Acclaimed Actor, Christopher Plummer, Dies at Age 91 Due to Injuries from Fall

Author Attribution: By gdcgraphics, CC BY 2.0

Christopher Plummer, the acclaimed Canadian stage, film, and television star who most notably became a household name by his role as the von Trapp patriarch in “The Sound of Music” died Feb. 5 at the age of 91. His wife of 53 years, Elaine Taylor, was at his side at the time of his death in their home in Weston, Conn. 

The cause of Mr. Plummer’s death was due to complications from a fall, according to Mrs. Plummer. He suffered a head injury upon a fall, then passed away peacefully in his home. 

Christopher Plummer’s decades-long career vast a wide range of roles. Plummer made his debut on Broadway in 1954 which led to several leading roles on stage in the decades following. At age 82, he became the oldest Academy Award acting winner in the history of the Academy as he added an Oscar win for “Beginners” to a shelf of trophies that already housed two Tony Awards, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a British Academy Film Award. He is one of the few performers to have received the Triple Crown of Acting and the only Canadian. Plummer also received a nomination at the age of 88 for All the Money in the World, making him the oldest person to be nominated in an acting category.

Injuries and Deaths from Falls Continue to Worsen in America

Sadly, even a person to have lived as charmed of a life as Mr. Plummer was not spared from a tragic fall accident that possibly could have been prevented. Unfortunately, deaths like Plummer’s are also becoming more common in the US. The most recent statistics available from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) show that both injuries and deaths from falls are at record high levels. Injuries from falls continue to be the number one cause of emergency room visits, and deaths from falls have moved to the 14th leading cause of death in the USA. Even with these startling statistics, most Americans don’t take the fall problem seriously.

I’m not going to surprise you by saying that we all fall, but it may shock you to know that deaths from falls have risen 150 percent over the past 15+ years. By comparison, deaths from auto accidents have actually declined by more than 10 percent during the same time frame. Amazingly enough, this decline has happened while the number of drivers and the number of miles driven has both increased. But, it is not just auto accidents.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks the number of on-the-job fall injuries. Over the last 15 years, the number of on-the-job fall injuries per 1,000 workers has fallen from 2.8 to 1.7. That is more than a 35 percent decline in injuries.

Neither of these declines are random, single-year occurrences. Tracking them year by year shows a consistent pattern of improvement. By now my conclusion should be obvious: if we can reduce the number of fatal auto accidents and our businesses can reduce the number of on-the-job fall injuries, we, as a society, should be able to reduce the total number of fall injuries and deaths that occur.

Lessons from Other Successful Safety Programs

The question is: How? How do we reverse the trend and reduce the number of fall injuries and deaths such as those that happened to Mr. Plummer? We can learn from the auto industry and the transportation safety programs that have been implemented. Businesses know that fall injuries are expensive. Businesses pay attention to things that are expensive. There is much to be learned from OSHA and safety-at-work initiatives.

These safety programs have designated individuals whose main focus is fall prevention. When you compare this organized, structured environment to your life away from work you can see why you’re safer at work.

Who Owns Slip, Trip, and Fall Prevention in Your Home?

Designate someone in your household to be in charge of fall prevention and have them conduct a home safety audit. By conducting a survey of all the locations in your home that represent fall risks now will help you avoid fall injuries later. As each area is reviewed clean up hazards and make note of bigger problems to correct at a later time. Learn about your personal environment and look at each area as if you are looking at it for the first time. Having a greater awareness to the potential slip, trip, and fall hazards in our everyday lives is the first step in staying on our feet. For more visit



Washington Post: Christopher Plummer, dashing grandee of stage and film, dies at 91

Daily Mail: Sound of Music star Christopher Plummer dies aged 91 after ‘falling and hitting his head’ at home – as co-star Julie Andrews leads the tributes to her ‘cherished friend’ 

Christopher Plummer, Sound of Music Actor, dies at 91

Injuries and Deaths from Falls Continue to Worsen in America

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