Michael Massee, the character actor sadly remembered for his role in the accidental death of Bruce Lee’s son, has died at the age of 61.
Massee’s death was reportedly first announced by actor Anthony Delon — who recently costarred with Massee on the French TV series Interventions — and later confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter. The details of his death were not disclosed.
While acting in just his second feature film, the cult-classic The Crow, Massee fired a faulty prop revolver at the film’s star, Brandon Lee, the son world-famous actor and martial artist Bruce Lee. Unbeknownst to Massee, the gun fired a live round, striking Lee in the stomach. He died after several hours of surgery on March 31, 1993, at the age of 28.
After years of silence, Massee finally opened up about the incident in a 2007 interview with Extra. “It absolutely wasn’t supposed to happen. I wasn’t even supposed to be handling the gun until we started shooting the scene and the director changed it.”
After the incident, Massee said, “I just took a year off and I went back to New York and didn’t do anything. I didn’t work. What happened to Brandon was a tragic accident … I don’t think you ever get over something like that.”
Fortunately, most of the film was completed before the accident, and it was released in May 1994, grossing more than $50 million domestically.
Massee is also known for playing Ira Gaines, the mercenary villain on the first season of Fox’s 24. He also played a villain known as the Surgeon, or Charles Hoyt, on the TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles.
He also appeared as Gustav Fiers, or The Gentleman, in 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man and its 2014 sequel.
A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Massee also appeared in films like Seven (1995), The Game (1997), One Fine Day (1996) and Amistad (1997).
Massee TV credits included The X-Files, Murder One, Alias, Cold Case, Supernatural, Flashforward, House and The Blacklist.