Jul 25, 2014

Stunt Shots #1

                                           Here are some photos from various films.

Below: In "The Charge of the Light Brigade" (1936), Jack Ingram broke his arm, his wrist, and several ribs making this spectacular leap doubling for Errol Flynn. This convinced Jack that stuntwork wasn't for him. He went on to become a very busy actor in B-Westerns and serials.

Below: Great stunt from "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" (1963).

 This is the classic stunt from the TV series, "F Troop" (1965). The jumper is Louie Elias.

Below: Dave Sanders does a nice backward fall through a tempered glass window in "Action U.S.A." (1989).

Below: Bill Jenkins hits the pipe ramp as Dave Bartholomew barely gets out of the way in "Black Snow" (1990).

Jul 14, 2014

Dave O'Brien

Dave O'Brien (1912-1969) was born David Poole Fronabarger in Big Spring, Texas. He was a "jack of all trades" in the entertainment business. Dave started off as a dancer. He then found work as a stuntman and bit player and eventually started getting starring roles in westerns and serials. He was a popular actor with producers and directors because he could do his own stunts. In addition, he wrote songs for some of the westerns he starred in. If that weren't enough, he turned to TV as a writer for Red Skelton and won an Emmy.

Below: When two stunt greats go at it, you know serial fans are getting their money's worth. Yakima Canutt (left) and Dave O'Brien in "The Black Coin" (1936).

Below: Dave starred in the cult classic, "Reefer Madness" (1936).

Below: Dave (left) is about to give Jack Randall a serious headache in "Drifting Westward" (1939).

Below: Dave (left) co-starred with Mary Ainslee and Warren Hull in "The Spider Returns" (1941), a 15 chapter Columbia serial.

Below: Dave played the title role in the Columbia serial, "Captain Midnight" (1942).

Dave wrote, directed (as David Barclay), and starred in a popular and long running series of comedy shorts for Pete Smith in which Dave quickly became a pratfall fixture.

Below: left to right: Pete Smith, George Sidney, and Dave O'Brien.
The final film of the series, "The Fall Guy," is Pete Smith's tribute to Dave O'Brien. It is filled with clips of Dave's best work in the series. Smith called Dave, "the number one fall guy of the movies."

Sailing had long been a passion for Dave, and on board his beloved 60
foot cutter, The White Cloud, he succumbed to a heart attack on Nov. 8, 1969 at the age of 57.

Jul 13, 2014

Reg Parton

Regis Parton (1917-1996) was a Navy swimmer who made the 1940 US Olympic swim team although those Olympics were cancelled. He was working as a Santa Monica lifeguard when he started appearing in films. Reg was a member of the Stuntmen's Association. He was also Rory Calhoun's long time stunt double.

Reg has appeared in many films including "High Noon" (1952), "Blood Alley" (1955), "The Mole People" (1956), "Spartacus" (1960), "The Great Race" (1965), "Planet of the Apes" (1968), "Freebie and the Bean" (1974), "Earthquake" (1974), and "The Stunt Man" (1980).

Below: Reg played the Metaluna Mutant in "This Island Earth" (1955). Left to right: Rex Reason, Reg Parton, and Faith Domergue.

Below: Reg played a Calvary trooper in "Apache Territory" (1958). Left to right: Rory Calhoun, Reg Parton, John Dehner, and Barbara Bates.

Below: Terry-Thomas (right) steps aside as Reg doubles Milton Berle in "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" (1963).

Below: From "Butch and Sundance: The Early Days" (1979).
Standing (left to right): Greg Walker, Diamond Farnsworth, actor William Katt, Larry Holt, Chris Howell, Dick Warlock, Jack Verbois, Steve Chambers, and Kent Hays.
Kneeling (left to right): Walt Robles, Rock Walker, Loren Janes, Reg Parton, actor Tom Berenger, and Sorin Pricopie.

Below: Reg's daughter, Regina Parton, became a top stuntwoman in the 1970's.

Jul 11, 2014

Gary McLarty

Gary Raymond McLarty (1940-2014) is a great example of an "all-around" stuntman. He was a competitive motorcycle racer, expert car driver, excellent with fights, and had experience riding broncos in rodeos. In the early 1960's, he met Hal Needham who was very helpful in getting Gary started in the stunt business.

Gary appeared in "The War Wagon" (1967), "Ice Station Zebra" (1968), "The Wild Bunch" (1969), "Beneath the Planet of the Apes" (1970), "Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry" (1974), "Blade Runner" (1982), "The Terminator" (1984), "Jurassic Park" (1993), and was the stunt coordinator on many big films including "Animal House" (1978), "The Blues Brothers" (1980), and "Beverly Hills Cop" (1984).

Below: Gary appeared in "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." episode, "The Suburbia Affair" (1967).

The photos below are from Gary's personal stunt brochure from the 1970's.

Below: From "The Losers" (1970)

Below: Gary played the driver in "McQ" (1974) starring John Wayne. In the back seat of the car are stuntmen Bobby Bass (left) and Chuck Roberson (right).
In "McQ," Gary performed the first cannon roll car stunt.

 He was interviewed afterwards.

Below: Gary had an amusing cameo in "The Blues Brothers" (1980). 

Below: Gary (left) and a co-worker on the set of "The Prophet" (1999).

Here are some interesting facts about Gary McLarty.

Gary's nickname is "Whiz Kid."

Gary was a member of Stunts Unlimited.

In his youth, Gary was living at the McKinley Home for Boys in Los Angeles. When "East of Eden" (1955) starring James Dean filmed there, Gary worked as an extra.

On "Twilight Zone: The Movie" (1983), Gary was riding in the helicopter when it crashed killing actor Vic Morrow and two children.

 In 1991, Gary shot and killed a house guest who had threatened to kill him. It was ruled a "justifiable homicide" and Gary was not charged.

In 2005, Gary testified in court that actor Robert Blake had solicited him to murder Blake's wife, Bonnie Lee Bakley.

On Oct. 11, 2014, Gary and stuntman Bob Orrison were killed in a car accident.

Jul 4, 2014

Bill Couch

Bill Couch (1926-1999), like his older brother Chuck Couch, was a circus performer specializing in high wire work including the sway pole act. He joined Chuck in Hollywood and became one of the best "high men" in the stunt business. Bill was the stunt coordinator on many films including "King Kong" (1976), "Logan's Run" (1976), "The Great Wallendas" (1978), "The Final Countdown" (1980), "Vice Squad" (1982), "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" (1982), and "Ghostbusters" (1984).

Below: Bill Couch performing his sway pole act in a Wild West show in Thailand in 1957.

Below: Bill doubled Spencer Tracy in "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" (1963).

Below: Bill gets a fright from Herman Munster in "The Munsters" episode, "Grandpa Leaves Home" (1964).

Below: Bill (right) appeared in "The Silencers" (1966) starring Dean Martin as Matt Helm. On the left is actor Richard Devon.

Below: Doubling Richard Jaeckel, Bill does a high fall for "The Devil's Brigade" (1968).

Below: Bill played a suicide jumper in "Dirty Harry" (1971)
and gets punched by Clint Eastwood (left).

Below: Bill appeared in the "Magnum P.I." episode, "Kapu" (1986).