We take a look at the films released after their star passed away…

FAST & FURIOUS 7 is released in Irish cinemas this week, and is the final film to star Paul Walker; the actor died in a car accident in the midst of the film’s production. The film is dedicated to Walker’s memory, and Movies.ie decided to take a look back over the actors who starred in films after they passed away.

Robin Williams

Robin Williams died in August 2014, and had four films in the works at the time. Williams’ role as Teddy Roosevelt in NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: THE SECRET OF THE TOMB was seen on Irish screens in December last year, but Irish audiences could well still see Williams in three more movies; A MERRY FRIGGGIN’ CHRISTMAS – which was released in the US last December – BOULEVARD, and ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING, which is due for release this summer.

James Gandolfini

The man perhaps best known for playing Tony Soprano, James Gandolfini, died in June 2013 while he had two films in the pipeline. In the romantic dramedy ENOUGH SAID – released in October 2013 – Gandolfini took on a gentle and sweet role opposite Julia Louis-Dreyfus. The following year, Gandolfini starred with Matthias Schoenaerts, Noomi Rapace and Tom Hardy in the crime thriller THE DROP.

Brittany Murphy

Murphy made her film debut in the teen comedy CLUELESS, and died at the young age of 32 in 2009. After her untimely death, three films starring Brittany Murphy were released. ABANDONED, which was the final film that the actress completed, SOMETHING WICKED and DEADLINE. None of the three were released in Irish cinemas; DEADLINE went straight to DVD, while ABANDONED and SOMETHING WICKED had limited releases in the US.

Heath Ledger

At the time of his death in January 2008, Heath Ledger was filming THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS with Terry Gilliam. Gilliam shut down production for several months after his lead actor died, but then recruited Colin Farrell, Jude Law and Johnny Depp to take over for Ledger in various scenes. The film was released in October 2009.
Ledger had just completed work as The Joker in Christopher Nolan’s THE DARK KNIGHT. The film was released in July 2008, and Ledger won almost universal acclaim for his penultimate role. Ledger was also posthumously awarded a Best Supporting Oscar for this role.

Jill Clayburgh

Actress Jill Clayburgh died in 2010, having fought chronic lymphocytic leukemia for more than 20 years. Clayburgh’s two final performances were in films released after her death; LOVE & OTHER DRUGS, in which she starred with Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, was dedicated to her memory. Clayburgh’s final film role was in the 2011 comedy BRIDESMAIDS, in which she played the mother of Kristen Wiig’s character Annie.

Honourable Mentions to:
James Dean – REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE
Bruce Lee – ENTER THE DRAGON
Brandon Lee – THE CROW
Chris Farley – ALMOST HEROES and DIRTY WORK
John Candy – WAGONS EAST! And CANDAIAN BACON

FAST & FURIOUS 7 is released in Irish cinemas on April 3rd 2015

Words: Brogen Hayes