STUNTS, STARS & LEGENDS July 2011
by John Hagner (Artist of the Stars)
Ronnie Rondell drawn by John Hagner
One of the most outstanding stuntmen, stunt coordinator and director of motion pictures and television, is the son of the late actor and assistant director Ronald R. Rondell. Ronnie, together with Hal Needham and Glenn R. Wilder founded the stunt organization Stunts Unlimited back in the early 1970’s.
His career spans 50 years, he started his acting career in the early 1950’s in the “Ma and Pa Kettle” series. In the 1950’s Rondell began as a stunt performer in such television series as “Mike Hammer”, “Richard Diamond”, “Soldiers of Fortune” and “Cimarron City”.
In the 1960’s and into the 1990’s he worked on more than twenty television series, including “Charlie’s Angels”, “Dynasty”, “T.J. Hooker”, “Baywatch”, and “Falcon Crest”. He was also in more than 100 feature films such as “Spartacus”, “Diamonds Are Forever”, “McQ”, “The Karate Kid”, “Lethal Weapon” and “The Hunt for Red October”. He came to Moab in 1991 to work in “Thelma and Louise”. It was then that several stunt pals and he helped out at the Hall of Fame when it was located in the Marobuilding, and participated in the footprinting ceremonies of over 20 stuntmen and women and actors who were also in town on that film.
Ronnie is an honored inductee into the Hollywood Stuntmen’s Hall of Fame. He joins some of elite stunt performers in the business ... all of which are legends, including Yakima Canutt, Cliff Lyons, David Sharpe, Hal Needham, Duke Green, Tom Steele, Helen Thurston, Polly Burson, Babe DeFreest, Jeannie Epper and many of her family including her father, Johnny Epper.
The Hollywood Stuntmen’s Hall of Fame is a non- profit organization that is dedicated to preserving the history of the stunt profession and to honoring stunt people the world over.
Ronnie Rondell is one who has supported the Hall of Fame since its beginning back in 1973 in California and continues to do so. Anyone who is interested in learning more about the Hall of Fame may go to www.stuntmen.org. Then, on Facebook look up Stunt Stars and Legends, then Falling For Stars, then Artist of the Stars.
If you would like to participate in the further growth to locate a facility to move the collection into, contact
John Hagner (Founder) at 435 260-2160 or write him at
81 W. Kane Creek Blvd. #12, Moab, Utah 84532.
The Moab Happenings features an article, Stunts, Stars and Legends every month, which includes stories by Hagner and his portrait drawings of these stunt personalities. The magazine is available at most stores around town in Moab.