But he didn’t have to be hurled into arcade games for long. Fraser landed his breakout film role in 1992’s Encino Man. In it, he played an ice-entombed caveman who is defrosted in the present day – a silly fish-out-of-water story made unexpectedly great by Fraser’s performance. The film received terrible reviews, but ultimately succeeded at the box office. It put Fraser on the path to stardom.
And stardom duly arrived with 1997’s George of the Jungle. The snappy children’s comedy established Fraser as not only a talented leading man, but also as a bit of a sex symbol. His physique was on display throughout the movie, and people liked what they saw. Fraser had all the qualities of an A-list actor, and he was well on his way there.
Next up came The Mummy, a hugely successful movie but one that was an utter nightmare to film. The cast found themselves working in scorching hot conditions, with dangerous spider and snake encounters a common problem. But Fraser suffered more than most. In fact, things went drastically wrong during one stunt that featured Fraser’s character strung up on a noose. Terrifyingly, a problem with the tension in the rope meant the actor was close to being hanged for real. Indeed, Fraser actually stopped breathing and nearly died.