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Yakima Canutt


Sepiatone
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Last night on PBS's "History Detectives", one investigation went into finding out if some guy owned an actual saddle once owned by movie stuntman and rodeo circuit extrordinaire *Yakima Canutt* . Turns out it did, but what I found interesting was this man's connection to old Hollywood. He did stunt work, mostly in westerns, in what must have been well over a hundred movies. He stood in often for John Wayne, even in *Stagecoach* . He did work in *Cat Ballou*. It was Yakima driving the wagon through a burning Atlanta in *Gone With The Wind*. Many of the safety proceedures still practiced in this line of work came out of his insistance.

 

No big deal, mind you. But it was a reminder that in spite of our here pining and swooning over the contribution to old movies by the STARS, that many in the background make most of that magic happen. And Yakima was a top-notch magician.

 

Sepiatone

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Many years ago I read Yakima Canutt's autobiography. It's probably still out there somewhere. He was fascinating. The book straightened out a lot of the misinformation then going around about the stunts. He was an amazing man.

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