More sad news on the Hollywood front has come in the death of film and TV actor Michael Massee, who passed away on October 20 after a battle with cancer at the age of 61.
Born in Kansas City, Missouri on August 16, 1955, Michael was raised in France where his father worked for UNESCO as an educational planner. This allowed him to be fluent in French. Massee began his film career in the early 1990’s, but it was an infamous 1993 incident that changed his life and nearly ended his career.
During production of The Crow on March 31, 1993, Massee was handed a prop gun that turned out later to be improperly loaded. As the character of Funboy, his character shoots the lead character of Eric Draven, who comes back as the Crow to avenge his and his fiancee’s death. The mishandled prop gun resulted in the accidental death of the film’s star, Brandon Lee. The incident traumatized Massee to where he took a full year off to mourn the loss of Lee and gather his thoughts. Up until his death, he has claimed to this day he has never watched the finished film. Who can blame him?
Massee returned to films and appeared in both Tales from the Hood and Se7en. He would go on to appear in numerous television series and even had done some voiceover work, notably that of Dr. Bruce Banner aka The Hulk in the Ultimate Avengers saga of straight to DVD films. In his television work, he has played primarily villains and did so again in 2012 when he appears as The Gentleman in The Amazing Spider-Man and re-appeared in the 2014 sequel.
Massee is survived by wife Ellen and their two children. World Film Geek sends its condolences to the family of Michael Massee. As a final tribute, here is the scene in The Crow where the resurrected Eric Draven confronts Funboy in what is considered to be one of the best scenes of the movie.
Rest in Peace, Michael Massee.