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Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (9) | Personal Quotes (1) | Salary (1)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 2 August 1903Alameda, California, USA
Date of Death 8 July 1965Buttercup Valley, California, USA  (plane crash during stunt performance)
Birth NameAlbert Paul Mantz

Mini Bio (1)

American aviator who became the most renowned stunt flyer in movies of the mid-twentieth century. The son of a school principal, he grew up Redwood City, California and developed a fascination with flying as a boy. He joined the Air Corps as a cadet and was a brilliant student pilot, but he was discharged after buzzing a train full of high-level officers. After a brief period of commercial flying, Mantz took up the more lucrative career of stunt flying for the film industry. He quickly proved himself willing and capable of tackling stunts considered by other pilots to be too dangerous. He formed United Air Services, Ltd., providing planes and pilots for aerial stunts and photography for all the studios. He also formed a flying school and racing partnership with Amelia Earhart and was technical adviser on her ill- fated round-the-world flight. During the Second World War, Mantz served as commanding officer of the Army Air Corps' First Motion Picture Unit, delivering hundreds of training films and documentaries on the air war. He developed a number of camera and aeronautical innovations to improve aerial photography, and continued as a stunt flyer, a director of aerial photography, and a supplier of aircraft and pilots for the movies for two decades after the war. In 1965, he came out of retirement to fly a plane for The Flight of the Phoenix (1965) and was killed in a crash.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Spouse (2)

Terry Mac Minor (19 August 1937 - 8 July 1965) (his death) (1 child)
Myrtle L. Harvey (2 May 1932 - 27 July 1936) (divorced)

Trivia (9)

He had a son, Albert Paul Mantz Jr. (born August 21, 1938) with his second wife, Terry.
He was the technical adviser to Amelia Earhart on her first around-the-world flight attempt, but was dismissed before her second, fatal attempt. Earhart was name co-respondent in Mantz's 1936 divorce.
Pallbearers at his funeral included his friend James Stewart, General James Doolittle, director John Ford, and test pilot Chuck Yeager.
Shot the aerial footage for This Is Cinerama (1952) and other early Cinerama travelogues.
Won the Bendix Trophy airplane races three years running, 1946-1948.
In 1946, Mantz purchased 475 surplus bombers and fighters for $55,000, anticipating a postwar boom in war movies. He converted one of these, a B-25 bomber he christened "The Smasher", into a state of the art flying camera platform that he would use for the next 20 years.
First pilot to perform the stunt of flying an airplane through an open hangar in Air Mail (1932).
To get the attention of producers (who would not hire him), he performed an "outside loop" - a loop where the plane is upside-down at the bottom of the circle - in July, 1930, using a plane he specially modified for the stunt.
According to Bob Fish of the Associated Airtanker Pilots, Danville California: Mantz installed a rubber bladder in the bomb bay of his WWII TBM Avenger and filled it with water. Thus becoming the first to demonstrate the incredible value of aerial technology in wildfire suppression.

Personal Quotes (1)

I'm not a stunt pilot. I'm a precision pilot.

Salary (1)

Twelve O'Clock High (1949) $4,500

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