Mister Rogers Movie Crew Member Dies After Fall On Set

James Emswiller, 61, was a sound technician on the film, starring Tom Hanks.

A crew member working on the upcoming Mister Rogers movie starring Tom Hanks has died after a fall on set. 

James Emswiller, a sound technician, fell two stories from the balcony of an apartment building on Thursday in the Pittsburgh suburb of Mount Lebanon while taking a break between scenes, CBS News reports. 

Emswiller, who the county medical examiner said was 61, may have been stricken with a heart attack prior to the fall, according to local reports

“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,” a representative for Sony Pictures and Tristar Pictures told HuffPost in a statement. 

Police and paramedics were called around 7:30 p.m. after other crew members reportedly heard Emswiller hit the ground. He was transported by medics to UPMC Mercy in critical condition, and died shortly after. 

The crew was on the second day of filming an interior apartment scene with Hanks, who reportedly was on set at the time of the accident. Production was immediately halted, and it was unclear when it will resume. 

Filming for the project kicked off in Pittsburgh in mid-September.

Emswiller had worked for decades as a sound mixer for a number of blockbuster Hollywood films. He picked up an Emmy for Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Limited Series or Movie in 2015 for the HBO biopic “Bessie.” His other credits include “The Avengers,” “Jack Reacher” and “The Fault in Our Stars,” according to IMDb. 

The Mister Rogers film, previously titled “You Are My Friend,” is inspired by the late children’s television icon’s friendship with journalist Tom Junod, who wrote a 1998 Esquire profile about him. 

The first image from the film, which is set to hit theaters Oct. 18, 2019, was released in September, showing Hanks dressed in Rogers’ signature cardigan.

This article has been updated to include a statement from a spokesman for Sony Pictures and Tristar Pictures. 



Entertainers We've Lost In 2018