Monday 31 May 2021

Happy Birthday, we celebrate Clint’s 91st Birthday!

Happy Birthday, we celebrate Clint’s 91st Birthday!
In a career that has spanned over 65 years, including 38 movies as a director, Clint has earned a place in motion pictures like few others. While he is often seen as an action and Western icon, it's the sheer variety of films and performances he has given us throughout the years that define him as one of the industry's most consistent and versatile talents.

Today marks Clint’s 91st Birthday – and with the prospect of his latest movie ‘Cry Macho’ due to be released later this year, it seems that there is little sign of Clint slowing down. 

On behalf of everyone at the Archive and the millions of fans around the world, we would like to wish you a very happy birthday, continued good health and a whole fistful of happiness, Sir. 
Beers to you!

Thursday 27 May 2021

Clint Eastwood Dialogue with Richard Schickel

Clint Eastwood Dialogue with Richard Schickel

Here is a really good interview today by the late Richard Schickel, I like this interview as I have never heard Schickel sound so relaxed, as does Clint.. It took place in front of an audience at the Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis during September 1990, Clint discusses his career with special focus on his films including Play Misty for Me, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Bronco Billy, Sudden Impact, Bird and White Hunter, Black Heart. The full 95 minute audio is included here, along with a download of the transcript and the program. It’s well worth a listen. 


Wednesday 26 May 2021

The Passing of Buddy Van Horn

The Passing of Buddy Van Horn

I was saddened to learn this week that Buddy Van Horn, Clint’s regular stunt double, coordinator and director had died earlier this month aged 91.

Buddy was a prolific American stunt man and occasional small part actor, formerly billed as Wayne Van Horn. The son of a veterinarian who ministered to animals at Universal studios, he first worked as a horse wrangler following a stint in the U.S. Army. This earlier expertise as a rider served him well after he joined his brother Jimmy in Hollywood. Van Horn's riding skills were showcased in many westerns of the 50s and 60s. He frequently doubled for Guy Williams on Disney's popular TV series Zorro (1957). He was qually adept at fencing and fight scenes. Van Horn also made his mark in epic swashbucklers like Spartacus (1960) and The War Lord (1965). Major stars he doubled for have included Gregory Peck in Mackenna's Gold (1969), James Stewart in Firecreek (1968) and Henry Fonda in The Cheyenne Social Club (1970). He was latterly best known as a long-standing collaborator of Clint Eastwood in the capacities of stunt double and stunt coordinator The Enforcer (1976), The Gauntlet (1977), Sudden Impact (1983)), and as director on Any Which Way You Can (1980), The Dead Pool (1988), and Pink Cadillac (1989)) and second-unit director on films such as Magnum Force (1973), The Rookie (1990) and Pale Rider (1985). 

Van Horn worked a great deal more with Clint, often uncredited and stretching as far back as Paint your Wagon (1969), The Beguiled (1971) and arguably his most prominent onscreen appearance as Marshal Jim Duncan in High Plains Drifter (1973). Van Horn even worked on daily contracts for Eastwood in film’s that also included the original Dirty Harry (1971) (see contract below). He was a solid and reliable element of Eastwood’s Malpaso team and was an inductee into the Stuntmen's Hall of Fame and a recipient of the Taurus Lifetime Achievement Stunt Award. 

Remembering Buddy by Marneen Lynne Fields

I was deeply saddened this morning as I heard the news of the passing of the great Buddy Van Horn, Stuntman’s Hall of Fame stuntman and stunt coordinator best known for his work on Clint Eastwood’s films. I still remember the day in 1977 as a young stunt woman when I picked up the phone and a man introduced himself saying, “Hi I’m Buddy Van Horn. We’re shooting a movie and Paul Stader gave me your name saying you could do a jump off a moving train.” He was very soft spoken and had kind of a Southern accent. I accepted the job without hesitation and was hired by Buddy right there, over the phone, because of Paul Stader (who discovered me), his belief in me and reference. 

(Left; Marneen, Buddy and Clint during The Gauntlet 1977)

The phone call from Buddy and my work for him on Clint Eastwood’s “The Gauntlet” would change my life overnight and catapult me to the top of the stunt world in Hollywood. It was my first movie, and my backwards jump with a half twist off the moving train in “The Gauntlet” was considered one of the most dangerous stunts performed by a young stunt woman on film in 1977. Paul knew I could do the jump because of my champion gymnastic talent and being able to perform some of Olympic gold medallist Olga Korbut’s moves on floor exercise and balance beam. For the next twelve years, I would not have to hustle work as a stuntwoman because my magical phone would ring every month in the same way with the voice of a stunt coordinator hiring me to perform stunts on the film or primetime TV show they were coordinating. You do a dangerous stunt like that, in a scene opposite the most famous actor/director in the world, and news spreads like a lightning bolt. I was so blessed. To arrive in Arizona and stand with these two giants, Buddy Van Horn and Clint Eastwood, and not only be directed by Clint Eastwood, but also get to do a fight scene with him and then punched off the train by him - all resulted in my career skyrocketing overnight! My jump made all the papers. As I sat up on the ground after my stunt awaiting further instructions, the train came rolling, slowly, backwards to where I was. Mr. Eastwood jumped out of the train and ran over to me. He gave me hug and said, “Thank you Marneen. I loved it!” What I remember most about Buddy was his gracious approach; he was so confident, but without an ego. Clint Eastwood was the director and Buddy knew his role. They both were so amazing to stand in the presence of and work with, handsome also. My work on “The Gauntlet” remains the stunt I’m most famous for. Buddy Van Horn will be deeply missed by everyone who ever met him and for his sensational contribution to films. He certainly changed my life. 

