40 Celebs With Unforgettable Tales Of Near-Death Experience

Death is scary. It is an inevitable part of the life cycle and an event that cannot be experienced twice. Many fear death precisely because nothing is known about it.
A near-death experience (NDE), on the other hand, is much more common. A select few claimed to have experienced it, with most recalling having seen a pure white tunnel. Some even added that there was something or someone valuable to them pulling them back to life. Some celebrities have also reported such experiences. Having mass media at their disposal, celebs who had NDE could tell the world what they saw and how they felt. With these stories, perhaps one day humans will no longer be afraid of the moment they kick the bucket.
This list looks at 40 celebrities who have been through at least one NDE. Harrison Ford, for example, had two such experiences, both involving aerial transportation. Another point of interest is that a fair number of celebs in this list overdosed their way to one session of NDE. Let us see how they earned the experience.

#1 50 Cent

Source: Bob Chamberlin/Getty Images

In May 2000, 50 Cent took nine rounds of 9mm to various body parts. That he survived the traumatic ordeal was a miracle.

#2 Amy Purdy

Source: J. Vespa/Getty Images

Purdy contracted meningitis at the age of 19, which led to a cardiac arrest, and both of her legs were amputated below the knees. This did not stop her from competing in skating.

#3 Amy Schumer

Source: NBC/Getty Images

Schumer went surfing in the winter, so when she took the fin in the leg, there was almost nobody around to help her. Luckily, she made it to the shore where she got medical assistance from an anonymous man.

#4 Bob Denver

Source: CBS Photo Archives/Getty Images

When filming for a show, Denver was spotted by a lion. Without the trainer's intervention, Denver might have been mauled.

#5 Burt Reynolds

Source: Ron Galella/Getty Images

The late actor was addicted to Halcion sleeping pills around the 1980s. When trying to quit his habit, he fell into a coma, and his family prepared for the worst. Thankfully, he survived the ordeal and continued his career until his death in 2018.

#6 Carl G. Jung

Source: Bettmann/Getty Images

The renowned psychiatrist suffered a heart attack in 1944. In one of his books, Jung recalled the things he saw and experienced in the hospital.

#7 Chevy Chase

Source: ABC Photo Archives/Getty Images

An electrical accident in 1981 sent the comedian and several others to the hospital. He was wearing a suit fitted with lights when the suit short-circuited.

#8 Christie Brinkley

Source: Ron Galella Ltd. / Getty Images

Three decades ago, Brinkley made headlines everywhere for being caught up in a helicopter accident. Although she only suffered minor injuries, the trauma remained.

#9 Donald Sutherland

Source: Art Zelin/Getty Images

Sutherland contracted pneumonia in Italy. Unlike a white tunnel most near-dead people would see, he saw a blue one.

#10 Drew Barrymore

Source: Taylor Hill/Getty Images

In one scene from Santa Clarita Diet where Barrymore's character jumps on a man's back to kill him, one failed attempt sent her to the hospital with a severe concussion.

#11 Elizabeth Taylor

Source: Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

In 1962, Taylor was in the middle of surgery when she briefly stopped breathing and saw her third husband at the end of a white tunnel.

#12 Emilia Clarke

Source: Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images

Clarke had two brain aneurysms in 2011 and 2013, resulting in surgeries in the respective years.

#13 Eminem

Source: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

In 2007, Eminem overdosed on the equivalent of "four bags of heroin", which nearly killed him. He got help from the legendary Elton John, who overcame a cocaine addiction in the 1980s.

#14 Gary Busey

Source: Ron Galella/Getty Images

Busey got in an accident and had amnesia for quite some time after the crash. He did not have a helmet on him when the crash happened.

#15 George Clooney

Source: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Clooney was speeding in Italy at some 65mph when he hit a car, which sent him flying. While the actor was not severely injured, the accident was enough to keep him from driving for some time.

#16 George Foreman

Source: Michael Brennan / Getty Images

The former boxer was exhausted even before the 1977 bout against Jimmy Young ended. It turned out that he was suffering from heat exhaustion.

#17 Gerard Butler

Source: Ferdaus Shamim/Getty Images

The star of 300 (2006) almost drowned when shooting a scene for Chasing Mavericks. He was pinned down by several waves before being rescued.

#18 Gloria Estefan

Source: Michel Linssen/Getty Images

On March 1990, Estefan's tour bus got hit. The crash broke the singer's back which took a year for her to recover.

