Actor Michael Massee has passed away in Los Angeles at the age of 61. Even if the name isn’t instantly recognisable, Massee was an actor that had the kind of face people recognised…
Michael Massee’s high cheek-boned face and piercing eyes often led him to play the villain or unsympathetic parts in a vast range of projects. On television he appeared in productions such as Murder One, Alias, Cold Case, The X-Files, Supernatural, Flashforward, House and The Blacklist. he was perhaps best known for playing bad-guy Ira Gaines on the very first season of 24 and was the Surgeon serial-killer who took on Rizzoli & Isles.
On the big screen he took on interesting parts in films such as Lost Highway, The End of Violence, working for David Fincher on both Se7en and The Game; One Fine Day, Amistad, The Florentine, Corky Romano, Catwoman and The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
But for those with a deeper knowledge of the genre, Massee also holds a more tragic marker.
He was the actor who shot and killed Brandon Lee on the set of the 1993 movie The Crow. Massee was playing ‘Funboy’ in what was only his second big screen role. He was cleared of any fault in the tragic incident – he had only been following the script and ‘blocking’ which had changed and required him to shoot directly at Lee’s character Eric Draven. Unfortunately an improperly crimped blank the day before caused a tip to be lodged in the barrel and it was never checked. Lee was mortally wounded – dying a few hours later from his injury – and the late actor and the film (which used early CGI techniques to finish the production) became something of legend.
Despite not being at fault, Massee was haunted for a long time by the accident, not acting again for almost a year.
He had divided his time between Paris and Corsica and appeared in various international productions such as French series Interventions. His most recent credits were a recurring role in The Blacklist and also the feature film Last Man Club opposite James MacKrell, Kate French, W. Morgan Sheppard and Jake Busey.
A cause of death is not known at this time.