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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Stuntman..

I hope you are not totally sick of hearing about DeForest (but you probably are..sigh)
Well there's good news and bad news.. which do you want first? (like you have a choice right?!)
The truth is this is probably a bit of both. Something was said in a comment and it made me pull out my collection on De again and do "one last post".. (for now) I promise!
This story I am not going to go thru the hours it takes to write down "verbatim", but it's a combination story all the same. (from memory.. what little there is of it heh)
I will start by telling you that over conversations with De I learned that during his "cowboy days", he did most all of his own stunts. (including spurring the horse and getting thrown, which of course was NOT shown heh).
There is a little known western he did produced by De's dear friend (and happy to say mine too) A.C. Lyles. The movie is a B western named "WACO". Unfortunately, or fortunately, which ever way you look at it, this movie is seldom on television unless late at night when everyone is sleeping.
The movie was made in 1966 and stared: Howard Keel, Jane Russell, Brian Donlevy, Terry Moore, John Smith, John Agar, Richard Arlen, Fuzzy Knight, and of course: DeForest Kelley. Now with a line up like that you'd think it would have done better. Oh well... anyway.. during this movie there is a fight scene with DeForest (being one of the bad guys, naturally) where he winds up being dangled over an upstairs banister.
I remember talking to him about that particular scene... that's when he told me two things. One was that it was him and not a stunt man, and that they did the take at least 5 times! (heart be still).
After we discussed the fact that he always did his own stunts he told me of ONE time that he didn't. He was filming another western on the paramount lots called TOWN TAMER. This one was made in 1965 and starred: Dana Andrews, Terry Moore, Pat O'Brien, Lon Chaney Jr., Richard Arlen, Richard Jaeckel, Philip Carey, Sonny Tufts, Coleen Gray,and yours truly DeForest Kelley.
He told me it was being made shortly after he did one of his guest appearance on Bonanza, which by the way, was being filmed across the lot from where De was filming. The story goes that one day Michael Landon came by to watch De shooting, De was to have a fight scene and out of the blue, Michael asked if he could be De's stunt double and do the fight scene. This, he said created quite a ruckus as Paramount was afraid that if Michael got hurt they'd have to stop production on Bonanza, and this was a big "no-no".
It seems Michael went to the top and promised them he wouldn't get hurt and Paramount relented and let Michael do the fight scene for De. All went well I'm happy to say, but if you ever see Town Tamer playing on tv you might want to catch it and see if you can tell that it's Michael Landon and not De doing the fight!
De told this story at one of his conventions once and added a little known fact that during yet another western he was asked if he used a stunt double and he say "Yes, his name is Michael Landon!"... they thought he was joking..heh. (he was.. Michael only ever doubled once and it was for De!)
I'm sorry I don't have any pictures of the fight scene to show you but here are two shots from Town Tamer that have DeForest in them.

(Don't forget to check my other journal with Meme's! I will add to it later today. I have put Feedblitz on both my Blogspot journals so that you can receive an email when I add to them..

Meanwhile : )


Blogger Charles said...

Thanx for the story. I didn't know he did his own stunts. Why didn't he ever get recognized for this?? I was here how todays actors do there own stunts.

5:34 PM  

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