The Info List - Hal Needham

Hal Brett Needham (March 6, 1931 – October 25, 2013) was an American stuntman, film director, actor and writer. He is best known for his frequent collaborations with actor Burt Reynolds, usually in films involving fast cars, such as Smokey and the Bandit, Hooper, The Cannonball Run and Stroker Ace.


1 Early years 2 Career 3 Bibliography 4 Filmography 5 References 6 External links

Early years[edit] Needham was born in Memphis, Tennessee, the son of Edith May (née Robinson) and Howard Needham.[1] He was raised in Arkansas
and Missouri. Needham served in the United States Army
United States Army
as a paratrooper during the Korean War, worked as a treetopper[clarification needed],[2] and was a billboard model for Viceroy Cigarettes while beginning a career in Hollywood as a motion picture stuntman. Career[edit] Needham's first break was as the stunt double for actor Richard Boone on the popular TV western Have Gun, Will Travel. Needham trained under John Wayne's stunt double Chuck Roberson and quickly became one of the top stuntmen of the 1960s on such films as How the West Was Won, The Bridge at Remagen, McLintock!, The War Lord, and Little Big Man. He doubled regularly for Clint Walker
Clint Walker
and Burt Reynolds. Needham moved into stunt coordinating and directing second unit action, while designing and introducing air bags and other innovative equipment to the industry. Needham at one time lived in Burt Reynolds' guesthouse for the better part of 12 years.[3] In 1971, he and fellow stuntmen Glenn Wilder and Ronnie Rondell formed Stunts Unlimited. Needham had written a screenplay titled Smokey and the Bandit and his friend Reynolds offered him the chance to direct. The film was a huge hit, and the two followed it with Hooper, The Cannonball Run, and Stroker Ace, and Megaforce. Needham also directed the 1986 BMX film Rad. In 1977, Gabriel Toys introduced the " Hal Needham
Hal Needham
Western Movie Stunt Set" complete with a cardboard old west saloon movie set, lights and props, a toy movie camera and a spring-launched Hal Needham
Hal Needham
action figure that would break through a balcony railing, land on breakaway table and chairs and crash through a window. They were only manufactured for a short time and have since become highly collectible. Needham moved out of stunt work, focusing his energy on the World Land Speed Record project that eventually became the Budweiser Rocket, driven most notably by stuntman Stan Barrett. The team failed to set an officially sanctioned World land speed record with the vehicle, and their claims to have broken the sound barrier in 1979 have been heavily disputed. In the 1980s he was best known as the owner for the Harry Gant
Harry Gant
Skoal Bandit #33 car driven in the Winston Cup Series. Needham received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Taurus World Stunt Awards. In 2012 he was awarded a Governors Award by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, where he was introduced by Quentin Tarantino.[4] He died in 2013 at the age of 82[5] shortly after being diagnosed with cancer.[6] Bibliography[edit]

Needham, Hal (2011). Stuntman!: My Car-Crashing, Plane-Jumping, Bone-Breaking, Death-Defying Hollywood Life. New York: Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 0-316-07899-9. OCLC 548642135. 


The Fiend Who Walked the West
The Fiend Who Walked the West
(1958) - Courtroom Spectator (uncredited) Shoot Out at Big Sag (1962) - Saloon Brawler (uncredited) McLintock!
(1963) - Carter (uncredited) Advance to the Rear (1964) - Rebel Soldier (uncredited) In Harm's Way
In Harm's Way
(1965) - Airman in the Blue Lagoon (uncredited) The Great Race
The Great Race
(1965) - Saloon Brawler (uncredited) The War Wagon
The War Wagon
(1967) - Hite The Devil's Brigade (1968) - The Sergeant The Undefeated (1969) - Yankee Corporal at River Crossing (uncredited) Sometimes a Great Notion (1970) - Man at Racetrack One More Train to Rob
One More Train to Rob
(1971) - Bert Gant The Culpepper Cattle Co.
The Culpepper Cattle Co.
(1972) - Burgess McQ
(1974) - Santiago Henchman (uncredited) Blazing Saddles
Blazing Saddles
(1974) - Outlaw (uncredited) French Connection II
French Connection II
(1975) - Doyle Kidnapper (uncredited) W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings
W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings
(1975) - Trooper Carson Take a Hard Ride
Take a Hard Ride
(1975) - Garmes (uncredited) Jackson County Jail (1976) - Chief of Fallsburg Police The Cannonball Run
The Cannonball Run
(1981) - Ambulance EMT (uncredited) Megaforce
(1982) - Technician (uncredited) Stroker Ace
Stroker Ace
(1983) - Man Punching Stroker Into Ladies Room (uncredited) Cannonball Run II
Cannonball Run II
(1984) - Porsche 928 Driver with Cowboy Hat (uncredited)


