Daniel Hoevels was an actor, who though born in Sweden, was a noted German actor. He was perhaps most famed for drawing attention to the Hamburg theater, and for almost fatally slicing his neck acting out a suicide scene. He was acting out the character Mortimer in a play called Mary Stewart.
Hoevels was using a knife for the big scene. The dulled knife he had been using for previous performance was broken, and so Hoevels was using a replacement knife from the store. Unknown to Hoevels, his request that the knife be dulled like the other one was not followed. Because Hoevels did not know it was still sharp, he sliced deep into his own neck with it.
The audience, thinking the bleeding was a special effect, did not notice he was actually injured. Some reports say that they actually clapped for his excellent performance. No one in the audience knew anything had happened until he didn’t show up to bow at the end of the show.
Instead, he was rushed to a hospital for stitches. He would have died if the knife had gone just a little deeper and struck his carotid artery. Not one for taking a break, Hoevels returned to act at the Hamburg theater the very next day.