By Kevin Williams / Source: Near-Death.com
The near-death experiences of rich and famous people are particularly interesting. They are known all over the world. They are often beautiful, articulate and very talented in what they do. With this in mind, why would such a person reveal to everyone that they were dead and came back to life? Money? They already got that. Fame? They are already famous.
In fact, by telling everyone they came back from the dead, they may be risking their own reputation. People who reveal such things to others often become the butt of jokes or thought to be crazy. Why would anyone rich and famous subject themselves to this when it might result in lost fame and fortune? The only rational reason that such people who have nothing to gain is that it really happened to them and they want to share it.
The following are rich and famous people who risked it all to tell the world about their near-death experience. Some of these accounts are documented in Jean Ritchie’s excellent book, Death’s Door.
Jane Seymour is an actress most noted for the cult classic movie, “Somewhere in Time,” with actor Christopher Reeves, and the television series “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.” When Jane Seymour was 36 years of age, she had a severe case of the flu and was given an injection of penicillin. She suffered an allergic reaction which led to a near-death experience.
“I literally left my body. I had this feeling that I could see myself on the bed, with people grouped around me. I remember them all trying to resuscitate me. I was above them, in the corner of the room looking down. I saw people putting needles in me, trying to hold me down, doing things. I remember my whole life flashing before my eyes, but I wasn’t thinking about winning Emmys or anything like that. The only thing I cared about was that I wanted to live because I did not want anyone else looking after my children. I was floating up there thinking, “No, I don’t want to die. I’m not ready to leave my kids.” And that was when I said to God, “If you’re there, God, if you really exist and I survive, I will never take your name in vain again.” Although I believe that I “died” for about thirty seconds, I can remember pleading with the doctor to bring me back. I was determined I wasn’t going to die.” She then suddenly found herself back in her body.
Peter Sellers was the comic genius of a generation of actors. He brought brilliant characterizations to numerous films, including “The Mouse That Roared” (1959), “Dr. Strangelove” (1964), “The Pink Panther” (1964), and “Being There” (1979). He was known for his enthusiastic way of totally absorbing himself in his characters, even carrying roles offstage. He also suffered from sad moods between films. While he knew his characters thoroughly, he said that he really did not know who he was. Then Peter Sellers, the brilliant, confused actor, had a near-death experience.
Seated in a Hollywood mockup of a limousine’s back seat while shooting his last great film, “Being There”, he told Shirley MacLaine about his near-death experience, astonished that she did not consider him “bonkers.” Shirley documents their conversation in her book, Out on a Limb. In 1964, during the first of a rapid series of eight heart attacks, when his heart stopped and he was clinically dead, he had an out-of-body experience and saw the bright, loving light:
“Well, I felt myself leave my body. I just floated out of my physical form and I saw them cart my body away to the hospital. I went with it … I wasn’t frightened or anything like that because I was fine; and it was my body that was in trouble.”
The doctor saw that he was dead and massaged his heart vigorously, Meanwhile: “I looked around myself and I saw an incredibly beautiful bright loving white light above me. I wanted to go to that white light more than anything. I’ve never wanted anything more. I know there was love, real love, on the other side of the light which was attracting me so much. It was kind and loving and I remember thinking “That’s God.””
Peter’s out-of-body soul tried to elevate itself toward the light, but he fell short: “Then I saw a hand reach through the light. I tried to touch it, to grab onto it, to clasp it so it could sweep me up and pull me through it.” But just then his heart began beating again, and at that instant the hand’s voice said: “It’s not time. Go back and finish. It’s not time.” As the hand receded he felt himself floating back down to his body, waking up bitterly disappointed.
What effect did his near-death experience have on Sellers? His biographer says that “The repeated act of “dying” became for Peter Sellers the most important experience of his life.” Sellers said of death: “I’ll never fear it again.” Family and friends found him more spiritual and reflective than before.
British actress Elizabeth Taylor spoke about her experience of having “died” on the operating table while undergoing surgery, and of passing through a tunnel towards a brilliant white light. Interviewed by Larry King on CNN’s “Larry King Live,” the legendary Hollywood star related how she had “died” for five minutes on the operating table.
“I was pronounced dead once and actually saw the light. I find it very hard to talk about, actually, because it sounds so corny. It happened in the late ’50s, and I saw Mike (Todd, Taylor’s third husband, who was killed in a plane crash in 1958). When I came to, there were about 11 people in the room. I’d been gone for about five minutes – they had given me up for dead and put my death notice on the wall. I shared this with the people that were in the room next to me. Then after that I told another group of friends, and I thought, “Wow, this sounds really screwy. I think I’d better keep quiet about this.”
Robert Pastorelli is most noted for his starring role in the television series, “Murphy Brown.” At the age of 19, he had a car accident which caused a near-death experience that literally changed how he was living, in a very dramatic way.
“It smashed right into the driver’s door. It hit me so hard it actually knocked the shoes off my feet. My car rolled over about four times on this big highway and the next thing I knew I was in intensive care with a collapsed lung. Every one of my ribs was shattered. I had lacerations to my head and face, and my kidneys, spleen and gall bladder were all ruptured. I was a mess.
“I was in excruciating pain. Then, in the next second, there was no pain. Suddenly I realized I was out of my body. I was floating above myself, looking down at my unconscious body lying in the hospital emergency room with my eyes closed. I could see tubes down my nose and throat. I knew I was dying and I thought, “Well, this must be death.” I even saw a priest giving me the last rites. But it was the most peaceful feeling in the world. Then I saw my father starting to faint out of grief. Two nurses grabbed him and sat him down in a chair across the room.
“When I looked down and saw my father’s pain it had an effect on me. I firmly believe that at that moment I made a decision to live, not die. The next thing I knew I was waking up back in my body. Later, in the recovery room, when I was fully conscious, I told my father what had happened, his fainting and all. He was astounded.”
“Basic Instinct” star, Sharon Stone, has told how she had a “white light experience” during her brain scare. Stone says she almost died after internal bleeding caused by a tear in an artery at the base of her skull. Sharon was interviewed by Katie Couric about her journey into the afterlife.
ìWhen it hit me I felt like I’d been shot in the head. That’s the only way I can really describe it. It hit me so hard it knocked me over on the sofa. And Phil was out of town and I called him and said, “I think I had a stroke.” But in all fairness, I’m a person who’s always saying, ” I think I’ve had a stroke, I think I’ve had a heart attack, I think I’ve had a brain hemorrhage …
I had a real journey with this that took me to places both here and beyond that affected me so profoundly that my life will never be the same …
I get to be not afraid of dying and I get to tell other people that it’s a fabulous thing and that death is a gift. And not that you should kill yourself, but that when death comes to you, as it will, that it’s a glorious and beautiful thing. This kind of giant vortex of white light was upon me and I kind of – poof – sort of took off into this glorious, bright, bright, bright white light and I started to see and be met by some of my friends. But it was very fast – whoosh! Suddenly, I was back. I was in my body and I was in the room.î
Gary Busey, once Hollywood’s “bad boy,” was nominated for an Oscar for the movie, “The Buddy Holly Story.” Busey, who fought addiction with drugs and alcohol for several years, was nicknamed “Gary Abusey” by his wife. Busey has had supernatural encounters in which he nearly died three or more times in his life …a drug overdose, cancer, and an accident west of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
But the most tragic experience, and one that changed his life, was a motorcycle accident in 1988. Gary was going about 40-50 miles per hour riding on 750 pounds of cold steel. He was not wearing a helmet when he crashed. He was flung over the top of his cycle, head first into the curb and he cracked his skull. Busey had an NDE while he was dying on the operating table after having brain surgery. During his NDE, he was surrounded by angels. Busey stated that they didn’t appear in the form that people see on Christmas cards. The angels he saw were big balls of light that floated and carried nothing but love and warmth – and this love is unconditional.
