On Feb. 13, 2011, Serene Branson, a Los Angeles reporter with CBS 2 News, suffered from an apparent stroke while reporting live from the Grammys at the Staples Center.
She was just about to share the highlights from the show with some backstage coverage when her speech began to slur and then immediately became indecipherable.
“Well, a very, very heavy burtation tonight,” was all that got out before her words became gibberish. For about 10 seconds, she tried to regain her speech then the video cut to pre-recorded Grammy coverage. You could tell by her expression that she was well aware that something was going wrong.
CBS 2 News released a statement today stating: “Serene Branson was examined by paramedics on scene immediately after her broadcast. Her vitals were normal. She was not hospitalized. As a precautionary measure, a colleague gave her a ride home and she says that she is feeling fine this morning.”
This statement contradicts statements from other media outlets that she was hospitalized.
This is not the first time someone has suffered a severe medical condition while live or during a performance. There have even been live deaths.
Edith Webster, a theater actress, was live on stage in Baltimore. During her act, she portrayed a swan who was supposed to sing a song and then die in the play.
After singing the words, “Please don’t talk about me when I’m gone,” she collapsed and died. She suffered a heart attack at the precise moment that her character was to collapse and die.
The audience applauded, thinking that it was all a part of the act even as the stagehands were calling out for help. She had unfortunately died in real life.
British comedian Tommy Cooper, who was famous for the red fez he always wore and his magic tricks that never seemed to go right, passed away on April 15, 1984. He was performing live on a British show called “Live from her Majesty’s.” He was performing an act where he was supposed to pull a number of items from a gown he was wearing.
Just after his assistant helped him into his gown, Cooper collapsed and lay down next to his curtain. Thinking it was a part of the act, his assistant and the audience roared in laughter. However, as time passed, it became very apparent that this was no act.
Cooper suffered from a heart attack and was pronounced dead on arrival at Westminster Hospital. Controversial video of his death can be seen on YouTube.
Canadian wrestler Owen Hart was famous for his performances on both WCW and WWF wrestling. During an entrance gone wrong, Hart tragically died on May 23, 1999. He was to wrestle for the Intercontinental Championship with The Godfather during the live Over the Edge pay-per-view event.
His intentions were to be lowered to this ring in a harness. However, the harness was faulty and released Hart 78 feet in the air. He landed chest first on the top rope of the ring. He immediately sat up but quickly lost consciousness.
He was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival due to internal bleeding from a severed aorta.