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STUNTS, STARS & LEGENDS -November 2012

Stunts Stars And Legends: Gil Perkins
by John Hagner (Artist of the Stars)

Drawing Gil Perkins drawn by artis of the stars John HagnerGil Perkins was one of the legends of the stunt world. Stunts in the movies are a science, not just a game of chance. Perkins was born in Queensland in 1907, and most of his life was spent in California ... his accent was never evident. He attended the Malvern Technical School, where his dad was hopeful he would become an engineer.

AT age 18, he became a deck-hand on a Norwegian freighter and for four months, he sailed round the Pacific. He arrived in California in 1927 with a friend and worked in a garage, but realized his interest was to be in the movies. Studios beckoned him, so he went around to various studios and talked to casting office people ... and when he didn’t get results from them, he’d go around to the back of Paramount Studio and leap over the barbed wire fence. In 1927, he worked in his first movie, “The Divine lady”. The following year he was Sergeant Cox in “Journey’s End. As a stuntman his action started when he doubled for actor Rod LaRocque in “The Delightful Rogue” for RKO. He doubled for Bill Boyd in all the “Hopalong Cassidy” films ... and also did stunts for Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Randolph Scott, Kirk Douglas, Red Skelton (often with a red hair piece), Danny Kaye and Gene Hackman. He was in “King Kong” (1933), “Captain’s Courageous” (1937) and, in the Errol Flynn swashbuckler classic, “The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) at Warner Bros. He was in “Mrs. Miniver” (1942), and in Moab, he was a stuntman in “Wagon Master” in 1950. He appeared in “Bonnie and Clyde” (1967) and “Walking Tall” (1973).

In his day, there was no school for stunt work. Trial and error was how it was done ... an error could result in serious injury

For more information on the Hollywood Stuntmen’s Hall of Fame, go to www.stuntmen.org.
On Facebook, check Falling For Stars. Then Artist of the Stars. Then Stunt Stars and Legends. Or call 435-260-2160
STUNTS STARS AND LEGENDS
is a series of articles and drawings by John Hagner and appear in Moab Happenings monthly.

John Hagner (Founder) is also the Artist of the Stars.
His Celebrity Portrait Drawings are available at OK Tours, telephone 435-259-7000,
Mailing address: 50 W. 400 N, Moab, Utah 84532.
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