Dec 27, 2013

Chuck Couch

Charles Edward Couch (1922-1991)

Stuntmen didn't come any tougher or nicer than Chuck Couch. As a youth, he helped his family through rough times by going into a bar and saying, "I'll fight anybody here, if you'll pass the hat." Besides being a boxer, Chuck was a seasoned circus performer. He was proficient at trapeze, tightrope walking, and the sway pole act, where he would do a hand stand on a sixty foot high pole and sway from side to side. At one performance, Chuck was given the center ring. The leader of a famous circus family objected to this saying, "we always have the center ring." He then challenged Chuck to meet him later and settle it. When Chuck arrived, the leader of the troupe showed up with two of his brothers. Chuck easily defeated the three. The leader of the troupe said, "You didn't tell me you were a boxer," to which Chuck replied, "You didn't tell me you were bringing your brothers." In his autobiography, Hal Needham described Chuck Couch as "fearless." 

Below: That's Chuck on the trampoline as his brother Bill Couch (left) and Elvis Presley (3rd from right) watch in "G.I. Blues" (1960)

Below: Chuck played a bounty hunter in the "Have Gun - Will Travel" episode, "Bandit" (1962)

Chuck also appeared in the "Have Gun - Will Travel" episode, "Dream Girl" (1962)

Below: In the early 1960's, Chuck appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show." Left to right: Ed Sullivan, Richard Boone, Chuck Couch, and Hal Needham.

Below: Chuck doubled Stephen Boyd in the circus musical, "Billy Rose's Jumbo" (1962) starring Doris Day.

Below: Chuck Couch (left), doubling Richard Long, is fighting Chuck Bail in the "Big Valley" episode, "The Guilt of Matt Bentell" (1965)

Chuck (right) appeared as a Henchman in the "Batman's Satisfaction" episode of "Batman" (1967). Doubling Adam West (Batman) is Hubie Kerns and Bennie Dobbins is doubling Van Williams (Green Hornet). Bruce Lee as Kato was also in the scene.

Below: From the "Tag, You're It" episode of "I Spy" (1968). Left to right: Bill Cosby, Chuck Couch, stuntman Jerry Summers, and Robert Culp.

Below: Chuck appeared in the "Hawaii Five-O" episode, "Not That Much Different" (1969)

Below: Chuck appeared in the "Hawaii Five-O" episode, "And a Time to Die" (1970).

Below: Rare photo of Chuck Couch (left) and stuntman Chuck Bail on location in Peru for "The Last Movie" (1971)

Chuck was the stunt coordinator and stunt double for Jack Lord on the TV series, "Hawaii Five-O" for over ten years. While living in Hawaii, Chuck invested in real estate, buying several condos. He made a lot of money renting them out.