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Hal Needham obituary

Hollywood stuntman and film director who scored huge successes with Smokey and the Bandit and The Cannonball Run

Upset by the critical response to his work, the stuntman turned film director Hal Needham, who has died aged 82, took out advertisements in Variety and other trade papers. They featured quotes from negative reviews for his movies including Smokey and the Bandit (1977) and The Cannonball Run (1981), alongside a wheelbarrow overflowing with dollar bills.

Needham made a point. His rumbustious 1977 directorial debut had grossed over $100m – an enormous return on its modest budget. He was still milking that particular creation some 20 years later, producing and directing a series of television movies, including Bandit Goes Country and Beauty and the Bandit.

These and other films, many of which starred Burt Reynolds, were seen by an audience of hundreds of millions worldwide, yet few reference books acknowledged his 45-year-long career — an unjustified omission, if only
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Hal Needham obituary

Hollywood stuntman and film director who scored huge successes with Smokey and the Bandit and The Cannonball Run

Upset by the critical response to his work, the stuntman turned film director Hal Needham, who has died aged 82, took out advertisements in Variety and other trade papers. They featured quotes from negative reviews for his movies including Smokey and the Bandit (1977) and The Cannonball Run (1981), alongside a wheelbarrow overflowing with dollar bills.

Needham made a point. His rumbustious 1977 directorial debut had grossed over $100m – an enormous return on its modest budget. He was still milking that particular creation some 20 years later, producing and directing a series of television movies, including Bandit Goes Country and Beauty and the Bandit.

These and other films, many of which starred Burt Reynolds, were seen by an audience of hundreds of millions worldwide, yet few reference books acknowledged his 45-year-long career — an unjustified omission, if only
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Stuntman Hal Needham Dies of Cancer at 82

Stuntman Hal Needham Dies of Cancer at 82
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,
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

R.I.P. Hal Needham

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
See full article at Deadline TV »

Hal Needham dies

Hal Needham, one of Hollywood's greatest stuntmen, has died at the age of 82. The director of several hit films including Smokey And The Bandit and Cannonball Run, he was also an inventor whose creations, designed to make more daring stunts possible, went on to be used more widely and save lives.

Needham's life was never short of action. He served as a paratrooper during the Korean War before going on to train with film industry great Chuck Roberson and set up his own company, Stunts Unlimited. His work can be seen in over 300 films and he worked up to the age of 63. The exceptional skill and daring that he brought to the industry was recognised with a special award from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. He is survived by his son, David Needham, who works in props and set design....
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

Jeffrey Katzenberg, Hal Needham, D.A. Pennebaker, George Stevens, Jr. To Receive The Academy’s Governors Awards

The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted tonight to present Honorary Awards to stunt performer Hal Needham, documentarian D. A. Pennebaker and arts advocate George Stevens, Jr., and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to philanthropist Jeffrey Katzenberg. All four awards will be presented at the Academy’s 4th Annual Governors Awards dinner on Saturday, December 1, at The Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center®.

Hal Needham is a legendary stunt performer and coordinator who has worked on more than 300 feature films including “The Spirit of St. Louis,” “How the West Was Won,” “Blazing Saddles,” “Little Big Man” and “Chinatown.” A pioneer in improving stunt technology and safety procedures, Needham also co-founded Stunts Unlimited, and is known for mentoring young stunt performers. In 1986, the Academy presented Needham with a Scientific and Engineering Award for the design and development of the Shotmaker Elite camera car and crane,
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Academy Names 2012 Governors Awards: Honorees Jeffrey Katzenberg, Hal Needham, D.A. Pennebaker, And George Stevens, Jr.

Beverly Hills, CA – The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted tonight to present Honorary Awards to stunt performer Hal Needham, documentarian D. A. Pennebaker and arts advocate George Stevens, Jr., and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to philanthropist Jeffrey Katzenberg. All four awards will be presented at the Academy’s 4th Annual Governors Awards dinner on Saturday, December 1, at The Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center®. Hal Needham is a legendary stunt performer and coordinator who has worked on more than 300 feature films including “The Spirit of St. Louis,” “How the West Was Won,” “Blazing Saddles,” “Little Big Man” and “Chinatown.” A pioneer in improving stunt technology and safety procedures, Needham also co-founded Stunts Unlimited, and is known for mentoring young stunt performers. In 1986, the Academy presented Needham with a Scientific and Engineering Award for the design and development of the Shotmaker Elite camera car and crane,
See full article at Deadline Hollywood »

Katzenberg, Needham, Pennebaker, Stevens Tapped for Academy Honors

Katzenberg, Needham, Pennebaker, Stevens Tapped for Academy Honors
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences board of governors voted Wednesday night to present honorary awards to stunt performer Hal Needham, documentarian D.A. Pennebaker and arts advocate George Stevens Jr. and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to philanthropist Jeffrey Katzenberg. Stunt performer and coordinator Needham has worked on more than 30 films, including The Spirit of St. Louis, How the West Was Won, Blazing Saddles, Little Big Man and Chinatown. The co-founder of Stunts Unlimited and a mentor to young stunt performers, he earned the Academy's Scientific and Engineering Award in 1986 for the design and

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See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

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