Renee Shin-Yi Chen

Renee Shin-Yi Chen

Death 23 Jul 1982 (aged 6)
Valencia, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Everlasting Love, Lot 3707, Space 1
Memorial ID 19758 · View Source
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Born the daughter of Mark and Shyan-Huei Chen. She was not a professional actor, but when her parents were approached about her appearing in a movie they thought it would be a good experience and the prospect of acting thrilled the girl. She was introduced to the film's director, John Landis, who thought the child was perfect for the part. Renee and 7 year old My-ca Le, were hired illegally, without the use of proper work permits and were set to film her scene around 2 AM on July 22, proper contracts for child actors normally stipulate that they be finished working far earlier. The scene was to be of two children being rescued from a war torn village. Actor Vic Morrow entertained his two young co-stars, making faces to put them at ease and the first night's shooting ended after about an hour and a half. The children returned the following night to finish the scene. At about 2:20 AM, Landis called action. Morrow went into the knee-deep water, holding a child under each arm. The director ordered a hovering helicopter lower. Two special effects charges were detonated close together and apparently damaged the aircraft. The helicopter lost control and went nose down. Below, Morrow dropped Renee then made a grab at her but the helicopter's skid slammed into the girl, killing her. Then its spinning main rotor struck and killed Morrow and My-ca Le. Witness Shyan-Huei Chen was taken to a local hospital, and treated for shock. Director Landis and four others crew members were tried and acquitted of involuntary manslaughter in the deaths.

Bio by: Iola

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 24 Jan 2001
  • Find a Grave Memorial 19758
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Renee Shin-Yi Chen (1 Apr 1976–23 Jul 1982), Find a Grave Memorial no. 19758, citing Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale), Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .