Monday, February 16, 2009

RIP Gerry Crampton

Actor and stuntman Gerry Crampton who appeared in six James Bond films, died in England on January 24 at the age of 78. Born Robert Gerald Crampton in Fulham, London, England on April 28, 1930, he was the son of a coach driver. His father was an amateur boxer and taught him and his brothers the sport. Gerry became a swimmer and taught himself to dive. He left school at 14 to become a butcher’s boy and then took a job at Ealing Studios as a sound assistant on David Lean’s “Great Expectations” in 1946. He then became interested in body building and eventually was crowned Britain’s Mr. Body Beautiful in 1956. He met Bob Simmons, the stunt coordinator for the James Bond films, who took him under his wing and taught him riding, fencing and fighting. He was seen in “Tarzan Goes to India” with Jock Mahoney in 1962 and returned to India 48 more times in his career working on countless Indian as well as British films. He eventually became a stunt coordinator on such films as “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981), “Gandhi” (1982), and “Jewel in the Crown” (1984). He was one of the very first British stuntmen ever to receive membership in the Hollywood Stuntmen’s Hall of Fame. Crampton appeared in and was stunt coordinator on two European Westerns “The Desperados!” (1969) and “Man in the Wilderness” (1971).

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