#19 Harrison Ford

Source: Ron Galella Ltd. / Getty Images

The star of the Indiana Jones franchise went through not one, but two NDEs, both of which took place in the sky. Perhaps Harrison Ford is not destined for adventures like his iconic character.

#20 Hugh Hefner

Source: Charley Gallay/Getty Images

Hefner nearly died from a pretty embarrasing reason: choking on sex toys. This might just be one of most awkward NDEs ever recorded.

#21 Isla Fisher

Source: Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images

Remember Henly's escape from a piranha tank in Now You See Me? When shooting that scene, Isla Fisher nearly drowned for real, and everybody on set thought she was acting.

#22 Jane Seymour

Source: Ron Galella Ltd. / Getty Images

Seymour nearly died at the age of 36, when her required antibiotics were injected into her veins instead of a muscle. Her heart stopped beating for a few minutes.

#23 Joaquin Phoenix

Source: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Back in 2006, Phoenix was driving in LA when he realized the car brakes failed. The car lost control and crashed, but the actor was not seriously injured.

#24 Johnny Cash

Source: Paul Harris/Getty Images

The singer's pneumonia struck at some of the worst possible time, when he was having an emergency double coronary bypass.

#25 Johnny Depp

Source: Charley Gallay/Getty Images

Depp and fellow actor Bruce Robinson were on a plane shooting a scene for The Rum Diary when one of the engines stopped. The experience gave the two a good scare.

#26 Kanye West

Source: Johnny Nunez/Getty Images

West's career could have ended in 2002, as the rapper fell asleep on his car which resulted in a crash.

#27 Lamar Odom

Source: Matt Petit/Getty Images

Odom suffered a coma from drug overdosing in 2015. His heart had stopped twice during hospitalization, but he eventually woke up.

#28 Leonardo DiCaprio

Source: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

DiCaprio was in the Galapagos Islands to shoot a movie scene. During a scuba diving session, his oxygen tank malfunctioned, but he received fellow actor Edward Norton's help.

#29 Liam Hemsworth

Source: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

The 32-year-old actor got in a surfing accident when he was a kid.

#30 Martin Lawrence

Source: Ron Galella/Getty Images

The year is 1999. Lawrence fell into a three-day coma due to heatstroke. Apparently, he went jogging while wearing multiple layers of clothing on a very hot day.

#31 Nikki Sixx

Source: Ebet Roberts/Getty Images

Cases of musicians overdosing on some substance were very common back in the second half of the 20th century. Nikki Sixx was one such case, overdosing on heroin and being clinically dead for two minutes.

#32 Ozzy Osbourne

Source: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The former singer of Black Sabbath crashed an ATV in 2003, which resulted in a coma that lasted several days. This is not even the first NDE for Ozzy.

#33 Rachel Bilson

Source: Jean-Paul Aussenard/Getty Images

Bilson got in a car accident two years before she debuted her acting career. The accident changed her outlook on life.

#34 Sandra Bullock

Source: Getty Images

December 2000. Bullock was on her private jet when a blizzard hit, causing the jet to skid in the snow. She walked out of the accident unharmed.

#35 Sharon Stone

Source: Gregg Deguire/Getty Images

Stone had a brain hemorrhage in 2001. She survived but lost many things dear to her in the process.

#36 Stephen King

Source: New York Daily News Archive/Getty Images

A car accident in 1999 almost took King's right leg away from him. He later bought the car to make sure it would never drive again.

#37 Tony Bennett

Source: Doug Griffin/Getty Images

Bennett was a cocaine addict back in the 70s. He overdosed on it while dipping in a hot bath. As a result, he nearly drowned and had to be hospitalized.

#38 Tracy Morgan

Source: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Morgan got involved in a 2014 car accident. While he was lucky to have survived, his friend James McNair was not.

#39 Travis Barker

Source: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Only Barker and one of his close friends Adam "DJ AM" Goldstein survived the plane crash. However, Adam died a year later due to an overdose, leaving the drummer the sole survivor. He did not fly again until 2021, with Kourtney Kardashian.

#40 Zac Efron

Source: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Zac Efron's best-known case of near-death experience was in 2019 when he contracted typhoid in Papua New Guinea. What not many people know is that he had an NDE when cycling in London and hitting a double-decker.
Share this article