D-E-A-D: Hal Needham (Stuntman/Actor/Director/Writer)


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D-E-A-D: Hal Needham (Stuntman/Actor/Director/Writer)
Age - 82 (1931/03/06 - 2013/10/25): cause - cancer.

A U.S. Army Korean War veteran (paratrooper)

Started out in the movie industry as a stunt double for several famous actors, working on TV and in motion pictures.

An innovator to the (stunt) industry; inventions: the air ram, air bag, the car cannon turnover, the nitrogen ratchet, the jerk-off ratchet, rocket power and The Shotmaker Camera Car.

Was the highest paid stuntman in the industry.

Movie goers would recognize his films; 'Smokey And The Bandit' (writer/director);
Also directed 'Hooper' (a film about stuntmen); 'Cannonball Run'; and 'Stroker
Ace'. Along with his many stunt device inventions he gave us the concept on 'outtakes'
being shown and the end of the move with the credits.

Other interests included automobile racing; where he would back (as owner) the
'Budweiser Rocket' in an attempt on the Land Speed Record (The car has been donated
to the Smithsonian's National Air & Space Museum).

Needham also was owner of a NASCAR team car (Harry Gant Skoal Bandit #33) in the Winston
Cup Series. As an innovator in this field he was the first team owner to use telemetry


Emmy for his work on Have Gun Will Travel
Lifetime Achievement Award from the Taurus World Stunt Awards

2012 - Governors Award by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (statuette)