Ann Margret, who starred in Viva Las Vegas with Elvis Presley and many other films, was an accomplished rider who owned a 500cc Triumph T100C Tiger. She rode that motorcycle in the 1966 movie The Swinger. She became an avid motorcyclist and appeared in Triumph Motorcycle advertisements. In August of 2000, she hit a sandy patch of pavement in Brainerd, MN and was thrown off her motorcycle. She broke three ribs and fractured her left shoulder. The next day she appeared as the Grand Marshal of the Colonel’s Truck Accessories National Hot Rod Association Nationals. She rode in a convertible pace car waving to thousands of fans with her other arm in sling.
Gary Busey, who played Buddy Holly in The Buddy Holly Story, was a passionate motorcycle lover who was also very vocally “anti-helmet” until he was nearly killed in a violent crash in 1998. He had just picked up his Harley from Bartels’ Harley-Davidson in Culver City, California when he was thrown from his bike. He hit the back of his head on a concrete curb cracking his skull open.
“My bike hit sand and fishtailed,” Busey says, recalling the accident. “I hit the front brake and flipped over and hit my head on the curb.”
Luckily a police officer was nearby and used Busey’s own glove to compress his head wound until paramedics arrived. Doctors feared permanent brain damage.
Peter Fonda, who played Captain America in Easy Rider, has had his share of motorcycle mishaps. In 1964, he wrecked his Triumph while wearing only swim trunks and loafers. He wound up with his hipbone sticking through his skin and bad case of road rash on his back. In 1985, he broke his back and neck. He’s had so many surgeries that he’s lost a half an inch of height. In 1993, he collided head-on with a deer. He no longer rides in the dark or without wearing full gear. Over the years Fonda has owed many motorcycles: a BMW R 27, multiple Triumphs, a Bultaco, a Montesa, a Ducati, two BMW R1200RSs, two Harley- Davidson Fatboys, a Road King, and a MV Agusta F4-1000.
Singer and songwriter, Bob Dylan’s motorcycle accident near Woodstock, NY in 1966 is surrounded by mystery and intrigue. Some reports say that he broke several vertebrae and nearly died. Others claim his injuries were minor and used the accident as an excuse to escape the limelight and give himself time to kick his heroin addiction. Rumors swirled about the accident. The gossip was Dylan was either dead or had brain damage. Dylan cancelled his next concert and the rest of the tour he was planning. After five grueling years of touring and recording, he wanted to spend time with his family. It would be eight years before he would tour again.
Eric Estrada, who played Ponch on the hit TV series ChiPs, was injured while shooting an episode in 1980. At the height of the show’s popularity, Estrada was following a camera car down an alley in Pacoima, CA, when he lost control of his 1000cc Kawasaki. He was thrown into the front of a car and his bike landed on top of him. He broke his wrist, fractured 12 ribs, and suffered a collapsed lung. He was told by doctors that he wouldn’t survive.
Of course in Hollywood, the show must go on. So the producers of the show incorporated the accident into the storyline and filmed new scenes from Estrada’s real-life hospital bed.
In 1990, Rocker Billy Idol was riding his Harley when he ran a stop sign in Hollywood at 8:30 in the morning and collided with a car. Idol was not wearing a helmet. He was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Surgeons struggled to avoid amputation and save his mangled right leg. Idol was bed ridden for months after the accident. Ironically his album at the time was entitled Charmed Life. In 2011, he crashed again and needed surgery to repair a broken bone in his foot.
David Hasselhoff, star of Baywatch and Night Rider, lost control of his Harley-Davidson near a freeway overpass when a gust of wind caused him to swerve into a curb. Both Hoff and his wife, Pamela Bach, were tossed off the bike. She suffered a badly broken ankle and wrist and he fractured his back and broke several ribs. Luckily his hair was unharmed.
Four years later, in 2007, Bach blamed the accident for the breakdown of their marriage. She claimed The Hoff neglected her after the crash. Bach was confined to a wheelchair for a year. Doctors told her she might not ever walk again. She claims The Hoff only took her out of the house twice in the whole year. Once to see a basketball game and the another time to see a Celine Dion concert.
Lauren Hutton, Supermodel of the Seventies, crashed her motorcycle while riding in a charity ride supporting the Hermitage-Guggenheim Museum in 2001. Luckily for her, actor Dennis Hopper had persuaded her to wear real protective gear instead of the stylish outfit she intended to wear. And actor, Jeremy Irons lent her a full-face helmet. Reports are that she was traveling between 90 and 100 mph when she lost control on some gravel in a curve and ran off the road, flying through the air. When she landed, both legs and arms were broken. She broke three ribs and punctured a lung. Thanks to Dennis Hopper and Jeremy Irons she survived and still looks great.
