UPDATED: Michael Massee, a character actor with almost 80 film and television credits who’s sadly associated with Brandon Lee’s death on the set of their 1994 film “The Crow,” has died of cancer, his agent and his wife, Ellen Massee, both confirmed to Variety. He was 64.
Massee died on Oct. 20 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Actor Anthony Delon first annouced the news in an Instagram post on Monday, writing “R.I.P. my friend Michael. You were ‘five seconds away from a clean getaway.'” Massee and Delon worked together on the 2014 French TV series “Interventions.”
Massee fired the improperly prepared prop gun that killed Lee on the set of “The Crow” in 1993. Lee, the son of martial arts star Bruce Lee, died in surgery on March 31, 1993. He was 28. “The Crow,” directed by Alex Proyas, was released in May of 1994.
Massee, who reportedly never watched “The Crow,” in which he played the iconic character Funboy, returned to New York following the traumatic accident and took time off from acting. “I don’t think you ever get over something like that,” he said in a 2005 interview with “Extra.”
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The actor is also known for his role as the man at the massage parlor in David Fincher’s 1995 thriller “Seven.” He worked with the director again in 1997 on “The Game.” His other film credits include “Lost Highway” (1997), “Catwoman” (2004), “The Amazing Spider-Man” (2012), and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” (2014), in which he portrayed Gustav Fiers — aka The Gentleman.
On TV, Massee had recurring roles as villain Ira Gaines on the first season of the Fox’s “24” and baddie Charles Hoyt on TNT’s “Rizzoli & Isles,” in addition to making appearances in “The X-Files,” “Alias,” “Supernatural,” “House,” and “The Blacklist.”
“My heart is heavy to hear of his passing,” his “Rizzoli & Isles” costar Angie Harmon wrote on Twitter. “He was IMMENSELY talented & had the kindest soul. I am privileged to have known him.”
— Angie Harmon (@Angie_Harmon) October 26, 2016
Jon Cassar, an executive producer on “24,” also expressed his sympathies.
“Sad to hear of the passing of Michael Massee, who played Ira Gaines, ’24’s’ first villain in season #1 RIP,” he tweeted
Sad to hear of the passing of Michael Massee who played Ira Gaines, 24's first villain in season #1 RIP pic.twitter.com/MBT2uw3ZD3
— Jon Cassar (@joncassar) October 26, 2016
Massee — born in Kansas City, Mo., on Sept. 1, 1952 — is survived by his wife, their two children, his mother, his two sisters, and his brother.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Massee was 61 years old. He was 64.
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