Stars Who Were Kidnapped

Some people think of celebrities as people without a care in the world. But that's not true. In fact, they're open to the same dangers as the rest of us. Some of them have even been kidnapped, due to their celebrity status. Here are some famous folks who need to pay a little extra for security...

Jeremy London

It's been a long time since Jeremy London appeared in Mallrats and Party of Five, and yet someone still thought it'd be a good idea to kidnap him back in June 2010. In one of the most bizarre stories ever, several men had stopped to help London change a flat tire. Once that was done, they abducted him, drove around with him for a while and forced him to smoke ecstasy and methamphetamine. They then ditched him and stole his car. It's such a strange story that even his mother and twin brother doubted it, according to People magazine. The reason for their skepticism? London is a recovering drug addict. Another theory is that perhaps his family thought the whole thing was a publicity stunt to regain some kind of attention. But in March 2011, one of his abductors plead guilty, vindicating the actor. London probably had a party right after he framed that headline.

Shin Sang-Ok And Choi Eun-hee

Not a lot of people know this, but North Korea's late dictator Kim Jong-il was a movie fanatic. In fact, he loved, oddly enough, Elizabeth Taylor and Rambo. He was so into movies that in 1977 he kidnapped South Korean film director Shin Sang-ok and his actress ex-wife Choi Eun-hee in order to force them to make films for him. During their eight years of captivity, they produced seven films, the best known being Pulgasari, a socialist propaganda film featuring a monster touted to be mightier than Godzilla. (It's even available on Amazon!) Kim Jong-il was attached to each film as a producer. Shin and Choi's North Korean odyssey came to an end in 1986, when they escaped to the American embassy in Austria, while there for a film festival. They have yet to receive any royalty checks for any of their North Korean films.

Meenakshi Thapar

In one of the more grisly instances of celebrity abduction, Indian actress Meenakshi Thapar was kidnapped and murdered in 2012. During filming for the movie Heroine, fellow actors overheard Thapar bragging about her family's wealth and decided to hold her for 1.5 million rupees, which is about $29,000. When the stories of her family's wealth turned out to be false, her captors murdered her. They were later caught when her SIM card was found on them, according to the International Business Times.

Thomas "Fats" Waller

Jazz icon Thomas "Fats" Waller was kidnapped in order to be a birthday present for notorious mobster Al Capone. Waller was something of a prodigy, playing professionally by the age of 15. His talent caught the attention of some of Capone's men. According to the Independent, after a night of playing at the Sherman Hotel in 1926, Waller was escorted at gunpoint to a limousine. Understandably, he thought he was going to die. Instead, he was taken to a saloon, where he was pushed in front of a piano and told to play. During a break when his music was met with applause, he noticed that the loudest clapper was the infamous Al Capone. When the party ended after three days, Waller found himself with a few thousand dollars in tips in his pockets and a story few of his friends would ever be able to top.

Alex Band

The timing of the events in this story are a little too close for coincidence. Alex Band, lead singer of early 2000s group The Calling, claims that he was abducted, assaulted, and robbed one day back in 2013, according to CNN. The event left him with some serious injuries, including a spinal fracture and a few broken teeth. Of course, this alleged abduction did occur around the same time that Band announced he reformed the long-forgotten The Calling with a whole new group of guys. Despite this, he swears it's not a hoax, and he didn't kidnap and beat himself up. Crime or cry for attention? You be the judge.

Cindy Birdsong

Cindy Birdsong, formerly of Patti LaBelle and the Bluebells and the Supremes, has a pretty crazy kidnapping story. According to Rare Soul, back in 1969, Birdsong was returning home with her boyfriend and a friend, when she was abducted at knifepoint by her neighbor, Charles L. Collier. Collier forced Birdsong to tie up her boyfriend and the friend. Collier then forced Birdsong into his car then drove away with her. After some time, and probably tired of being with her abductor, Birdsong grabbed the knife by the blade then jumped out of the car, which was moving at 40 miles per hour. She suffered some cuts and bruises, but she also got away. Collier was caught four days later. That just leaves one big question: how has nobody made a movie about this yet?

Benedict Cumberbatch

Back before he became a household name, super-talented actor Benedict Cumberbatch, along with two friends, had a harrowing encounter with gunmen just north of Durban in South Africa. Back in 2005, after Cumberbatch and his friends stopped to change a flat tire, six gunmen surprised them and demanded their money. Cumberbatch said in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter that his abductors bound him and his friends and drove them to a remote area, where they threw him on the ground. Terrified, he thought that he was going to die. But then he was inexplicably let go. The whole incident left Cumberbatch seeing life as a completely wonderful experience.

Russell Crowe

Russell Crowe was never actually kidnapped, but there was a plot to kidnap him, which was confirmed by the FBI. According to Today, al-Qaida plotted to kidnap Crowe as part of something called a "cultural destabilization plot" targeting "iconographic Americans" back in March 2001. According to Crowe, it was the first time he'd ever heard of the terrorist organization. In addition to the security team Crowe hired, he received some extra protection from the FBI agents who shadowed him. Probably because of this, these plans never materialized. Or we guess al-Qaida must have finally realized that Crowe's not American; he was born in New Zealand.