Duane Allman and Berry Oakley, members of The Allman Brothers band, were both killed in separate motorcycle accidents. But here’s where the story gets interesting. In October 1971, Duane Allman was just 24 when he crashed into a semi-tractor trailer that pulled in front of him. He was headed to bassist Berry Oakley’s house in Macon, Georgia to wish Oakley’s wife a happy birthday. Duane’s Harley-Davidson Sportster skidded and flipped over, dragging him nearly 50 feet. He died of massive injuries after three hours of emergency surgery, that evening.
Bizarrely, almost exactly one year later, Berry Oakley, the Allman Brothers Band’s bassist, crashed his Triumph into the side of a Macon city bus, less than a mile from the spot where Allman had suffered the same fate a year earlier.
Ben Roethlisberger, first round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers, was nearly killed in June of 2006 when a 62-year-old woman, driving a Chrysler New Yorker, turned left in front of Ben in a busy intersection near downtown Pittsburgh. Roethlisberger’s motorcycle hit the side of her car throwing Ben into the side of car face first. Ben wasn’t wearing a helmet while riding his 2005 Suzuki Hayabusa, the fastest street-legal motorcycle at the time. He also was riding without a valid license.
Ben was reportedly near death following the accident. He underwent seven hours of surgery for injuries to his face and jaw. He broke his nose, his upper jaw, lower jaw and lost two teeth.
Unlike the NFL, Pennsylvania had repealed it’s mandatory helmet law in 2003. Ben had been reluctant to wear a helmet.
“It’s a choice,” Roethlisberger said, referring to his riding without a helmet. “I just get out there and relax, I don’t try to take too many risks. I just go out and enjoy myself.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Terminator, was almost terminated in 2001 when crashed his motorcycle. Arnold broke six ribs and spent several days in the hospital after his chest hit the windshield of his Harley as he swerved to avoid a car that stopped short in front of him.
Five years later, The Governator crashed again when a car backed out in front of him. This time he had his son, Patrick, with him in the sidecar. Arnold took 15 stitches in upper lip. Both Arnold and his son suffered minor injuries. Both were wearing helmets. However, Arnold did not have a valid endorsement on his driver’s license to operate a motorcycle.
Frequently Asked Questions About Celebrities Who Ride Motorcycles
What celebrities are known to ride motorcycles?
A lot of celebrities are known for being motorcycle enthusiasts, and that includes actors like Gary Busy and Peter Fonda, singers like Bob Dylan and Billy Idol, to prominent sports figures like Ben Roethlisberger, first-round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Sadly, many of these celebrities also suffered injuries while riding on motorcycles.
What happened in the motorcycle accident involving Lauren Hutton?
Supermodel Lauren Hutton crashed her motorcycle while participating in a charity ride in 2001. Fortunately, actor Dennis Hopper had convinced her to wear real protective gear instead of the stylish outfit, and actor Jeremy Irons lent her a full-face helmet. She was traveling between 90 and 100 mph when she lost control on some gravel and ran off the road, breaking both legs and arms and three ribs. But she survived.
What happened in the motorcycle accident involving Billy Idol?
Rocker Billy Idol was riding his Harley in 1990 when he ran a stop sign and collided with a car. Idol, who was not wearing a helmet, was bedridden for months after the accident. In 2011, he crashed again and needed surgery to repair a broken bone in his foot.
What happened in the motorcycle accident involving Ann Margret?
Actress Ann Margret became an avid motorcyclist, but in 2000 she hit a sandy patch of pavement and was thrown off her motorcycle, breaking three ribs and fracturing her left shoulder. The next day she appeared as the Grand Marshal of the Colonel’s Truck Accessories National Hot Rod Association Nationals.
What happened in the motorcycle accident involving Gary Busey?
Actor Gary Busey was a passionate motorcycle lover and vocally “anti-helmet” until he was nearly killed in a violent crash in 1998, when he was thrown from his bike and hit the back of his head on a concrete curb, cracking his skull open. Luckily a police officer was nearby and used Busey’s own glove to compress his head wound until paramedics arrived.
Talk To Frank
As you can see, even being a rich celebrity can’t protect you from the everyday hazards of riding a motorcycle. If you’re ever injured in a motorcycle accident, “TALK2FRANK.”
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If you can’t come to Frank, he’ll come to you. Frank will listen to your story. He’ll consider all the facts and assess your case. He’ll give you his best advice, without charging you a penny.
If you have a case, Frank will take it on. And you still won’t owe anything until you win a settlement. Frank will stand up for you against powerful, wealthy companies and people. And if your case goes to trial, Frank will represent you personally. Frank has always been on your side. He’s a St. Pete native who has always worked for the plantiff.
Personal attention to personal injury.