7 Stars Who Survived Near-Death Experiences

George Clooney's recent motorcycle crash isn't the first time a celebrity has had a close brush with death.

Some experiences cause your life to flash before your eyes.

That may very well have been the case for George Clooney this week, as the 57-year-old actor was struck by a Mercedes while riding a motorbike in Olbia, Italy.

The crash, which was caught on camera, looked horrific as Clooney was thrown into the air after hitting the car at some 60 mph. But despite the seriousness of the accident, Clooney was treated at a hospital and released the same day.

The Up in the Air actor isn't the only celebrity to seemingly narrowly escape death. Here are seven stars who found themselves in pretty harrowing circumstances.

1. Sandra Bullock

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In Dec. 2000 -- right around the release of her smash hit, Miss Congeniality -- Bullock's private jet was landing in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The conditions outside were a near white-out blizzard.

As the plane landed, it skidded off the runway and into the snow. The plane was heavily damaged in the crash, yet Bullock somehow walked away completely unharmed.

"It was just a freak accident. But you know it happened and we walked away from it and we're here," Bullock told ET of the crash at the 2001 Golden Globes.

"The sheriff kept telling us 'Now if it happened any other way, you would be dead' and I'm like..." she added, mimicking hyperventilating.

2. Tracy Morgan

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Not all celebrities who had a brush with death escaped completely unharmed.

On June 7, 2014, Tracy Morgan was riding on the New Jersey Turnpike when a Wal-Mart tractor-trailer slammed into the back of the limousine he was in. The violent crash killed Morgan's friend, comedian Jimmy Mack, and seriously injured Morgan, who suffered a broken leg, nose and ribs, was left in a coma for eight days and suffered a traumatic brain injury. There were questions whether he would survive or even recover enough to ever act again.

But his remarkable recovery led to a triumphant return to Saturday Night Live a year later, and he has continued to recover, work in film and television and even recently received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

3. Harrison Ford


Harrison Ford is every bit as tough as the roguish adventurers he's best known for portraying on screen.

On March 5, 2015, at the age of 72, Ford had just taken off in a vintage World War II plane from the Santa Monica Airport near Los Angeles when his plane lost power and he plunged to the earth. Ford crash-landed on the Penmar Golf Course in the nearby city of Venice, California, leaving him shaken up. 

His son, Ben, tweeted at the time that his father was down, but not out.

"At the hospital. Dad is ok. Battered, but ok!" he wrote at the time. "He is every bit the man you would think he is. He is an incredibly strong man."

Ford himself was characteristically unimpressed by the whole ordeal in recounting what went through his head as he realized there was a problem.

"There's a mantra that comes into play when things go wrong and it is, fly the airplane," Ford said of the crash at a junket for Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015. "And my training kicked in and I was alright."

But it doesn't quite end there.

Just three years later, Ford had a near-miss when he accidentally crossed paths with a Boeing 737 carrying 110 passengers at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California. Fortunately, no one was hurt and Ford humbly recalled to a Federal Aviation Administration employee, "[I'm] the schmuck that landed on the taxiway."

4. Christie Brinkley

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On April 1, 1994, model Christie Brinkley, who had essentially been the model of the late 70s and early 80s, was on a helicopter as part of a skiing trip in Telluride, Colorado. As the helicopter reached about 12,800 feet, it crashed into a mountain, stranding Brinkley and five others.

The crash also led Brinkley to meet her third husband, real estate developer Richard Taubman, who was the most seriously injured in the crash. The two married a few months after the helicopter crash, but the relationship didn't even last a year before they split.

5. Leonardo DiCaprio

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When most people think of Leonardo DiCaprio and "violent nature encounter," they probably recall the horrifically savage on-screen bear mauling he received in his Oscar-winning role in The Revenant, the acclaimed 2015 wilderness survival drama.

But back in 2006, it was an aquatic beast that nearly got the best of DiCaprio.

See, DiCaprio was diving in a shark cage in South Africa, when a great white decided to -- in his words -- "say hello."

"The great white jumped into my cage and said hello," DiCaprio said while promoting The Revenant in 2015. "And then we hung out for a little bit. They said it never happened in the 30 years that they've been doing that."

He told Wired in 2015 that the great white was only about an arm's length away from him, snacking on some tuna that was used to chum the water. Then, after a few minutes, it left.

Four years after the shark incident, DiCaprio nearly drowned in the Galapagos, when his oxygen tank began to leak and he required rescuing from Ed Norton.

And then there was the time when he went tandem skydiving and the main chute failed to open properly.

Wow, maybe someone should keep an eye on DiCaprio...

6. Gloria Estefan

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Gloria Estefan still remembers the headline in the Miami Herald the day her life nearly ended: "Gloria and Emilio Have the World in Their Hands."

The day was March 20, 1990. Estefan was on her Cuts Both Ways tour when her bus was struck by a tractor-trailer in a snowstorm in Pennsylvania. The collision literally broke Estefan's back, requiring a helicopter ride to the hospital and emergency surgery to implant titanium rods to save her spine.

"I was laying on the floor of the bus and when I opened my eyes and I knew right away that I had broken my back," she told ET's Mary Hart weeks after the crash "I just felt so lucky to be alive and to be okay and not paralyzed at all."

Not only would she be OK, but she made a full recovery and returned full-blast to performing in 1991. And even better, despite doctor's warnings that she may never be able to conceive again, she went on to give birth to daughter Emily three years later, who went on to take up her mother's mantle in the music industry.

7. George Clooney

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Wait, didn't we already cover this?

Not quite. Clooney's recent crash actually isn't his first known brush with death.

If you recall, Clooney received his very first Oscar for his role in the political thriller Syriana

He also received his very first known brush with death on the set of that film in 2005, during a scene where his character is captured, tied to a chair and beaten. During the course of the filming, he was knocked over and struck his head, leading to a serious injury -- complete with spinal fluid leaking from his nose.

Here's to hoping his latest dust-up is his last.


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