Lamar Odom celebrated his 36th birthday yesterday, but he almost didn’t make it to the milestone. Less than a month ago, the former NBA player was hospitalized after he was found unconscious in a Nevada brothel. With his organs failing and being in a coma on life support, doctors were skeptical that he would recover, but Odom has since been showing positive signs of recovery. While it’ll probably take a while to get up and moving again, it looks like he’ll eventually be OK.
Lamar Odom isn’t the only celebrity who came close to dying, but instead lived to talk about it. Here are 10 other celebrities who cheated death.
- Tracy Morgan: In June 2014, the 46-year-old comedian was left in a coma and fighting for his life after the bus he was riding in collided with a tractor-trailer, resulting in a six-vehicle pile-up on a New Jersey turnpike. As a result of the crash, Morgan suffered a severely broken leg, broken ribs, and a broken nose. Morgan has since been doing rehab and made his triumphant return to the Saturday Night Live stage on October 17, 2015.
- Sharon Stone: In 1990, Sharon Stone almost died in a head-on crash that left her with a dislocated jaw, sprained back, a broken rib, and a distorted knee. She managed to recover after six months of bed rest. Stone escaped death for a second time 11 years later when she suffered a major brain aneurysm. According to a memoir in The Hollywood Reporter, she spent nine days in the intensive care unit and it took her two years to learn how to talk and walk properly again—despite a very low survival rate, she’s alive and well today.
- Travis Barker: The Blink 182 frontman almost died in September 2008 when the private plane he was on burst into flames after taking off. Barker suffered severe burns on more than half of his body and endured 27 operations, many blood transfusions, and several skin grafts. The rocker discusses the horrific event in his new memoir and admits that the pain was so bad he considered suicide.
- Gary Busey: Back in 1988, Busey barely made it out alive after his motorcycle crashed. He wasn’t wearing a helmet at the time and the accident cracked his skull. Doctors predicted permanent brain damage, and although he miraculously recovered, Busey’s brain injuries may be to blame for his impulsive outbursts and tendencies he’s known for today.
- Johnny Depp: Hollywood almost lost one of its greatest stars in 2011 when the engines of the plane Depp was flying in suddenly stopped mid-flight. Fortunately, the engines kicked in again before any real damage was done.
- Seth MacFarlane: The comedian and Family Guy creator almost died in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks had it not been for a few drinks. MacFarlane was reportedly hungover and arrived at the airport late, missing his flight—had he been on time, MacFarlane would’ve been on the plane that ended up crashing into the World Trade Center’s North Tower.
- Charlize Theron: While filming the 2005 movie Aeon Flux, Theron almost broke her neck while doing a faulty back handspring. She suffered a slipped disc in her neck and had to sport a neck brace—needless to say the outcome could’ve been much worse.
“50+ Celebrities Who Have Almost Died,” Ranker web site, last accessed November 6, 2015.
Langford, G., “Blink 182’s Travis Barker Gives His Darkest Interview Yet…” MTV web site, October 21, 2015.
Ginsberg, M., “Sharon Stone Opens Up About Her Brain Aneurysm: ‘I Spent Two Years Learning to Walk and Talk Again,’” The Hollywood Reporter web site, December 15, 2014.