Oct 25, 2015

Charles Horvath

Charles Horvath (1920-1978) was one of the busiest stuntmen in the business, who segued into character parts and played everything from Indian warriors, African chiefs, Mexican bandits and more. A former college football player, Charles was a sergeant with the U.S. Marines during World War II where he was an instructor in judo and karate. He was the service jiu jitsu champion and wrote the Marine Corp manual on hand-to-hand combat training. He was also the personal bodyguard to General Eisenhower. After the war, he trained with Allen Pomeroy to become a stuntman. Charles doubled many actors including Burt Lancaster, Rock Hudson, Vincent Price, Jack Palance, and Randolph Scott. In the 1960's, Charles injured his back and had to stop performing stunts for a living. He became a bartender at the Backstage, a famous watering hole near Republic Studios.

Below: Charles gives Mickey Rooney a lift while actor Timothy Carey watches in "Francis in the Haunted House" (1956)

Below: Charles (with beard) is about to have a fight with Robert Vaughn in "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." episode, "The Yukon Affair" (1965).

Below: Stuntman Chuck Bail (left) and Charles (right) appeared in "The Big Valley" episode, "Last Train to the Fair (1966).

Below: Charles played one of the Catwoman's henchmen in the "Batman" episode, "The Cat and the Fiddle" (1966). Left to right: George Barrows (famous for his gorilla impersonations), Julie Newmar, and Charles.

Charles appeared in this short film called "Marines in the Making" in 1943.

Jun 16, 2015

Great Car Stunts #1

From "The Hitcher" (1986), stuntmen Eddy Donno and Kenny Endoso perform this double cannon roll. One of the best executed and filmed car stunts ever.

Here is the stunt.


Below: Eddy Donno

and Kenny Endoso.

May 22, 2015

Tom Huff

Thomas J. Huff (1943-2006) started out as a professional boxer. Actor and boxing enthusiast Robert Conrad was impressed by Tommy's abilities and gave him work on his series, "The Wild Wild West." Tom went on to become a top stuntman in the business. He has worked on many films including: "Little Big Man" (1970), "Slaughter's Big Rip-Off" (1973), "Earthquake" (1974), "Convoy" (1978), "Steel" (1979), "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" (1982), "Octopussy" (1983), "Scarface" (1983), "To Live and Die in L.A." (1985), "Lethal Weapon 2" (1989), "Thelma and Louise" (1991), "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" (1991), "Bram Stoker's Dracula" (1992), "Speed" (1994), "From Dusk Till Dawn" (1996), "Batman & Robin" (1997), "The One" (2001), and "Daredevil" (2003). Tom was a member of Stunts Unlimited.

Below: From "The Night of the Doomsday Formula" episode of "The Wild Wild West" (1968). Left to right: Red West, Tom Huff, and Dick Cangey.

Below: Tom (left) doubling Jerry Reed in a terrific fight scene with Burt Reynolds in "Gator" (1976).

Below: Tom (right) appeared in the "making of" featurette for "Logan's Run" (1976).

Below: From "Hooper" (1978). Left to right: stuntmen Jophery Brown, Stan Barrett, Buddy Joe Hooker, actors Alfie Wise and Hal Floyd, and Tom Huff.

Below: Tom fights David Harris in Walter Hill's action classic, "The Warriors" (1979).

Below: Tom (left) doubled Dan Aykroyd and Eddy Donno (right) doubled John Belushi in "The Blues Brothers" (1980).

May 6, 2015

Marvin Walters

Marvin James Walters (b. 1938) became one of the first black all-around stunt performers. Marvin was involved in increasing minority employment within the stunt community. He was a member of the Stuntmen's Association and a co-founder of the Black Stuntmen's Association.

Marvin worked as a stuntman on many films including "What's Up, Doc?" (1972), "Blazing Saddles" (1974), "Freebie and the Bean" (1974), "Earthquake" (1974), "Glory" (1989), "RoboCop 2" (1990), and "Armageddon" (1998). 

Some of Marvin's stunt coordinator credits include "Shaft's Big Score" (1972), "The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries" (1978), "Dogs of War" (1980), and "Keaton's Cop" (1989).

Below: Marvin (left) is doubling Max Julien and Ronnie Rondell is doubling Michael Cole in "The Mod Squad" episode, "The Guru" (1968) directed by Richard Rush ("The Stunt Man").

Below: Marvin appeared in the "Star Trek" episode, "The Cloud Minders" (1969). Left to right: Marvin Walters, Charlene Polite, and stuntman Louie Elias.

He was involved in a fight with Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy).

Below: Richard Roundtree (left) and his stunt double, Marvin Walters, in "Shaft's Big Score" (1972).

Apr 30, 2015

Bob Miles

Bob Miles' (1927-2007) parents were both stunt performers. Bob worked in films from a young age. After World War II, Bob worked at RKO Studios and was studio head Howard Hughes' driver for several years.

Bob has worked on many films including "Spartacus" (1960), "The Slime People" (1963), "The Great Bank Robbery" (1969), "Dirty Harry" (1971), and "Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers" (1988). Bob was a member of the Stuntmen's Association.

Below: Bob (left) was Michael Landon's stunt double on the TV series, "Bonanza."

