‘Jackass’ Stars Johnny Knoxville and Steve-O Celebrate the Late Ryan Dunn’s 45th Birthday

by Samantha Whidden

On Saturday (June 11th), stars of “Jackass” Johnny Knoxville and Steve-O took to their Instagram accounts to share special tributes to the late Ryan Dunn for what would have been his 45th birthday. 

In his post, Johnny Knoxville shared a snapshot of the late “Jackass” co-star and wrote, “Happy birthday Ryan, we sure love and miss you buddy.”

Meanwhile, fellow “Jackass” castmate Steve-O shared a snapshot of Dunn along with his mother, Donna, whose birthday was on June 11th as well. She passed away in 2003. “Happy birthday, Mom and Ryan… I love and miss you both…”

In June 2011, Ryan Dunn and production assistant on “Jackass Number Two,” Zachary Hartwell, were returning from a West Chester, Pennsylvania bar when Dunn veered off the road and struck a tree. His vehicle, a Porsche 911 GT3, burst into flames. Both Dunn and Hartwell were killed in the accident. Dunn was only 34-years-old at the time of his death. Prior to the incident, Dunn and Hartwell were seen at the West Chester bar, Barnaby’s. CNN reported at the time that preliminary investigations suggested that Dunn’s car had been traveling between 132 and 140 miles per hour (212 and 225 km/h) in a 55 miles per hour (89 km/h) zone at the time of the crash.

Following the deadly crash, the parents of the “Jackass” assistant filed a civil lawsuit naming the co-administrators of Dunn’s estate as defendants as well as Barnaby’s bar in West Chester. The lawsuit claimed that negligence and recklessness resulted in the wrongful death of Hartwell. The family sought funds for Hartwell’s funeral, wages due to his behind-the-scenes, and stunt work on the “Jackass” projects.  It remains unclear what the resolution of the lawsuit was. 

Johnny Knoxville Said He Felt ’34 Percent Funnier’ When He Was With Ryan Dunn

Following Ryan Dunn’s passing, “Jackass” star Johnny Knoxville reportedly took to his blog to write about his friendship with his late co-star. “I felt 34 percent funnier when I was with Ryan, but I guess everyone did,” Knoxville wrote. 

The “Jackass” cast member also stated that Dunn had such a hair-trigger laugh reflex. “He lived his life wanting to laugh and wanting you to laugh with him. He would cackle really f–king loud, too, and it wasn’t uncommon that he would fall over from it. Sometimes I would fall with him because his spirit was very contagious.”

Knoxville further described Dunn as a good listener who even had a serious side. “If you were having troubles, he was always someone you could go sit down and talk to. Granted, most of our sitting down was actually standing up playing pool together, but he was always there if you were sad about something. That’s why all this is even harder because right now I really need to talk to him but I can’t.”