Cirque Du Soleil Accident Isn't The First On-Stage Tragedy

Cirque Du Soleil's performance of "Ka" was cut short on Saturday (29th June 2013) following the death of one of the troop's performers Sarah Guyard-Guillot. The 31-year-old performer seems to have slipped from her harness, during a performance in Las Vegas, and fallen around 50 feet to the stage below. 

Cirque du Soleil
An acrobatic performer during Cirque du Soleil's Alegria in Birmingham, UK, in 2012. 

Guyard-Guillot was a veteran performer. She was one of the original performers of "Ka", having been in the show since 2006. Her death is not being treated as suspicious. However, authorities are working with the Cirque in order to gain a complete picture of the events leading to Guyard-Guillot's untimely death. 

Deaths which occur on stage are more common than you would expect, even with implemented Health and Safety regulations, accidents do happen. 

In 2000, Italian actor Renato Di Paolo accidently hung himself whilst performing in a biblical stage adaptation. He was playing Judas and hung himself from the Judas tree; the audience and cast thought his realistic reaction was part of the performance. This exact misfortune happened again in April 2013 to an actor in Brazil. Di Paolo's final performance was filmed and the video is, rather morbidly, available online. 

Steve Irwin, "The Crocodile Hunter" was killed by a sting-ray, in 2006, as he shot a scene for a new documentary. According to his manager John Stainton, Irwin's death was instant as the sting-ray's barb went through his chest and pierced his heart. 

Steve Irwin Widow
Steve Irwin's widow, Terri, at a book signing for 'Steve & Me'. 

Actor John Ritter tragically died aged 54 whilst filming for the comedy 8 Simple Rules For Dating My Teenage Daughter. The cause of his death was as a result of an undiagnosed heart condition. Attempts were made to revive Ritter but he died shortly after arriving in hospital. The writers of the ABC comedy decided it would be suitable for Ritter's character to pass away. The rest of the series dealt with the family's attempt to come to terms with his death. Three episodes of the second season had already been filmed, ABC decided to air these in memory of the late actor. 

In 2008, a former member of groove metal band Pantera, "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, was killed onstage by a rogue gunman. He was performing with his new band Damageplan, in Ohio, when he was shot. The gun-man also killed four members of the audience. 

The history of theatre and performance is littered with examples of on-stage tragedies including Moliere, the 17th century French playwright and actor. He died on stage whilst, ironically, performing a play entitled "The Imaginary Invalid".

Katey Sagal
Katey Sagal who starred in 8 Simple Rules with John Ritter. 


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Tags: Cirque Du Soleil - John Ritter - Katey Sagal - Steve Irwin - Pantera - Damageplan

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