25 October 2013 3:24 PM, PDT | Deadline TV | See recent Deadline TV news »

One of Hollywood’s most famous stuntmen and the writer-director of Smokey And The Bandit died this morning. Hal Needham, who received an Honorary Oscar this year, was 82. The co-founder of Stunts Unlimited performed and/or coordinated stunts for hundreds of films and TV shows during his long career. He also pioneered a number of technical gadgets that furthered the art — and safety — of Hollywood stunt work, including the high-fall air bag, the air ram, the car cannon turnover and Shotmaker Elite camera car and crane, for which he won a Scientific Oscar in 1987 and an engineering Emmy three years later. The Memphis native and Korean War paratrooper was Richard Boone’s stunt double on Have Gun — Will Travel from 1957-63 and also worked on such classic series as Gunsmoke, The Big Valley, Star Trek, Mission: Impossible and Mannix. By the mid-’70s, Needham was focusing mostly on movies, working »


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