- Clancy Brown, as he's usually a bad or very suspicious guy. And given his prolific voice actor career, he has many deaths in animation and video games too.
- 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, also featured another death of Sean Bean.
- Gary Busey has a lot of deaths under his belt, mostly stemming from villain roles. Notable examples include Lethal Weapon, Predator 2, Point Break, Under Siege, the list goes on.
- Reportedly, he was the last actor to have died on Gunsmoke.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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) And in both of Cruise's 2017 movies, he dies - although in one he's revived, and the other has it occurring off-screen.
- 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) The Last Temptation of Christ (crucified), and more recently John Wick (beaten down by a Russian Mafiya boss, then shot). He also plays real-life filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini in a 2014 biopic, a man famous for being brutally murdered.
- 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...
- Robert De Niro, who had died on-screen 15 times by 2010, and has since added deaths in movies such as Machete and Joker. 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).
- 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).
- 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. The only person not used to it, according to him, is his mother.
- 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.
- Clea DuVall, in a career spanning over 80 roles, has died in almost a quarter of them.
"I feel like I'm always doing dramas where I'm getting killed or crying. I've been decapitated, I've been murdered by a serial killer, I've been killed by my husband, I've been disappeared by a ghost..."
- 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.
- Idris Elba has a bunch of roles that involve getting killed off, including The Wire, American Gangster, Prometheus, Star Trek Beyond and Pacific Rim. After four appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, even surviving the quite death-heavy Thor: Ragnarok, Elba's Heimdall dies right in the opening scene of Avengers: Infinity War.
- Gideon Emery may also count, as this list of his many character deaths would indicate.
- Jeff Fahey has died in Darkman and a bunch of other movie and TV roles. Notably, his character Dale dies in The Sweeper.
- Elle Fanning has an impressive death count considering her age. Shes died in Live By Night, Galveston, The Neon Demon and Twixt so far.
- Ben Foster, due to frequent villain roles: Hostage, 3:10 to Yuma (2007), The Mechanic, 30 Days of Night, Warcraft...
- 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.
- Dwight Frye's roles consisted of two things: playing weirdos who die.
- 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.
- 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. Even when he's dubbing someone else, he ain't safe.
- 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.
- Jeff Goldblum technically has four deaths in Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) (in order the first two attempts at Pod!Jack, Jack himself, and his pod person replacement). From there, other characters of his who bite the dust — usually disreputable sorts — are Calvin "Slick" Stanhope (Hoist by His Own Petard of the knife in his boot), Seth Brundle/Brundlefly (Mercy Kill shotgun blast to the head), the Pianist in The Favour, the Watch and the Very Big Fish (tried to Walk on Water and failed, though this might be suicide), David Jason (shot), Agent Fulbright (Fay Grim; car bomb), Deputy Kovacs (knife attack, and this was after his poor cat was slain), Milton Krampf (stabbed), and "Niagara" (throat ripped out). He's also played two characters who die but recover — Mister Frost's physical body dies but since he's actually Satan he can just pull a Grand Theft Me, and the plot of Hideaway kicks off when Hatch Harrison is medically brought back from the dead after drowning in a car accident. As a hoodlum in Chain of Fools, he suffers a Rasputinian Death as a Running Gag. Ironically enough, he averts this in one of his biggest roles, Ian Malcolm, who was Spared by the Adaptation (the literary Malcolm's death even gets retconned in the sequel).
- Eva Green is known for two things - being very pretty and dying a lot in movies and TV Shows. Casino Royale (2006), 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.
- Starting with Wag the Dog, Woody Harrelson has suffered 12 deaths by gunshot (in the same year, he had two self-inflicted). He also died by explosion twice (The Thin Red Line and 2012).
- Over the course of her career, Danielle Harris has played characters who have been killed off. Then again, that's what happens when you're a horror movie star.
- Ethan Hawke, specially as he is an Ascended Fanboy of horror films. In 24 Hours to Live, he dies twice and is revived both times.
- 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 the 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. He and Bill Paxton also hold one of the most interesting distinctions: They are the only two actors to have been killed by an Alien, a Terminator and a Predator. However, Bill was killed on-screen by all three — when Lance's character is shot in The Terminator, the camera only shows the robot.
