Friday, July 10, 2009

RIP Whitey Hughes

Legendary stuntman Whitey Hughes passed away at his home in his sleep on July 7th. No matter how you look at it, stuntman, Robert "Whitey" Hughes' life can be described as one part Huck Finn and one part Mr. Hughes goes to Hollywood. Whitey has been a staple in the medium, working in over 40 different television series from the early 1950's to the present. Some of the work which he is most proud, includes his time as stunt coordinator/stuntman/actor for The Wild Wild West with Robert Conrad and Ross Martin, produced by Bruce Lansbury. Born Robert James Huges on November 9, 1920 in Arkoma, Oklahoma he grew up on a ranch with his brother Bill who would also become a stuntman in later life. Moving to Hollywood in 1936 and graduated from high school. He found his way into the film business in 1947.

Because of his small size Whitey was often called upon to double for women in these early days and would eventually do stunts for such luminaries as Rita Hayworth, Stephanie Powers, Barbara Hershey, Anne Baxter, Lana Turner, Kathleen Crowley and Virginia Mayo. Whitey was Johnny Crawford's double for four years on TV's "Rifleman" as well as Bobby Diamond's double during the run of the "Fury" TV series.

Whitey also worked on "U.S. Marshal", "Californians", "MacKenzie's Raiders", "Black Saddle", "WyattEarp", "Lassie", "Rawhide", "Bonanza", "Monroes", "Hondo", "Gunsmoke" ... and hundreds more including work for both Roy [Rogers] and Gene [Autry] on their respective series. His multitude of work is only highlighted in this article. For terrific stunt viewing, I recommend watching Whitey in action in almost every episode of "The Wild Wild West", which he coordinated for four seasons ('65-'68). Whitey and his stunt crew do some amazing action sequences.

Whitey was an active stuntman for 50 years. He was awarded a Golden Boot Award in 2002. Whitey Hughes passed away at home in his sleep on July 7, 2009, he was 87. Whitey was regarded as one of the greatest stuntmen of all time and one of the nicest gentlemen you would ever hope to meet. Whitey performed stunts in the 1969 Euro-western "Guns for San Sebastian".

6 comments:

  1. TOM: Has your email address changed????

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  2. Yes, you can contact me at tbetts26@yahoo.com

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  3. Whitey was my uncle. He was a great guy and led a great life. My condolences go out to Aunt Dorothy, Priscilla Robin and their families.

    Bob

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  4. Whitey was my wife Tami's Great Uncle. I was fortunate enough to get to listen to some great stories from his career. He was a true gentleman. I feel very blessed to have been able to meet him and his lovely wife.

    Charlie

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  5. Uncle Robert (Whitey Hughes) was not only the Best Stunt Man and a wonderful man. He and Aunt Dorothy love the LORD with all their hearts. And have shown all of us the same.
    I'm so blessed to have had you both in my life. Until we meet again.....We love you and Miss you greatly!
    Great Niece, Rachelle Reves-Routh

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  6. My husband and I met Whitey and his sweet wife in Abilene at the Dean Smith Cancer Benefit. He was so nice and gave us some of his pictures. He was not selling them! We had our picture made with them and we will cherish it and have a special place in our home for it.
    A true gentlemen. Our condolences to his family but oh how wonderful to have him for the time you did. Regards, Butch and Cathy Mounce

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