^ " Hal Needham
Hal Needham
Biography (1931-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved January 21, 2012.  ^ "Hollywood 'Stuntman!' Reveals Tricks Of Trade". NPR. February 7, 2011. Retrieved January 22, 2012.  ^ Armstrong, Lois (July 20, 1981). " Burt Reynolds
Burt Reynolds
Gives Away His Buddy, Director Hal Needham, to David Janssen's Widow". People. Archived from the original on November 20, 2012.  ^ "2012 Governor Awards". Oscars.org. 2012.  ^ Chawkins, Steve (October 25, 2013). "Hal Needham, veteran Hollywood stuntman and director, dies at 82". The Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Times.  ^ Truitt, Brian (October 25, 2013). "Iconic stuntman, director Hal Needham dies at 82". USA Today. Gannett. Retrieved 26 October 2013. 

External links[edit]

Hal Needham
Hal Needham
on IMDb Hollywood 'Stuntman!' Reveals Tricks Of Trade - NPR Interview Interview with Hal Needham
Hal Needham
from January 2007 at the Wayback Machine (archived October 26, 2009) Hal Needham
Hal Needham
interview video at the Archive of American Television Hal Needham
Hal Needham
at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek
Star Trek

v t e

Films directed by Hal Needham

Smokey and the Bandit
Smokey and the Bandit
(1977) Hooper (1978) The Villain (1979) Death Car on the Freeway (1979) Smokey and the Bandit
Smokey and the Bandit
II (1980) The Cannonball Run
The Cannonball Run
(1981) Megaforce
(1982) Stroker Ace
Stroker Ace
(1983) Cannonball Run II
Cannonball Run II
(1984) Rad (1986) Body Slam (1987)

v t e

Academy Honorary Award


Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
/ Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin
(1928) Walt Disney
Walt Disney
(1932) Shirley Temple
Shirley Temple
(1934) D. W. Griffith
D. W. Griffith
(1935) The March of Time
The March of Time
/ W. Howard Greene and Harold Rosson (1936) Edgar Bergen
Edgar Bergen
/ W. Howard Greene / Museum of Modern Art
Museum of Modern Art
Film Library / Mack Sennett
Mack Sennett
(1937) J. Arthur Ball / Walt Disney
Walt Disney
/ Deanna Durbin
Deanna Durbin
and Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney
/ Gordon Jennings, Jan Domela, Devereaux Jennings, Irmin Roberts, Art Smith, Farciot Edouart, Loyal Griggs, Loren L. Ryder, Harry D. Mills, Louis Mesenkop, Walter Oberst / Oliver T. Marsh and Allen Davey / Harry Warner
Harry Warner
(1938) Douglas Fairbanks
Douglas Fairbanks
/ Judy Garland
Judy Garland
/ William Cameron Menzies / Motion Picture Relief Fund (Jean Hersholt, Ralph Morgan, Ralph Block, Conrad Nagel)/ Technicolor Company (1939) Bob Hope
Bob Hope
/ Nathan Levinson (1940) Walt Disney, William Garity, John N. A. Hawkins, and the RCA Manufacturing Company / Leopold Stokowski
Leopold Stokowski
and his associates / Rey Scott / British Ministry of Information (1941) Charles Boyer
Charles Boyer
/ Noël Coward
Noël Coward
/ Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
(1942) George Pal
George Pal
(1943) Bob Hope
Bob Hope
/ Margaret O'Brien
Margaret O'Brien
(1944) Republic Studio, Daniel J. Bloomberg, and the Republic Studio Sound Department / Walter Wanger
Walter Wanger
/ The House I Live In / Peggy Ann Garner (1945) Harold Russell
Harold Russell
/ Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
/ Ernst Lubitsch
Ernst Lubitsch
/ Claude Jarman Jr. (1946) James Baskett
James Baskett
/ Thomas Armat, William Nicholas Selig, Albert E. Smith, and George Kirke Spoor
George Kirke Spoor
/ Bill and Coo / Shoeshine (1947) Walter Wanger
Walter Wanger
/ Monsieur Vincent
Monsieur Vincent
/ Sid Grauman
Sid Grauman
/ Adolph Zukor
Adolph Zukor
(1948) Jean Hersholt
Jean Hersholt
/ Fred Astaire
Fred Astaire
/ Cecil B. DeMille
Cecil B. DeMille
/ The Bicycle Thief (1949) Louis B. Mayer
Louis B. Mayer
/ George Murphy
George Murphy
/ The Walls of Malapaga (1950)


