25 October 2013 4:09 PM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Winning an honorary Oscar last year was legendary stuntman Hal Needham, the son of Arkansas sharecroppers with eight years of education, a paratrooper who tested parachutes by making over 400 jumps out of airplanes. Needham has died at age 82 from complications from cancer. He cried at all the warm tributes he received at the at the Governors Awards.  Only one stuntman ever got the Oscar: Yakima Canutt, said presenter Quentin Tarantino: "Needham pushed boundaries in 60s action with better fights." He made good in Hollywood as a stuntman innovator, founder of Stunts Unlimited and director ("Smokey and the Bandit," "Cannonball Run"). And in so doing he suffered many cracked ribs, a punctured lung, and a broken back. Producer Al Ruddy told an hilarious story about Needham shooting off a test missile on the Goldwyn lot that tore through soundstage ten-- and set it on fire. "He's someone you could depend on, »

- Anne Thompson

Report a problem

Similar News Items

Quentin Tarantino
Burt Reynolds (I)
Smokey and the Bandit (1977)

IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.

See our NewsDesk partners