Friday, July 5, 2024

Little Known Spaghetti Western Actors ~ Billy Burton

[These daily posts will cover little known actors or people that have appeared in more recent films and TV series. Various degrees of information that I was able to find will be given and anything that you can add would be appreciated.]

William H. ‘Billy’ Burton Jr. was born in Culver City, California in 1944. He got his start in stunts in 1965 by way of the rodeo to work on western films and television shows in Hollywood. He soon met mentor Hal Needham who taught him what it took to be a great stuntman and he was one of the original members of Stunts Unlimited formed in 1970 by Hal Needham, Glenn Wilder and Ronnie Rondell.

In 1976 and 1978, Billy won the World Stuntman’s Competition on CBS Sports Spectacular, competing in motorcycle, car, and horse work for the award.

From there, he transitioned into directing action sequences for film. He has brought numerous memorable sequences to life, including an exhilarating boat chase between Nicholas Cage and John Travolta in “Face-Off” and the iconic motorcycle chase in “Mission: Impossible 2” with Tom Cruise. Burton has made over 100 movies and television shows, with 30 of them in the Western genre.

His assistant directing credits include “Mission: Impossible 2”, “The Scorpion King”, “Collateral Damage”, “Hostage”, and more. With over 50 years as a stuntman, stunt coordinator, and 2nd unit director, Billy considers his career a great ride.

Billy Burton appeared in two Euro-westerns: “The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada” (2005) [stunts], “The Homesman” (2013) [stunt coordinator].

BURTON, Billy (aka Bill Burton, Bill Burton Jr., Billy Burton Jr., William Burton, William H. Burton, William H. ‘Billy’ Burton Jr., Bill Burton Sr., Billie Burton, Billy Burton) (William Howard Burton Jr.) [1944, Culver City, California, U.S.A. -    ] – rodeo performer, assistant director, stunt coordinator, stuntman, film, TV actor, married to Twana F. Hopes [1951-    ] (1970-    ), father of stuntman William H. ‘Billy’ Burton Jr.) [1963-    ], stuntman David Harold Burton [1964-    ], uncle of actor, stuntman Harold David Burton [1942-    ], awarded Taurus Lifetime Achievement Award [2019].

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada – 2005 [stunts]

The Homesman - 2013 [stunt coordinator]


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