Gene Kelly
Gene Kelly
/ Rashomon
(1951) Merian C. Cooper
Merian C. Cooper
/ Bob Hope
Bob Hope
/ Harold Lloyd
Harold Lloyd
/ George Mitchell / Joseph M. Schenck / Forbidden Games
Forbidden Games
(1952) 20th Century-Fox Film Corporation / Bell & Howell Company / Joseph Breen / Pete Smith (1953) Bausch & Lomb Optical Company / Danny Kaye
Danny Kaye
/ Kemp Niver / Greta Garbo / Jon Whiteley
Jon Whiteley
/ Vincent Winter / Gate of Hell (1954) Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto (1955) Eddie Cantor
Eddie Cantor
(1956) Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers
Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers
/ Gilbert M. "Broncho Billy" Anderson / Charles Brackett / B. B. Kahane (1957) Maurice Chevalier
Maurice Chevalier
(1958) Buster Keaton
Buster Keaton
/ Lee de Forest
Lee de Forest
(1959) Gary Cooper
Gary Cooper
/ Stan Laurel
Stan Laurel
/ Hayley Mills
Hayley Mills
(1960) William L. Hendricks / Fred L. Metzler / Jerome Robbins
Jerome Robbins
(1961) William J. Tuttle
William J. Tuttle
(1964) Bob Hope
Bob Hope
(1965) Yakima Canutt
Yakima Canutt
/ Y. Frank Freeman
Y. Frank Freeman
(1966) Arthur Freed (1967) John Chambers / Onna White (1968) Cary Grant
Cary Grant
(1969) Lillian Gish
Lillian Gish
/ Orson Welles
Orson Welles
(1970) Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin
(1971) Charles S. Boren / Edward G. Robinson
Edward G. Robinson
(1972) Henri Langlois
Henri Langlois
/ Groucho Marx
Groucho Marx
(1973) Howard Hawks
Howard Hawks
/ Jean Renoir
Jean Renoir
(1974) Mary Pickford
Mary Pickford


Margaret Booth (1977) Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
/ Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
/ King Vidor
King Vidor
/ Museum of Modern Art Department of Film (1978) Hal Elias / Alec Guinness
Alec Guinness
(1979) Henry Fonda
Henry Fonda
(1980) Barbara Stanwyck
Barbara Stanwyck
(1981) Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney
(1982) Hal Roach
Hal Roach
(1983) James Stewart
James Stewart
/ National Endowment for the Arts
National Endowment for the Arts
(1984) Paul Newman
Paul Newman
/ Alex North (1985) Ralph Bellamy
Ralph Bellamy
(1986) Eastman Kodak
Company / National Film Board of Canada
National Film Board of Canada
(1988) Akira Kurosawa
Akira Kurosawa
(1989) Sophia Loren
Sophia Loren
/ Myrna Loy
Myrna Loy
(1990) Satyajit Ray
Satyajit Ray
(1991) Federico Fellini
Federico Fellini
(1992) Deborah Kerr
Deborah Kerr
(1993) Michelangelo Antonioni
Michelangelo Antonioni
(1994) Kirk Douglas
Kirk Douglas
/ Chuck Jones
Chuck Jones
(1995) Michael Kidd
Michael Kidd
(1996) Stanley Donen
Stanley Donen
(1997) Elia Kazan
Elia Kazan
(1998) Andrzej Wajda
Andrzej Wajda
(1999) Jack Cardiff
Jack Cardiff
/ Ernest Lehman (2000)


Sidney Poitier
Sidney Poitier
/ Robert Redford
Robert Redford
(2001) Peter O'Toole
Peter O'Toole
(2002) Blake Edwards
Blake Edwards
(2003) Sidney Lumet
Sidney Lumet
(2004) Robert Altman
Robert Altman
(2005) Ennio Morricone
Ennio Morricone
(2006) Robert F. Boyle (2007) Lauren Bacall
Lauren Bacall
/ Roger Corman
Roger Corman
/ Gordon Willis
Gordon Willis
(2009) Kevin Brownlow / Jean-Luc Godard
Jean-Luc Godard
/ Eli Wallach
Eli Wallach
(2010) James Earl Jones
James Earl Jones
/ Dick Smith (2011) D. A. Pennebaker
D. A. Pennebaker
/ Hal Needham
Hal Needham
/ George Stevens Jr.
George Stevens Jr.
(2012) Angela Lansbury
Angela Lansbury
/ Steve Martin
Steve Martin
/ Piero Tosi (2013) Jean-Claude Carrière
Jean-Claude Carrière
/ Hayao Miyazaki
Hayao Miyazaki
/ Maureen O'Hara
Maureen O'Hara
(2014) Spike Lee
Spike Lee
/ Gena Rowlands
Gena Rowlands
(2015) Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan
/ Lynn Stalmaster / Anne V. Coates / Frederick Wiseman (2016) Charles Burnett / Owen Roizman / Donald Sutherland
Donald Sutherland
/ Agnès Varda (2017)

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 103338343 LCCN: n85376938 ISNI: 0000 0001 1496 4749 GND: 1016143001 BNF: cb14054622p (data) BNE: XX1516042 SN