- Ciarán 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.
- John Hurt died over forty times in his career, as attested by a video on his official YouTube channel. He even died in a documentary! Even when he didn't die, he often lived up to his name. The research linked atop this article has him as the highest death count, and that Hurt and Sean Bean have about the same proportion of being killed on-screen (a third of their roles, which in Hurt's case is over 120 movies!). This is even lampshaded in his cameo in Spaceballs.
Kane: Oh no. Not again...
- Michael Ironside. His deaths are often quite gory and messy, and he loses a limb or two in the process. Even in The Machinist, in which he doesn't die, he still loses an arm. Someone even made a reel of Michael Ironside Always Losing Body Parts.
- 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. Amusingly, in a case of What Could Have Been, Poe Dameron was originally supposed to die, but it was rewritten due to awareness of this trope being in effect.
- 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!"). And no, he's not safe in video games. His appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe zig-zags his status, with him being killed in Avengers: Infinity War but being resurrected in Avengers: Endgame.
- Porn star Ron Jeremy dies in pretty much every non-pornographic movie he stars in.
- In 2016, Felicity Jones appeared in three movies: Inferno, Rogue One and A Monster Calls. She doesn't survive any of them (although in the third, she dies offscreen, aside from a fatal fall while appearing in a nightmare sequence).
- 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.
- Klaus Kinski, especially in his early movies. He was one of the actors who appeared most in the Edgar Wallace series and his characters 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. Even the odd heroic character of his isn't safe, as films like Night of the Big Heat and Airport 77 demonstrate. 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?"
- 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 (2016) 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.
- In the same vein as Christopher Lee, another two horror legends are ranked pretty high in the death count, Bela Lugosi (who even in Plan 9 from Outer Space, a fake posthumous role, has his character bite it) and Vincent Price (dies even in animated roles).
- 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 McQueen died in Hell Is for Heroes, The War Lover, The Sand Pebbles and Tom Horn. Surprisingly, he does not die in The Great Escape, a war film in which most of the cast is notoriously murdered in the finale in a recreation of an actual historical event.
- 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.
- Dina Meyer dies an awful lot, and it's usually bloody (one was even in a Saw movie).
- Mads Mikkelsen made his Hollywood debut getting killed in King Arthur. He's ever since amassed villains who die (including a Bond villain whose death isn't even the climax of the movie), 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.
- He manages to survive as the lead of The Salvation, but this requires 90% of the rest of the cast to be sacrificed, including fellow CKA Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
- 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, G.I. Joe: The Rise of 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. Had the final Divergent movie been made, she finally would have gotten to die.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. It's then quite hilarious that he plays Aslan in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe who is a famous Jesus allegory (involving exactly what you're thinking of) and then there's Widows - where he's Faking the Dead but gets killed off anyway.
- That nice looking guy Danny Nucci has died in Eraser, Titanic, The Rock, and many more films.
- Gary Oldman has too many to count (to the point Cinemorgue has Oldman in a coffin on its main page), but it started with playing real-life people like Sid Vicious and Joe Orton and then playing villains, which 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.
- Al Pacino has at least 14 on-screen deaths, often for being in the wrong side of the law (Scarface, Dick Tracy). Twice it was in the hands of friend Robert De Niro, in Righteous Kill and The Irishman.
- 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!
- The late Bill Paxton, who 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, and his death to a Terminator was offscreen). Like Tom Cruise, he died many times during Edge of Tomorrow. Then there's Navy SEALs and Tombstone (where his character Morgan Earp was Doomed by Canon by Real Life Writes the Plot). 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 polygamous family man who owned a home improvement store.
- Brad Pitt has at least ten deaths, a few of them esoteric (Cool World, where he dies but is revived as a cartoon; Meet Joe Black, where after death his body is taken over by The Grim Reaper; Fight Club, where he's an evil split personality who vanishes after the original shoots himself) and includes an amusing Death by Cameo in Deadpool 2.
- Christopher Plummer, including two animated ones in 9 and Up. Along with action deaths such as Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Plummer is also prone to being struck by disease — his Oscar-winning role in Beginners has him falling victim to lung cancer. Knives Out features him as the murder victim.
