SAG-AFTRA mourns the loss of legendary stunt performer Hal Needham, who has passed away at the age of 88.
Whether it was jumping out of an airplane or flying a rocket powered pickup trick, Needham never shied away from danger. In June of 2011, Needham visited the former SAG headquarters to share stories of his life with an eager audience who filled the James Cagney Board Room to capacity.
At the event, Needham recalled stories from his book, Stuntman! My Car Crashing, Plane Jumping, Bone Breaking, Death-Defying, Hollywood Life saying, “I’ve been thrown, run over and busted up more times than I can count.”
Needham, a former military paratrooper, began his career in the 1950s on the series Have Gun, Will Travel, and went on to become one of Hollywood's most iconic stuntmen.
SAG-AFTRA National President Ken Howard said of Needham, “I am deeply saddened by the passing of my good friend Hal Needham. A legend in the stunt community, Hal had a fearlessness, charm and swagger that made him larger than life. Although the world is poorer without his boundless energy, he lives on in those he inspired through his derring-do onscreen, as well as in his fellow stuntmen and those he mentored. Nobody worked with Hal — or listened to his stories — without feeling a little bit of awe.”