STUNTS, STARS & LEGENDS April 2011
by John Hagner (Artist of the Stars)
Chuck Hayward drawn by John Hagner
Born Charles Bert Hayward on January 20, 1920 near Hyannis, Nebraska, he grew up with respect and love for horses.
When he was just sixteen he left home and worked in the hayfields and breaking horses. He attended business college in Omaha and then joined the Merchant Marines during World War II on board ship. After the war, he went west and did some rodeo in Wyoming, South Dakota and Nebraska.
In 1947 Chuck tried his luck in California, starting out in Van Nuys. He had some lean years at first and then managed to do some odd jobs working in stables cleaning horse barns and stacking hay. It seemed he was always around horses. He finally got an opportunity to try his hand in the movies and in 1949, Chuck worked in “Fighting Kentuckian” at Republic starring John Wayne. He worked in 24 of Duke’s movies and became a lifelong friend.
His career spanned 50 years and he became one of the most respected and admired stuntman and stunt-coordinator. He worked in many of director Henry Hathaway, John Ford and Howard Hawks’ films. Ford gave him the name of “good” Chuck. He doubled for such film’s legends as Richard Widmark, John Wayne, Steve McQueen, Clint Eastwood, Yul Brynner and Burt Reynolds.
He and his horse “Twinkle Toes” were in hundreds of films and television shows including “True Grit”, “The Searchers”, “Rooster Cogburn”, “Gunsmoke”, “Rawhide”, “Tom Horn” and others.
He was in the film, “Rio Grande”, in 1950, which was filmed in Moab. He and “bad” Chuck Roberson did many horse falls and fights in this classic. In this film there was a special horse ride called the “Roman Ride” that was actually performed by Harry Carey Jr. and Claude Jarman Jr. It turned out to be one of the highlight stunts of the movie.
Chuck Hayward is one of the honored inductees in the Hollywood Stuntmen’s Hall of Fame, which moved to Moab back in 1988 and was opened to the public for 7-1/2 years. Today, the Hall of Fame is without a home and if anyone is interested in learning more about this and other aspects of the Hall of Fame, they may contact John Hagner, its Founder at www.hotmail.com. Also, his cell phone number is 435-260-2160. Anyone wishing to make a donation to the Hollywood Stuntmen’s Hall of Fame, the mailing address is 21 W. Kane Creek Blvd. - #12, Moab, Utah 84532. The website is www.stuntmen.org.