A Salute to the Stunt Doubles of Style Icons…
Sean Connery with stunt double Big John McLaughlin, Never Say Never Again, 1983
When the city of Fort Lauderdale recognized Big John McLaughlin, Shogun of the Sea, with a star on the Walk of Fame earlier this year, he responded, “Does one have to be alive to collect it?” It likely was not the first time Mr. McLaughlin asked some form of this question, having pioneered diving, stunt rigging and motion picture safety techniques in the late 1950s that are still in use to this day. Jaws simply wouldn’t have been a scary movie if it weren’t for Big John.
“I guess the craziest thing they ever asked me to do was bite a live tiger shark,” he reminisces. But his favorite was doubling 007 in eight Bond films, including Thunderball, in which he doubled 34 different people.
Allow us to join the city of Fort Lauderdale in raising a glass to Big John, the Shogun, and all the brave men who have kept our precious style icons safe over the years. To that end, we close the week with…
A salute to the stunt doubles of style icons.
Harrison Ford and Vic Armstrong, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, 1988
Frank Sinatra and Alex Stevens, The Lady in Cement, Miami Boardwalk, 1968
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Billy Lucas, Terminator 3, 2002
Marlon Brando and Paul Baxley, The Appaloosa, 1966
Tom Selleck and Tom Lupo, Magnum, P.I., 1987
Bruce Willis with Stuart F. Wilson and Danny Downey, Cop Out, 2010
John Cenatiempo and Buddy Joe Hooker, stunt doubles for Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, Righteous Kill, 2007
George Clooney and stunt double, Burn After Reading, 2007
Clint Eastwood and Buddy Van Horn, The Enforcer, 1975
Steve McQueen and Bud Ekins, The Great Escape, 1962
Paul Newman and Max Kleven, Silent Movie, 1975
Isaac Hayes and Eddie Smith, Truck Turner, 1973
Daniel Craig and Ben Cooke, Skyfall, 2011
Ringo Starr and Joe Dunne, Help, 1964
Watch your step this weekend, gentlemen.
- — C. Brian Smith