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".