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Mister Rogers Movie Crew Member Dies After Falling Off Set Balcony

October 12, 2018

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Mister Rogers Crew Member Dies On Set Fall
Tom Hanks as Mister Rogers. Lacey Terrell

James Emswiller, a 61-year-old crew member on the upcoming Mister Rogers movie, You Are My Friend, died on Thursday, October 11, while on set, according to the Associated Press.


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Authorities revealed he fell two stories off a balcony in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, where he was on set for the film. He was on the balcony alone when he fell. By the time EMTs arrived to the scene, Emswiller was in full cardiac arrest, according to TMZ. He was taken to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Mercy and pronounced dead three hours later.

Tom Hanks, who is portraying Mister Rogers in the film, was at the site at the time.

“This is a devastating tragedy and the studio is investigating the matter. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jim’s loved ones, friends, and colleagues,” Sony Pictures said in a statement to Deadline.


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The sound technician has been in the industry since 1989 and won an Emmy Award in 2015 for his work on HBO’s Bessie. He also did sound mixing on the upcoming Showtime series, Escape at Dannemora. His credits include Jack Reacher and The Avengers.


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Local Pennsylvania news outlets were the first to report the news.

NEW: Mt. Lebanon police say they were filming scenes for Mr. Rodgers movie & they took a break. A crew member went out to smoke a cigarette on a 2nd store balcony & people heard a noise. They realized the man had fallen 2 stories. He was taken to Mercy in serious condition @WPXI pic.twitter.com/4L42wvmPfu

— Gabriella DeLuca (@GabriellaDeLuca) October 12, 2018

NEW: police say the man who fell is a 65 year old man. @WPXI filming is done for the night, they’re determining if they will resume tomorrow. @WPXI Chief is now getting an update from Medics pic.twitter.com/xVDJIOyeOo

— Gabriella DeLuca (@GabriellaDeLuca) October 12, 2018

The film is set to hit theaters in October 2019.


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