Below: From 1948 to 1954, Bob was married to actress Vera Miles, who co-starred in Alfred Hitchcock's, "Psycho" (1960).

Below: Bob (right) appeared in a fight scene with Robert Conrad (left) in "The Wild Wild West" episode, "The Night of the Brain" (1967).

Below: Bob played a fast draw gunman in "The Wild Wild West" episode, "The Night of the Surreal McCoy" (1967).

Below: Bob (far left) played a Klingon brawler in the classic "Star Trek" episode, "The Trouble with Tribbles" (1967).

Below: Bob takes a squib hit in "Nightmare at Noon" (1988).

Bob retired to Utah, where his enjoyed golfing and boating. He passed away in 2007.

Apr 21, 2015

Bob Minor

Bob Minor (b. 1944) was an excellent athlete in high school and received a scholarship to Pepperdine University. He became a competitive body builder, winning several contests. Bob met some stuntmen at a gym, and they convinced him to get into the stunt business. Bob became the first black member of the Stuntmen's Association. Bob has worked on many films including "Blacula" (1973), "Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry" (1974), "Earthquake" (1974), "Swashbuckler" (1976), "The Beastmaster" (1982), "Glory" (1989), and "National Treasure" (2004). Bob has played many roles as an actor and was the stunt coordinator for the TV series, "Magnum P.I." (1980-1988).

Below: Bob played a member of the Houston team in "Rollerball" (1975) starring James Caan.

Below: Doubling Sidney Poitier in "Let's Do It Again" (1975), Bob made an impressive 19 foot jump between two 13 story buildings.

Below: Bob makes sure Nick Nolte gets the point in "The Deep" (1977).

Below: Stuntman Nick Dimitri and Bob get taken for a ride by Ryan O'Neal (right) in Walter Hill's, "The Driver" (1978).

Below: The original Black Stuntmen and Women. Top row: (left to right) Melvin Jones, Willie Harris, Tony Brubaker, Henry Kingi, and Bob Minor. Center row: John Mitchell, Len Glascow, John Sherrod, Julius LeFlore, and Ernie Robinson. Bottom row: Perry Fluker, Greg Elam, Jolly Brown, Evelyn Cuffee, Louise Johnson, and Eddie Smith.

Apr 11, 2015

Bill Shannon

Bill Shannon (1934-1981) was a tumbler, judo expert, and rodeo cowboy prior to his stunt career. He has appeared in many films including, "Spartacus" (1960), "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" (1963), "Little Big Man" (1970), "Magnum Force" (1973), and "Blazing Saddles" (1974). Bill was a member of the Stuntmen's Association.

Below: Production photo from "The High Chaparral" episode, "A Fella Named Kilroy" (1969). On the horses (left to right) are Bill Shannon, stuntman Chuck Bail, and actor Bert Freed. Standing in front of the horses are actors Ron Hayes and Cameron Mitchell.

Below: Bill appeared in some episodes of "The Wild Wild West." This is from the episode, "The Night of the Surreal McCoy" (1967). Left to right: stuntmen Bob Miles, Bob Herron, Whitey Hughes, actor Michael Dunn, stuntman John Hudkins, Bill Shannon, and actor Quintin Sondergaard.

Below: Bill played Sgt. White in "The Green Berets" (1968) starring John Wayne.

Below: Bill Shannon in "Blue" (1968)

Below: Bill was one of the stuntmen involved in the famous bridge explosion in "The Wild Bunch" (1969).

Below: Bill gets the drop on James Caan in "Freebie and the Bean" (1974).

Billy Shannon died of a heart attack at the age of 46.

Mar 31, 2015

Gene LeBell

Gene LeBell (b. 1932) has a well deserved reputation as "the toughest man alive." Gene's mother, Aileen Eaton, was the owner of the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles where Gene learned wrestling from Ed "Strangler" Lewis and Lou Thesz. He was a professional wrestler before becoming a stuntman. He has had screen fights with stars like Elvis Presley, Clint Eastwood, Jim Brown, and Bruce Lee. Gene was a member of the Stuntmen's Association before moving over to Stunts Unlimited.

Below: "Judo" Gene won the A.A.U. National Judo Championships (both heavyweight and overall) in 1954 and 1955. In 1963, Gene participated in the first televised mixed martial arts contest. In that bout, Gene choked out boxer Milo Savage in the fourth round.

Below: Gene played Mr. Kryptonite when George Reeves (left) made public appearances as Superman. Also pictured: Noel Neill, who played Lois Lane.

Below: Gene (right) appeared on "The Jack Benny Show" (with Jack playing the referee). On the left is "Count" Billy Varga.

 Below: Gene was in "4 for Texas" (1963) starring Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. To Gene's right are stuntmen Charles Picerni, Hal Needham, and Paul Stader.

Below: Gene with Fred Gwynne, who is in costume as Herman Munster.

Below: Gene in a funny scene with Eddie Murphy in "The Golden Child" (1986).

Below: Gene is a friend and mentor to champion MMA fighter, Ronda Rousey.

 Below: Gene appeared with Bruce Lee in the "Ironside" episode, "Tagged for Murder" (1967)