While you probably remember the names of great actors and actresses along with many details about the roles that they portray, it is very likely that you cannot name a single driver of stunt cars. Yet, these professionals put their lives on the line every day to make scenes in your favorite action movies come to life. Here are six individuals who deserve to be recognized for their work.
Harvey Parry is one of the earliest drivers to drive fast cars in movies. He was working as a prop man in Hollywood where he was paid $80 a week to move props around various movies when he discovered that he could make $35 for wrecking a car. He took a chance and continued to take them for more than 65 years. He performed stunts for John Wayne, Shirley Temple, Mary Pickford, Clark Gable, and many others. He passed away in 1985. While his pay started out extremely low, it eventually rose to where he was making over $330 a week.
For over 61 years, Carey Loftin drove some of the fastest cars in the movies. He was the stunt man behind The French Connection, Vanishing Point, Thunder Road, Bullitt, and The Duel. He is also a very accomplished motorcycle stunt rider. Proving that you are never too old to still have quick reflexes, he drove his last stunt in a semi-truck in the movie Black Dog when he was 77 years old. He passed away in 1997.
Like Carey Loftin, Bill Hickman performed stunts in Bullitt and The French Connection along with many other famous movies. His most famous work, however, was as a stunt double in many productions for James Dean. He also went on to become one of the industry’s best stunt coordinators. Much of his later work was done for Disney where he did the coordination for Love Bug. He also performed small parts in many films, including The Man From UNCLE.
One of the most talented people on the big screen was Hal Needham. He started as a stuntman on the television show Have Gun, Will Travel. He also designed many of the earliest pieces of equipment, like airbags, to protect stuntman. Some of his most famous work was when he would act as a double for Burt Reynolds. He also may have set the world’s land record in 1973 for designing the first car to break the sound barrier, but that claim is disputed. He also was a race car owner.
Thanks to the hard work and high standards set by these four individuals the movie industry is much stronger. If you need stunt drivers today, then contact Precision Drivers of Atlanta. They are some of the most professional drivers you will ever work with as they exemplify high professional standards in every stunt that they perform.