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Fred Graham Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (1)  | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (4)

Born in Springer, New Mexico, USA
Died in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
Birth NameCharles Frederick Graham
Nickname Slugger

Mini Bio (1)

Baseball gave burly Fred Graham his start in motion pictures. In 1928 he was working for the MGM sound department and also playing semi-pro baseball on the side. The studio was making a murder mystery called Death on the Diamond (1934), starring Robert Young and Nat Pendleton. Graham was hired to tutor Young and Pendleton in the fine points of the game, and doubled Pendleton in the catching scenes. This started him on a more than 40-year career as a stuntman and actor. While at the studio he doubled Clark Gable, Nelson Eddy and Charles Bickford. He went over to Warner Bros. in 1938, and his initial assignment was to double Basil Rathbone in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938). In 1941 he moved to Republic Pictures and worked on the studio's famed westerns and serials, and was a major part of the team of stunt experts, including such aces as David Sharpe and Tom Steele, responsible for the reputation that Republic enjoyed as having the best stunt department in the business. Graham met John Wayne there and stunted for him in many of the films Wayne made at the studio. He also appeared in many films as an actor, usually playing truck drivers, cops, soldiers, crooks, etc. In 1968 he went to work for Arizona's Department of Economic Planning and Development of Motion Pictures, and had more to do with bringing filming to the state of Arizona than anyone else. In Arizona they have the "Carefree at Southwest Studios", which was formerly known as "The Graham Studio". In 1978 "Slugger", a nickname he got in his Republic days, passed away.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: PETER GRECO <pgreco@ix.netcom.com>

Spouse (1)

Winifred Vitalich (? - ?) ( 2 children)

Trivia (1)

Renowned action director William Witney once called Graham--a stuntman legendary for his fisticuffs--"the best screen brawler I've ever used".

Personal Quotes (2)

[when asked, as a fight specialist, how to make them look realistic] My ideas to make fights look good on screen were to stay loose and relaxed, a little distance from your opponent, and throw punches. Never throw a punch at chin level because a good take makes it look like a miss. Throw [the punch] at the opponent's eye level because a good take makes it appear like it's right on the chin. Design your routines for 30 to 40 seconds of screen time, leaving room for closeups on the stars.
[about director Spencer Gordon Bennet] Spence Bennet was the kindest person I ever worked with. He was always concerned about us and would go to any lengths to make sure we would not get injured.

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