- C.C.H. Pounder. She starred in movies such as RoboCop 3, Face/Off, and End of Days, and she dies in those three. Also, her character in The Shield ends the series suffering from a terminal disease.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 HeelFace Turn.
- 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, Real Life, etc.
- Eric Roberts. His Star-Making Role was as an infamous Murder-Suicide perpetrator in Star 80, and the subsequent Typecasting 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. Interestingly, he once played The Master in Doctor Who, which is rather funny since that character has incredible Joker Immunity.
- 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. Her Resident Evil resurrection saw her brought back as a pair of clones...both of which died. In some films such as S.W.A.T. and Machete she appears to die but survives.
- 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.
- Daryl Sabara with Halloween (2007), April Showers, World's Greatest Dad, After The Dark, and The Green Inferno.
- Creator/Eliza Scanlens' career has only just recently taken off but in two of her most notable films roles in 2019 including Film/ Little Women and Film/Babyteethhave her die, and her film role in 2020's Film/The Devil All The Time also has her die. She's also portrayed a character who died in the critically acclaimed HBO series Series/Sharp Objects. The trailer for her latest feature Film/Old'' had twitter abuzz hoping she would not die in it. Considering she has only been in four films and three tv series this could be a record.
- Liev Schreiber, in Scream 3, Salt, Sphere, Phantoms, The Manchurian Candidate, My Little Pony: The Movie (2017) etc.
- Averted by Arnold Schwarzenegger in films outside the Terminator franchise with the only non-Terminator film in which his character dies being End of Days. At most, The Running Man has the producers of the Deadly Game faking his death by pasting Arnold's face on someone else.
- Andy Serkis dies a lot when he plays motion-captured characters, as they tend to either be monsters or villains. Even his non-motion-capture roles aren't safe. In the period of 2017 to early 2018, he's had three characters die in a row (and the first of these three isn't a villain).
- 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 Street Fighter'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.
- 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, Enemy of the State and Wyatt Earp among others. Oddly, Sizemore manages to make it out of the rather casualty-heavy Black Hawk Down nearly unscathed.
- During Nazi Germany times, Swedish-German actress Kristina Söderbaum tended to play characters who'd melodramatically die at the end of their films, sometimes via suicide by drowning. She was even given the Embarrassing Nickname die Reichswasserleiche ("Drowned Corpse of the Reich") for it.
- 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.
- Peter Stormare, starting with a Cruel and Unusual Death in The Lost World: Jurassic Park which Steven Spielberg said was to compensate how he didn't die in Fargo despite his cruel character deserving to do so. He's since played many bad guys with appropriate kills, such as 8mm , Bad Boys II and Prison Break.
- Donald Sutherland has over 20 deaths on his resume, with many of his later roles seeing his character end up suffering a nasty case of Mentor Occupational Hazard. He's not even safe in comedy films, as appearances in movies like Beerfest and Horrible Bosses can attest.
- 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.
- 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. Word of God is that Trejo intentionally asks that his bad guy characters end up either dead or in prison since he wants people to get the idea that crime doesn't pay.
- 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.
- Max von Sydow dies a lot. He is especially prone to Mentor Occupational Hazard. He noted that this was a peculiar form of age-related typecasting.
As you get older, you get offered old characters and very often old people die in the middle of the script. Its sad, but its not very interesting.
- Christopher Walken has over 20 deaths, usually when he's playing the villain. But even straighter cases are not safe, such as his Star Making and Oscar-winning role in The Deer Hunter.
- Denzel Washington. Most notably, won two Oscars playing guys who die, and out of seven 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.
- Bruce Willis, whose biggest box office success was playing a ghost, and has more than ten other on-screen deaths. Notable is Looper where his past self commits to suicide to kill the future version, effectively dying twice.
- Owen Wilson notably died in movies for three years in a row: 1997's Anaconda, 1998's Armageddon, and The Haunting (1999).
- Anna May Wong felt doomed to have "the woman who died a thousand deaths" on her tombstone, and she wasn't very far off—institutional racism in Hollywood during her time relegated her to Madama Butterfly-type or Dragon Lady roles that inevitably ended in death. Ironically she died right before she was about to play a character who didn't - Flower Drum Song's Madam Liang. She's about to kill herself in Shanghai Express too but instead kills the villain and saves the day! Further irony is that the role she was infamously snubbed for (O-Lan in The Good Earth) dies in the course of the story, but the role she was offered and turned down (an unsympathetic concubine called Lotus) survives.
