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Actor Killed, Another Hurt on Set of 'Sliders' TV Series

September 21, 1996|ERIC SLATER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A 27-year-old Sherman Oaks actor was killed and another actor was injured Friday on the set of the action-adventure TV series "Sliders," when a dune buggy they were riding in overturned on a dry lake bed near Adelanto, authorities said.

Kenneth Keith Steadman, 27, was flown by helicopter from the set on El Mirage Dry Lake to San Bernardino County Medical Center after the 11:50 a.m. accident, said Randy Emon of the county coroner's office. He was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital.

The other actor, who was not identified, was treated for minor injuries at a hospital and released, said Libby Gill, a spokeswoman for MCA/Universal Television Group, makers of the program.

Friday's accident was the latest in a string of deaths--including two this August--that have led some entertainment community insiders to call for improved safety measures on sets.

Steadman and the other actor were appearing in guest roles on "Sliders," which stars John Rhys-Davies of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" fame and Jerry O'Connell.

A native of northern Washington, Steadman moved to Los Angeles five years ago to pursue acting, said his manager, Susan Ferris. His career was just beginning to blossom with guest spots last season on "NYPD Blue" and "Baywatch."

"Ken Steadman was a young and fabulous actor," Ferris said. "He was a very cool guy, very talented."

A fast-paced series about four people who can travel between dimensions to parallel universes, "Sliders" has never been a big ratings hit.

John Landis--who was making the film "The Twilight Zone" when a helicopter accident killed actor Vic Morrow and two children in 1982--was initially an executive producer on "Sliders," but has not had any day-to-day connection since its first season, sources said.

In December 1995, Woodland Hills stuntwoman Janet Wilder, 29, was killed in Florida when a boat stunt went awry while she was making the Disney movie "Gone Fishin'." Wilder was the fourth person to die while on a set in 1995.

In August, Paul Dallas, a 34-year-old stuntman working on the TV program "L.A. Heat," died after jumping from a 50-foot platform in Sun Valley.

Less than three weeks later, Michael Tamburro of Woodland Hills died when a military surplus AH-1 Cobra helicopter he was co-piloting crashed during filming of a commercial in the desert near Lancaster.

Times staff writer Brian Lowry and Associated Press contributed to this story.

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