Michael Massee, known for roles in The Amazing Spider-Man film series and whose name was, unfortunately, inextricably linked to the tragic accident that killed Brandon Lee during the filming of the 1994 film The Crow, died October 26 from undisclosed causes. He was 61. The news was first announced by French actor Anthony Delon, Massee’s fellow cast member on the 2014 French series Interventions.
From Kansas City, MO, Massee’s film career was still new when he landed his second feature role, as Funboy in The Crow. On March 31, 1993 during filming of the pic based on the comic by James O’Barr, members of the crew had improperly prepared dummy cartridges for a revolver, accidentally creating a live round in the process. The gun was intended for the scene in which Massee’s character kills Brandon Lee’s Eric Draven, turning Draven into The Crow. Unaware of the crew’s mistake, Massee fired the revolver, tragically shooting Lee in the stomach; Lee died later that day after unsuccessful surgery.
Massee was deeply traumatized by his inadvertent role in Lee’s death; he refused to see the completed film, and took a year off from acting afterward. In a 2005 interview, he admitted he still had nightmares about it, and said that “I don’t think you ever get over something like that.”
Massee resumed his career in 1995, appearing that year in Tales From The Hood and Seven, among other films. He went on to appear in David Lynch’s Lost Highway and David Fincher’s The Game, Stephen Spielberg’s Amistad, and more recently as Marvel villain Gustav Fiers (“The Gentleman”) in The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
On television, Massee’s credits include Lucius Belyakovin on HBO’s Carnivàle, mercenary and former Navy SEAL Ira Gaines on the first season of 24, the killer Charles Hoyt on TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles, and the main villain on NBC’s Revelations. He also had roles on Fringe, Supernatural, CSI, House, and Flash Forward among many others.
He’s survived by his wife, Ellen Massee, and their two children.