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)

Mar 8, 2015

Jock Mahoney

Jock Mahoney (1919-1989), besides being an incredibly talented stuntman, was one of the few who became a movie and TV star. Born Jacques O'Mahoney, Jock excelled at swimming, basketball, and football at the University of Iowa. During World War II, Jock was a Marine flight instructor. After the war, Jock moved to Los Angeles and worked as a horse breeder. He soon became a stuntman doubling Charles Starrett in the Durango Kid westerns. Jock also doubled Gregory Peck, Errol Flynn, Randolph Scott, and Rod Cameron.

Below: Jock was very funny in the Three Stooges short, "Out West" (1947).

Below: Doubling Errol Flynn, Jock made a name for himself within the stunt community by performing this flying leap from a standing position in "Adventures of Don Juan" (1948). The catcher is Paul Baxley.

Below: In 1951, Jock starred in the TV series, "The Range Rider," which was executive produced by Gene Autry. In the series, Jock got to display his stunt skills along with Dick Jones, who played his sidekick.

Below: Jock starred in the 15 chapter Columbia serial, "Gunfighters of the Northwest" (1954).

Below: Jock became the 13th actor to portray Tarzan.

Below: In 1952, Jock married actress Margaret Field (far left). They had a daughter, Princess O'Mahoney (2nd from left), and Jock became the stepfather to actress Sally Field (3rd from left).

Below: Jock made appearances at several film conventions in the 1970's. This was at Houstoncon '75. Left to right: Don "Red" Barry, Jock, and Kirk Alyn.

Below: Jock at a Los Angeles film convention in 1979 (Photos taken by blog administrator).

Below: Jock Mahoney and Rodd Redwing (with series co-star Dick Jones doubling Redwing) in an exciting fight from the "Range Rider" episode, "Indian War Party" (1953)