Jun 29, 2013

Yakima Canutt

Enos Edward "Yakima" Canutt (1895-1986), a true legend of the stunt profession, created new methods of performing stunts with horses that made the stunts not only safer for the stuntman but also safer for the horse. He also pioneered choreography in fight scenes to portray more realistic and exciting action sequences.

Below: Yakima was a four time world champion bronc rider and a star attraction on the rodeo circuit as an all-around cowboy.

Based on his rodeo popularity, Yakima starred in a series of silent westerns for producer Ben Wilson.
With the coming of sound, Yak became more interested in stunt work.

Below: Yakima as an ape-man.

Below: John Wayne and Yakima Canutt in "The Star Packer" (1934)

Below: Left to right: Yakima Canutt, Frank McGlynn, Jr., John Wayne and Glenn Strange in "Lawless Range" (1935)

Below: Yak doubled John Carroll in the 12 chapter Republic serial, "Zorro Rides Again" (1937)

Yak appeared as a renegade in "Gone with the Wind" (1939.) He also doubled Clark Gable in the burning of Atlanta sequence.

Below: Yakima Canutt performing a "running W" in "Stagecoach" (1939)

Below: First time published photo of Yakima Canutt and Sunset Carson at a Western awards luncheon at the Universal Studios commissary on May 26, 1979.

Yakima has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and he also has an honorary Oscar.

Yakima went on to a successful career as a second unit director and stunt coordinator. He staged the action sequences in movies including "Ben-Hur," "Where Eagles Dare," and "Breakheart Pass."