Jon-Erik Hexum’s “Cover Up” co-star Jennifer O’Neill recalls the late actor: “Gun safety is essential”

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The tragedy that occurred on the set of Alec Baldwin’s movie “Rust” in New Mexico draws comparisons to Jon-Erik Hexum, a star who died under similar circumstances.

Baldwin fired a gun on the film set that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza, authorities said.

A spokesperson for the actor said there was an accident on set involving the misfiring of a prop pistol with blanks. Sheriff’s spokesman Juan Rios said detectives were investigating the manner and type of projectile fired. The Santa Fe New Mexican reported that the 63-year-old was seen outside the sheriff’s office in tears on Thursday.

Halyna Hutchins, 42, was airlifted to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
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Halyna Hutchins, 42, was airlifted to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
(Photo by Mat Hayward / Getty Images for AMC Networks)

It’s a grim reminder of another gruesome accident decades ago that ended Hexum’s life.

FORMER COLLABOTE HALYNA HUTCHINS FRIEND REMEMBERS CINEMATOGRAPHER ‘RUST’: ‘SHE LIGHTENED THE WORLD’

In 1984, the star shot himself fatally in the head with a propeller pistol while pretending to play Russian roulette with a .44 Magnum on the set of his CBS series “Cover Up”. He was 26 years old.

After pulling the trigger, the impact of the blast fractured Hexum’s skull, resulting in a quarter-sized bone fragment in his brain and causing massive bleeding, Entertainment Weekly reported. Hexum was rushed to Beverly Hills Medical Center, but was declared brain dead after five hours of surgery.

Jennifer O'Neill and Jon-Erik Hexum starred in 'Cover Up', a CBS crime action television series.

Jennifer O’Neill and Jon-Erik Hexum starred in ‘Cover Up’, a CBS crime action television series.
(Photo by CBS via Getty Images)

Her co-star, Jennifer O’Neill, told Fox News it was a haunting reminder that gun safety is crucial on Hollywood sets.

“What a tragedy!” said the actress. “Gun safety is essential and must be treated professionally to prevent the tragic loss of innocent lives. “

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“Jon-Erik Hexum was at the height of his life and career when he accidentally shot himself with a half-loaded propeller pistol while playing Russian roulette on the set,” a- she explained.

O’Neill added that the star made a “selfless donation” of her viable organs “to save the lives of so many others in need following her fatal accident.”

Jon-Erik Hexum, actor and model, was a rising star in Hollywood.

Jon-Erik Hexum, actor and model, was a rising star in Hollywood.
(Photo by Harry Langdon / Getty Images)

The 73-year-old woman, who has since found God, said she prayed for Hexum’s family, as well as the Hutchins’ family.

“At that time, I had not yet acquired my faith in Jesus – and I was also unsure whether Jon-Erik had embraced belief in Christ … but my prayer continues to be that we will see those who we see again. are so missed in Heaven and that the families, friends and fans of those who are dejected in their prime are somehow comforted, ”said O’Neill.

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After Hexum’s death, “Cover Up” only lasted one season with Antony Hamilton. And a few years later, the actor’s mother Gretha Hexum secured an undisclosed settlement with Twentieth Century Fox Television and Glenn Larson Productions.

In 'Cover Up', Jon-Erik Hexum played a secret agent.

In ‘Cover Up’, Jon-Erik Hexum played a secret agent.
(Photo by CBS via Getty Images)

Almost a decade later, the son of the late legendary martial artist Bruce Lee suffered a similar fate.

Brandon Lee died in 1993 after being hit by a .44 caliber bullet while filming a death scene for “The Crow”. The gun was believed to have fired blank, but an autopsy revealed a bullet lodged near his spine. He was 28 years old.

Following the accident on the set of “Rust,” Lee’s Twitter account, which is managed by his sister Shannon, shared a heartfelt post on social media.

ALEC BALDWIN’S SHOOTING ACCIDENT IN RUST: HOLLYWOOD CRYING HALYNA HUTCHINS

“Our hearts go out to the family of Halyna Hutchins and Joel Souza and everyone involved in the incident on ‘Rust’,” one read. “No one should ever be killed by a gun on a movie set. Full stop.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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