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In Honor Of 'Sparkle,' The 6 Best Posthumous Film Releases

August 14th, 2012 1:07pm EDT

Sparkle This weekend's release of Sparkle will mark the final film for the recently deceased Whitney Houston. Posthumous film releases aren't too common, but there have been some fantastic films that hit theaters after a star's tragic death. Here are the Top 6:

Deer Hunter (John Cazale) Cazale was in six films and five of them were nominated for Academy Awards for Best Picture (or all of them, if you disregard the footage used in Godfather III). He was dying from terminal lung cancer, but his girlfriend Meryl Streep and director Michael Cimino threatened to walk away from the film if the studio fired Cazale.

Enter the Dragon (Bruce Lee) Enter the Dragon was released in theaters six days after Bruce Lee's sudden death, and it's arguably his greatest work. It was commercially successful and was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry.

The Crow (Brandon Lee) Bruce Lee's son died in a freak accident on the set of The Crow when a gun meant to fire blanks had a live round lodged in the barrel. The weapon was fired at Lee, and he died from the gunshot wound.



Rebel Without a Cause (James Dean) Dean's famous role as teenage delinquent was released less than a month after Dean's fatal car crash. He also starred in Giant, which was released the following year and earned Dean another Academy Award nomination.

The Dark Knight (Heath Ledger) Ledger would win an Academy Award for his roles as the chaotic Joker in the second of Christopher Nolan's trilogy. He died seven months before the film's release from prescription drug abuse.


This is It (Michael Jackson) Jackson was such an entertainer that his rehearsal footage was deemed good enough to be released in theaters. It's now the highest grossing concert movie and documentary in film history.

Related: Brandon Lee, Bruce Lee, Enter the Dragon, Heath Ledger, James Dean, John Cazale, Michael Jackson, Rebel Without a Cause, Sparkle, The Crow, The Dark Knight, The Deer Hunter, This is It, Whitney Houston, Starpulse Exclusives, Celebrity, Deaths, Video, Evergreen

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