|By CAROLINE GRAHAM, MAIL ON SUNDAY LA CORRESPONDENT
PUBLISHED: 23:37 GMT, 26 July 2014 | UPDATED: 10:40 GMT, 27 July 2014
He has appeared in some of the biggest films and TV shows to come out of Hollywood... but he rarely makes it to the end.
Sean Bean has died more than 20 times on screen – in every gruesome manner from decapitation to death by rampaging cows – and now a campaign has been launched to keep the actor alive in his next role.
The plea #DontKillSeanBean was launched on social media last week by producers of his latest TV series Legends, after tongue-in-cheek lobbying by fans.
And the campaign has gone viral, even attracting support from celebrities such as Kiefer Sutherland, who has been pictured in a supportive T-shirt.
Bean, 55, conceded: ‘I've died a lot of different deaths. Maybe it’s the quality of my death people are fascinated by. I liked Lord Of The Rings. Big death.’
In the adaptation of the JRR Tolkien novels he played Boromir, a warrior who was shot full of arrows by orcs.
Some of Bean’s more spectacular deaths include the movie Patriot Games (beaten, impaled on a boat anchor then blown up); the Bond film GoldenEye (pushed off a giant antenna and then crushed as it fell on him); The Island (shot through the neck by a grappling hook); Don’t Say A Word (buried alive); The Field (chased off a cliff by a herd of cows); Lorna Doone (drowned in a mire); and Black Death (tied to horses that ran in different directions, tearing him apart).
In the cult TV series Game Of Thrones his character Eddard ‘Ned’ Stark is beheaded, and in his last American series Missing, which aired in 2012, Bean played a CIA agent... who was killed by a car bomb in episode one.
The four-times-married star will next appear in cinemas in the title role of a £25million version of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar early next year. And it’s no spoiler to reveal that Caesar dies in Act Three.
But now it’s his fate in Legends that is the subject of concern. The Yorkshireman filmed the 10-episode series in LA earlier this year, earning a reported £2.1million for playing a gruff FBI agent who is able to adopt a new identity – or legend – in each episode.
A source at cable channel TNT, which will broadcast the series in the States, refused to say if Bean’s character dies in the final episode, joking: ‘I guess the outcome for the character will depend on the ratings. He’s safe for a bit.’
Tricia Melton, a marketing executive at the broadcaster, said: ‘When we started working with Sean we realised early on that the type and manner of his deaths in his previous work was something his fan base is fixated on. We decided to listen to the fans and incorporate their passion into the campaign. But never in our wildest dreams did we think it would take off like it has.
‘Sean laughed out loud when we first talked to him about it and is 100 per cent behind not getting killed in Legends. He’s got a great sense of humour and is enjoying the fun the fans are having.’
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