Jerry was a professional rodeo cowboy prior to getting into movie work. His father suggested that he come down to Tucson, since rodeo was over in October ... the last one finishing in Albuquerque, and at the time, he was living in Colorado. Since Jerry hadn’t seen his father in several years, he agreed.
Jerry worked as a local extra and stand-in on “The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold”, the last ‘Lone Ranger’ film that Clayton Moore. (an Honorary Inductee in the Hollywood Stuntmen’s Hall of Fame).
Another film, “Gunman’s Walk”, starring Van Heflin and Tab Hunter.
Jerry tried to get on as a wrangler but was hired as a stand-in and photo double for a couple of actors. There were some bucking horses to be ridden in the movie and Jerry rode one of them, since that is what he did for a living. It all worked out well.
The director helped Jerry get his Screen Actors Guild card.
It wasn’t long before Jerry met and became friends with Henry Wills and Chuck Hayward ... both honored inductees in the Hall of Fame.
Stuntman/coordinator Bill Hickman, who did the chase sequences in “BULLITT”, was Jerry’s teacher in some car maneuvers. His first big feature was “The Magnificent Seven”, starring Steve McQueen, Yul Brynner, Charles Bronson and Robert Vaughn. Jerry doubled then as well as Horst Buchholz and Eli Wallach. He went on from there to a successful career as a stuntman, then to acting, and to coordinating jobs as second unit assignments.
In Moab, stunt members like Jack Williams worked in “The Comancheros” as Indians. Cliff Lyons was the 2nd unit director.
In “Donovan’s Reef”, Jerry performed his first fight scene. Lyons did a lot of second unit for director John Ford.
Around the time Hal Needham, one of the greatest all-round stuntmen, coordinator and director of action movies tried a trend on ‘action pictures’, especially on Wayne films.
Stuntman Jim Burk, an honored inductee and fantastic stuntman in many Wayne films in the movie, “The War Wagon”, could be spotted in at least three different character roles. He was prominent in the terrific barroom brawl ... Jerry also played a part in it.
Henry Wills gave Jerry a big start on “The Magnificent Seven. The picture was filmed in Old Tucson.
On “The Sons of Katie Elder”, Jerry doubled Earl Holiman when the boys jump from the buckboard into the water. One of the more difficult stunts he did was, doubling Patrick Wayne in, “McLintock”! It was when he is in a tug-o’war at the picnic and falls off the horse. He trips the saddle and goes out in the saddle. It was Chuck Hayward’s falling horse, Iodine. Jerry felled the horse many times, but this time he turned the horse over. Chuck Roberson was on the other end of the rope; his timing had to be perfect. He had to hit Jerry when the horse began to fall. Jerry had to fall the horse and stay with him, trip the saddle, and, fortunately, he was able to roll the horse completely over.
Jerry is an honored inductee in the Hollywood Stuntmen’s Hall of Fame.
The Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the history of the stunt profession of Motion Pictures and Television and to honoring stuntmen all over the world.
The Hall of Fame welcomes donations which are tax-deductible. Mailing address is 81 W. Kane Creek Blvd. - #12, Moab, Utah 84532. Website: www.stuntmen.orci.
Phone John Hagner (Founder) at 435 260-2160.
Go to Facebook ... Falling For Stars. Then Artist of the Stars. Then Stunt Stars and Legends.
|STUNTS STARS AND LEGENDS
is a series of articles and drawings by John Hagner and appear in Moab Happenings monthly.
John Hagner (Founder) is also the Artist of the Stars.
His Celebrity Portrait Drawings are available at OK Tours, telephone 435-259-7000,
50 W. 400 N, Moab, Utah 84532.
Say you saw this article in Moab Happenings!