- A Mook with a particularly distinctive beard and moustache appeared in several popular action films like John Wick, The Equalizer, and The Accountant; they're all played by the same actor, Tait Fletcher, who's an MMA fighter and stunt man.
- Ingrid Pitt often played a vampire or a villain who died horribly after The Vampire Lovers made her British horror's favorite Lesbian Vampire. Countess Dracula doesn't end with her dying, but she's in a cell for her crimes and execution is presumably going to follow.
- Ulrich Tukur has played four characters who commit suicide — Kurt Gerstein in Amen (hangs himself), Henning von Tresckow in the TV film Stauffenberg (blows himself up with a grenade), Erwin Rommel in Rommel (ingests a cyanide pill) and Gérard Hutchinson in The Axe (shoots himself). Three of them were World War II German officers who did something against the Nazi regime, and the fourth shoots himself with a pistol from the era (a Lüger P08).
- 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 The Return of Martin Guerre.
- British actor Jamie Bamber has had so many of his characters get killed off (eleven 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 note , 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 five? 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), the fourth, the titular John Doe: Vigilante, died after taking a Cyanide Pill, and the fifth, in the film The Car: Road to Revenge, was an Amoral Attorney murdered by criminals. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Michael Coleman is a go-to for walk-on deaths in Canadian productions including Supernatural and Eureka.
- 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.
- 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. He's also shot dead on Lost.
- 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.
- 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.
- Actress Jasmine Guy doesn't necessarily die chronically, but several films/series immediately preceding or following A Different World have killed her characters off. Namely, "Dominic La Rue" in Harlem Nights, "Roxie" in Dead Like Me, and "Grams" in The Vampire Diaries. In the latter two series, her character continues to exist after being killed, however.
- 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.
- Law Lok-lam is probably the Trope Codifier in Hong Kong that he 'died' five times in different dramas in a 24-hour period only by coincidence...Though this can be justified by the fact that he has played a lot of roles for many years, and the company he works for has a shortage of elderly actors at that time period.
- 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 show's run.
- Pedro Pascal lampshades this in a WIRED interview that he usually dies in his TV roles such as Game of Thrones and Law & Order and its two spin-offs (Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit). He's not even safe in some of his movie roles such as Kingsman: The Golden Circle and The Equalizer 2. His Triple Frontier co-star, Oscar Isaac, jokingly mentions that Pedro made a career of dying spectacularly.
- 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.)
- 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.
- Indira Varma has racked up a few. Among her most notable performances shes died in Game of Thrones, Rome, and Torchwood. Extra credit for the last one, having died twice.
- 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 other had been heavily mutilated.
- Geoffrey Palmer has appeared as three different characters in three different Doctor Who stories and each time been killed off early onnote . By the third time it was a Running Gag.
- 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 at 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.
- Both Michael Biehn and Sean Bean appear on Curfew. Bean's character dies at the end of the third episode while Biehn's dies within ten minutes of his introduction.
- 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 early Vocaloid songs and PVs, Len Kagamine was often famous in the fandom for playing characters that died; to quote the Urban Dictionary, "He has yellow hair and dies periodically." Although it may not be true that Len dies the most, many of the songs that he died in are some of his most well known songs, and he seems to get more violent deaths than other Vocaloids.
- 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.
- 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.
- Vladimir Vasilyev actually wrote in the preface of one novel that not one Yuri Semetsky was harmed during the writing.
- The Dorkly article, These Eight Characters are Definitely Going to Die, includes in the list both Michelle Rodriguez and Sean Bean.
Why (for Michelle Rodriguez): Because she gets so much shit done, theres nothing left for the protagonist to do.Why (for Sean Bean): Because Sean Bean.
- The filk song "Soldier A"note is about a voice actor who only plays mooks with few lines beyond death screams.
- Peter Cullen probably qualifies by virtue of just how often he's voiced Optimus Prime, who dies so often TFWiki.net has a special page for it.