The 10 Actors with the Most On-Screen Deaths in Cinema History

Archie Fenn
Written By Archie Fenn

Archie is a writer, journalist, and critic from South London. He spends most of his free time (and his work hours) watching and writing about cowboys in space and hip-hop samurai. His parents are very proud of him. You can learn more at and

Is there anything more satisfying in cinema than when the truly despicable villain finally gets what’s coming to him? Or is there anything more moving than when the best character in the film meets an untimely end?

Some actors have perfected the art of dying on screen so well that it’s what they’re known for. Here are the 10 actors with the most on-death screens.

Surprisingly, Sean Bean doesn’t even make the top 15!

10. Mark Hamill (30 Deaths)

Mark Hamill
Image Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

While most know him as Luke Skywalker, Mark Hamill has also made a name for himself in the world of comic book adaptations, having voiced the Joker on numerous occasions, as well as playing some truly terrifying live-action villains. To date, Mark Hamill has died 30 times on the big screen.

9. Bela Lugosi (36 Deaths)

Bela Lugosi
Image Credit: Universal Pictures

For those not aware of Bela Lugosi’s work, I will simply say this… he IS Dracula! As well as portraying the iconic vampiric villain, Bela Lugosi also starred in dozens of classic horror films in the 40s and 50s and had a pretty successful career in Hungary before WWI broke out. Bela Lugosi died a total of 36 times for our entertainment.

8. Eric Roberts (38 Deaths)

Eric Roberts
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Eric Roberts is a face you will instantly recognize if you’ve seen any blockbuster of the last 10/15 years, even if the name doesn’t immediately strike you. Roberts is probably best known for his role as Buck in 1985’s Runaway Train, but more recently, Roberts portrayed organized crime boss Maroni Falcone in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. Eric Roberts has died 38 times on screen so far.

7. Lance Henriksen (41 Deaths)

Lance Henrikson
Image Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

Lance Henriksen is an adept character actor, able to traverse multiple genres. Henriksen is probably best known for his tenure as Bishop in the Alien franchise, although he has also appeared in action blockbusters like Hard Target and The Quick and the Dead. With over 250 on-screen appearances, Lance Henriksen has died 41 times so far.

6. Danny Trejo (41 Deaths)

Danny Trejo
Image Credit: Dimension Films.

Why do directors love killing off Danny Trejo? Having appeared and died in classics like HEAT, From Dusk Till Dawn, Desperado, Halloween, Predators, and many more, Trejo’s face and blood have been plastered across hundreds of cinemas across the world on multiple occasions. So far, Danny Trejo has died 41 times on screen.

5. Boris Karloff (42 Deaths)

Boris Karloff
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures

Another prolific horror actor from the 30s and 40s, Boris Karloff has appeared in every major horror picture from the time, including The Bride of Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Black Cat, and The Mask of Fu Manchu, as well as over 200 more. Boris Karloff died a total of 42 times on screen.

4. John Hurt (43 Deaths)

John Hurt
Image Credit: Warp Films

Second to Sean Bean, when you think of on-screen deaths, you think of the late great John Hurt. With perhaps the most iconic movie death of all time in Ridley Scott’s Alien, Hurt has lent his face and body to timeless cinematic classics like 1984 and The Elephant Man to name a few. Over his career, John Hurt died a total of 43 times on screen.

3. Vincent Price (48 Deaths)

Vincent Price
Image Credit: Monogram Pictures

There’s something to be said for the a-listers of the golden age of movies; they knew how to die on screen. With a career spanning over 50 years, Vincent Price appeared in films like House on Haunted Hill, The Ten Commandments, and Edward Scissorhands. Vincent Price died a total of 48 times on the big screen.

2. Dennis Hopper (48 Deaths)

Dennis Hopper
Image Credit: Zoetrope Studios

Having appeared in some of the greatest films of the 70s, 80s, and 90s, Dennis Hopper traversed almost every conceivable genre, appearing in True Romance, Easy Rider, Speed, and Blue Velvet. Dennis Hopper died on screen 48 times in his career.

1. Christopher Lee (70 Deaths)

Christopher Lee
Image Credit: New Line Cinema.

Was there going to be anyone else at the top spot? Having appeared in almost every major franchise ever, Christopher Lee is inescapable on the big screen, and he certainly knew how to give his characters a dramatic ending. Starring in everything from Star Wars to Lord of the Rings, as well as The Wicker Man, Dracula, The Man with the Golden Gun, The Three Musketeers, and The Gremlins, the list is endless. The late-great Christopher Lee died 70 times during his incredible acting career.

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Image Credit: A24

A24 has boomed these last few years, having produced and distributed some of the most acclaimed independent films all the way to Oscar’s success. With several new offerings this year, it’s a good time to look back at their best films to introduce you to this surreal production company. Here are the 10 best A24 films… according to Rotten Tomatoes.

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Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back
Image Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

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Stop Making Sense
Image Credit: A24

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