Bean vs. Biehn: Who Has the Best Death?

If Sean Bean or Michael Biehn show up in a movie, don’t get too attached.

If Sean Bean or Michael Biehn show up in a movie, don’t get too attached.

Photo: HBO & Twentieth Century fox | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

Bean and Biehn are toast! When faced with two actors with similar-sounding names who keep dying in movies, there’s only one thing to do: Decide which actor is better at dying. This is how science works.



Photo: Orion Pictures Corporation | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

You travel all the way through time to save the world, you impregnate a chick with bad ‘80s hair and then you die. R.I.P. Kyle Reese. We really mean that. Rest! Don’t make any more Terminator movies.

Between Aliens and Alien 3

While Aliens is a modern movie classic, the heroic character of Hicks dies off screen before the third movie even begins. Even Hitler hates the shoddy writing of the third installment, as proof of the above clip. (Yes, these Hitler spoofs are tired, but this one still makes us laugh.)


If you going to get shot, might as well get shot by a scene-stealing Val Kilmer in one of his best roles. No offense, Mr. Biehn, but you can’t really out-act Kilmer, and so you must die.

The Abyss

Some think Biehn’s Navy SEAL character, Lt. Coffey, is a psycho in The Abyss, but he’s really just a victim of circumstance. The deep sea doesn’t agree with his mental health. When he’s crushed in the mini-sub, you might cheer, but we sigh and whisper, “So long, Lt. Coffey. We hardly knew thee. Hey?! Is that Chris Elliott!?!?!”

The Rock

Once again, Ed Harris (The Abyss) is at odds with the Biehn-ster. The above clip of the shower showdown on Alcatraz is easily our favorite non-Nicolas Cage/non-Sean Connery scene from the entire movie.

Honorable Mentions:

Biehn also doesn’t live to see the end of Planet Terror (blows himself up), Jade (shot by Chazz Palminteri), Mojave Moon (plummets off a cliff in an exploding car) and Cherry Falls (which, apparently, is a movie).


Game of Thrones

As sad-sack Eddard Stark, Sean Bean plays perhaps the least-villainous role of his career. Too bad the role ends in the first season when he’s beheaded by the dicky King Joffrey. Oh, and SPOILER ALERT.

Lord of the Rings

Sean had the thankless role of Boromir, the somewhat corrupt human member of the Fellowship. Not a single child saw this movie and screamed, “I want to be Boromir for Halloween…because I don’t have the self-esteem or attitude to be Aragorn.” Or maybe kids don’t like him because he gets killed by an arrow to the chest and then shoved down a waterfall.


Christian Bale shoots Sean Bean in the face, through a book of poetry. It’s so poignant that during the scene a film professors calls you and says, “Do you get it? You get it, right? It’s important. Film!”


Proof that a Bond villain doesn’t need to have weaponized hats or a sexy name, the cool and scarred 006 finally bites it by being thrown off a satellite dish and then the satellite dish ‘splodes.

Patriot Games

Before facing off against James Bond, Bean took on the American (and less cool) version of James Bond, Jack Ryan, played by Harrison Ford. Ford fights Bean on a speedboat that ‘splodes. It’s a tense scene, because when we first saw it in 1992 we didn’t yet know that Bean always dies, so there was a very real feeling of suspense. Now we know better.

The Field

He’s been killed by Pierce Brosnan, Harrison Ford and Batman, but the very best Sean Bean death is from The Field, when a herd of cattle shove him off a cliff. Stop laughing. It’s not funny. It’s really, really sad. (And funny.)

Honorable Mentions:

Don’t Say a Word (buried alive), Black Death (torn apart by horses), most every other movie he’s been in.

WINNER: Michael Biehn!

Photo: Buena Vista Pictures | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

His death scenes, while expected, are still somewhat shocking and much more dramatic. Plus, Sean Bean is riding high on the success of Game of Thrones…until he got beheaded. (SPOILER AGAIN?) Michael Biehn needs a win right now. Let him have this one. Way to go, Mike!  

Runner-Up: Rowan Atkinson

Photo Courtesy of Universal Studios | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

Third Place: Sean Bean

Photo: HBO | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

Note to Hollywood: Sean might want to star in a fun romantic comedy. He’s just too shy to ask. Don’t tell me him we told you, OK?