Of the more than 90 movies featuring the Empire State Building, none is more famous than 1933’s “King Kong,” which ends with the titular giant ape scaling the skyscraper and being attacked by swarming biplanes. The original scene was shot in a studio, but for the film’s 50th anniversary in April 1983, a balloon company president tried to recreate it by attaching a inflatable King Kong to the Empire State’s mooring mast. Unfortunately, the $150,000 stunt didn’t go as planned. The 84-foot Kong balloon suffered a tear while being inflated, ruining a plan to have it buzzed by vintage aircraft. It was finally inflated a few days later, but it only stayed on the building for a short time before another rip forced the project to be scrapped altogether.
On May 1, 1947, 23-year-old Evelyn McHale leapt to her death from the 86th floor observation deck and landed on a limousine parked at the curb. Photography student Robert Wiles took a photo of McHale's oddly intact corpse a few minutes after her death. The police found a suicide note among possessions that she left on the observation deck: "He is much better off without me.... I wouldn’t make a good wife for anybody". The photo ran in the May 12, 1947 edition of Life magazine  and is often referred to as "The Most Beautiful Suicide". It was later used by visual artist Andy Warhol in one of his prints entitled Suicide (Fallen Body) .