Larry Hagman, of “Dallas” and “I Dream of Jeanie” fame, underwent a liver transplant in 1995. Years of heavy drinking resulted in cirrhosis and cancer of the liver. He was only weeks away from certain death at the time of his liver transplant and near-death experience.
Larry describes what he experienced: “I was able to look over the edge. I got a little glimpse of what was the next step. I didn’t see a light some people see, but I had a wonderful feeling of bliss and warmth. The bottom line is “love,” that sounds corny, but it was just lovely, uplifting.”
Rebecca DeMornay starred in the movie thriller, “The Hand That Rocks The Cradle.” When she was 7 years old, she was in Mexico City, Mexico, when she got ill from a peptic ulcer and had what she believes was a near-death experience.
“One night the doctors told my mother that there was only a fifty-fifty chance that I’d make it. I remember that I was tied to three IVs but I recall getting out of bed and looking out of the window: it was snowing. There was an old-fashioned lamppost and barefoot children were dancing around it, singing. I went back to bed and the next morning the crisis was over. In 1983 I started thinking about it: “Does it ever snow in Mexico City? Do they have these strange kind of lampposts there?” I went back to Mexico and I didn’t see those lampposts anywhere. Nor does it ever snow there.”
Donald Sutherland, who played the character, Hawkeye Piece, in the movie version of “Mash”, had a near-death experience when ill with meningitis in 1979.
“Suddenly the pain, fever and acute distress seemed to evaporate. I was floating above my body, surrounded by soft blue light. I began to glide down a long tunnel, away from the bed … but suddenly I found myself back in my body. The doctors told me later that I had actually died for a time.”
Eric Estrada became famous for his starring role in the television series, “Chips.” While filming an episode of “Chips,” he had a terrible motorcycle accident that led to a near-death experience.
“Suddenly I was in a long corridor with bright lights, beautiful music, and a feeling of great peace. But something seemed to be blocking my progress. A voice told me, “You’ve got to go back. You’ve a lot still to do. You’ve achieved success and stardom but you haven’t achieved personal happiness and peace of mind.” After hearing the voice, he returned to his body.
Internationally renowned actor Eric Roberts has starred in more than 70 films, including the Dannion Brinkley movie, “Saved by the Light.” Eric has traveled all over the world encountering many colorful experiences. One of Eric’s most dramatic moments took place in Westport, Connecticut. He was driving along, became distracted by his dog, and crashed. He was hospitalized in a coma and almost died. It was this state that Eric claimed to have had a surreal out-of-body experience.
People having near-death experiences are greeted by someone – usually someone they deeply love or the so-called “Being of Light”. When Elvis Presley died, it seemed like the whole world mourned. He was truly loved by many people the world over. Since then, many people have reported having “Elvis sightings” where the spirit of Elvis appears as an apparition to people much in the same way that Jesus appeared to people after his death.
Not only this, many near-death experiencers find themselves greeted, not by a Being of Light, but by Elvis Presley. According to Dr. Melvin Morse in his book on near-death experiences entitled “Transformed by the Light,” a 45-year old Mid-western teacher saw Elvis Presley in an intense light during her near-death experience. The woman had met Elvis when she was a child. The following is her near-death account:
“I entered into a dark tunnel and suddenly I was in a place filled up with love and a beautiful, bright light. The place seemed holy. My father, who had died two years earlier, was there, as were my grandparents. Everyone was happy to see me, but my father told me it was not my time and I would be going back. Just as I turned to go, I caught sight of Elvis! He was standing in this place of intense bright light. He just came over to me, took my hand and said, “Hi, Bev, do you remember me?”
Dr. Raymond Moody wrote an entire book on Elvis sightings, including near-death experiences, entitled Elvis After Life. Because of the large number of devoted Elvis fans, it should not be a surprise that people having NDEs should be greeted by the King.
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