Moab Happenings Archive
Return to home

STUNTS, STARS & LEGENDS -December 2012

Stunts Stars And Legends:Gary McLarty
by John Hagner (Artist of the Stars)

In 1996, Gary narrowly escaped being killed while riding his motorcycle on his way to get a cup of hot chocolate ... Then a car accidently ran him off the road.Gary McLarty as drawn by John Hagner, Artist of the Stars

In the early 1950s, he was living in a home for boys in the San Fernando Valley at the McKinley Home for Boys. The movie “East of Eden”, starring James Dean was filmed there. Gary was fortunate to watch the filming for about a week. He really wanted to be a part of working in the movies. At the time, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis came there to do a film for Director Hal Wallis entitled, “The Three Ring Circus”. Co-starring was Jeanne Crane.

In the early 1960s he met Hal Needham. Hal was very helpful and soon afterwards, he started working in western movies. Gary had experience riding broncos in rodeos. He was raised near the Sunset Stables. His interest in stunt work was such that he bought a horse and trained it in doing falls. Hal started taking Gary on the films he was working, including the John Wayne classic action in, “War Wagon”. Duke really liked Hal Needham’s style of stunt fighting and brought him into coordinate some of the fight scenes. It was then that he introduced Gary and put him and some of the other fellas and they did a big barroom brawl in that movie.
Gary worked on six Wayne pictures: “The War wagon”, “Hell Fighters”, “The Undefeated”, “Chisum”, “McQ” and “Rooster Cogburn”.

In ‘This Boy’s Life” which was filmed in Moab, starring Robert DeNiro, Gary was hired to drive an out-of-control truck down a mountain road, turn it over and crash down the mountain. He accomplished the very dangerous stunt, but it was cut from the movie.

In the movie, “McQ”, Hal Needham was seriously injured performing a cannon-roll stunt, so Gary was called in to complete the sequence. This was up in Washington, on an Indian reservation. He did the turnover with a car on the beach at a speed of about seventy-five or eighty miles an hour. It was the first time a cannon was used to flip a car.

Gary McLarty is an honored inductee in the Hollywood Stuntmen’s Hall of Fame and was footprinted in cement in Moab when several stunt performers were here on the movie, “Thelma and Louise” in the early 1990s.

For more information on the Hollywood Stuntmen’s Hall of Fame, go to
On Facebook, check Falling For Stars. Then Artist of the Stars. Then Stunt Stars and Legends. Or call 435-260-2160
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.
Say you saw this article in Moab Happenings!

Return to home

© 2002-2012 Moab Happenings. All rights reserved.
Reproduction of information contained in this site is expressly prohibited.