It was reported that Buddy died on May 11th, 2021 with an undisclosed cause of death.
Our sincere condolences go out to his friends and family.
RIP Sir. 

Thank you to Davy Triumph for alerting me of this sad news and our dear friend Marneen Lynne Fields for her memories and kind contribution.

Tuesday 18 May 2021

Chuck Hicks, Stuntman and Actor in Clint Eastwood Films dies at 93

We received the sad news this week that Chuck Hicks, one of Clint’s regular crew members had died at the age of 93. The Hollywood Reporter announced that:

Chuck Hicks, the stuntman, actor and frequent Clint Eastwood combatant whose credits included Every Which Way but Loose, The Twilight Zone, Cool Hand Luke and Dick Tracy, hag died.

Hicks died May 4 in Las Vegas after suffering a stroke about six months ago, his son Kirk told The Hollywood Reporter.

Survivors also include his wife, stuntwoman Kaye Wade Hicks. They met in Burbank in the early 1950s, reconnected in 1980 when he was playing Omar Sharif’s bodyguard in the CBS telefilm Pleasure Palace and wed some 10 years ago


Six-foot-2 and a muscular 230 pounds in his prime, Hicks was a onetime running back, boxer and rugby player who worked on scores of films and TV shows and served as a stunt double for the likes of Clint Walker, Brian Keith and Brian Dennehy.

He was a charter member and past president of the Stuntmen’s Association of Motion Pictures who was inducted into the Stuntmen’s Hall of Fame.

He was frequently pummeled by Clint Eastwood characters. The pair first worked together on a 1962 episode of CBS’ Rawhide, followed by Paint Your Wagon (1969), Dirty Harry (1971), Magnum Force (1973), The Enforcer (1976), Every Which Way but Loose (1978), Bronco Billy (1980), Any Which Way You Can (1980) and City Heat (1984).

For Cool Hand Luke (1967), Hicks portrayed the prisoner known as Chief and coordinated the brutal boxing scene that saw George Kennedy put a licking on Paul Newman. He also served as the stunt coordinator on the 1988-92 NBC series In the Heat of the Night.

As Dennis McCarthy described it in a 2011 profile of Hicks in the Los Angeles Daily News, his life was “one big black-and-white movie. He’s the guy in the shadows with the blackjack, waiting for the leading man to walk out of the nightclub; the getaway man, bar bully, crooked cop, hood, prizefighter taking a dive.

I was the bad guy, always getting beat up,” Hicks said in the piece.

Born on Dec. 26, 1927, in Stockton, California, Charles Hicks was a star running back at Burbank High School, where one of his classmates was future actor (and fellow tough guy) William Smith.

He served in the U.S. Merchant Marine and U.S. Navy during World War II, then attended Loyola Marymount University, where he received a football scholarship and boxed.

Hicks had tryouts with the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams and Washington Redskins, played seven years of semipro football and boxed professionally under the name Chuck Daley because his handler thought “that sounded more Irish.” He won five of his eight bouts by first-round knockout.

I was making $75 a fight,” he said. “My manager took a third of that, my cutman and second got $10 each. After the government took its cut, I had nothing left, so I quit.”

After working as a lifeguard at the community Pickwick Pool in Burbank, Hicks was cast as football players in She’s Working Her Way Through College (starring Ronald Reagan) and The Rose Bowl Story, two of the four 1952 films in which he appeared.

He appeared on other films including The Caddy (1953), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Blackboard Jungle (1955), Rebel Without a Cause (1955) and Around the World in 80 Days (1956) before he began a regular gig in 1956 as Walker’s stand-in and stunt double on ABC’s Cheyenne.

Also that year, he portrayed LaMarr Kane, one of Eliot Ness’ (Robert Stack) original Untouchables, on the first season of the ABC drama.

Hicks went on to work on multiple episodes of other shows including Maverick, Peter Gunn, Honey West, Batman, Mannix, The Rockford Files, Starsky and Hutch and The Fall Guy and on films including Hell Is for Heroes (1962), Shock Corridor (1963), Our Man Flint (1966), Point Blank (1967), Slaughter’s Big Rip-Off (1973), Hide in Plain Sight (1980), Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), Johnny Dangerously (1984), Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), Runaway Train (1985) and Lethal Weapon 4 (1998) before retiring in 2010.

Survivors include another son, Kevin.

RIP sir,

My kind thanks to Dave Turner for this story.