Legendary stuntman and director, Hal Needham, has passed at age 82.
Needham was one of the most important and highest paid stuntmen of his time, breaking 56 bones and wowing filmmakers along the way. He stunt-doubled for Burt Reynolds, and then went on to direct Burt in “Smokey and the Bandit” and “The Cannonball Run”.
Hal Needham’s Hollywood career as a stuntman, stunt coordinator, 2nd unit director and ultimately, director included work on 4000+ television episodes and more than 300 feature films. Needham received a Governor’s Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2012. While accepting his trophy at the Governors Awards, Needham told the audience: “You know, you’re looking at the luckiest man alive. And lucky to be alive.”
Hal Needham will be missed by many in Hollywood, twitterverse having echoed that sentiment today.
Lets hope for less greasy suits and more guys like Hal to come down the pipe in La-La Land days to come.