You never know when you’ll kick the bucket. You won’t know what will be your last meal, what will be the last song you whistled, or where you will take your last step. It’s that uncertainty that both haunts and motivates us as humans. It’s the same with performers. They'll never know which role will be the last time they'll step in front of the camera.

Sometimes, final performances are not the ones actors wish to be remembered by. Yet for a lucky bunch, some final performances end up becoming the best work they’ve ever done. Not many people have the opportunity to leave on a high note, so while it is sad when an actor passes away, it’s rather nice that they left behind a great work before moving on to whatever is next, probably community theater in heaven.

Here’s a list of 11 final performances that left audiences cheering and provided posthumous honors.

JAMES DEAN got a speeding ticket hours before he died GIANT CRACKED.COM While making Giant (for which he received an Oscar nom), Dean filmed an ironic car safety PSA. Drive safely, because the life you save may be mine. One month later, Dean died when a Ford custom coupe swerved

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