Moab Happenings Archive
Return to home

STUNTS, STARS & LEGENDS - November 2015

Jock Mahoney
In 1973, Jock Mahoney was appearing as a guest star on an episode of the television series, ‘’Kung Fu’’, starring David Carradine. The studio didn’t want Jocko to do any stunts at his age (he was around 57 years old), so they hired a stuntman named George Wilbur to double for him. Just as the director yelled, “action”, someone noticed Jocko fall to the ground. It was then that he suffered his first stroke. From then on, his career continued mostly as a guest star on various television shows. He also became very popular at western film conventions. The popular action movie starring Burt Reynolds called “Hooper” was fashioned after Jocko ... As an aging stuntman who suffers a stroke.

We had the pleasure of Jock Mahoney’s appearing at many of the Hollywood Stuntmen’s Hall of Fame’s footprinting and induction ceremonies. He also was one of the hall of fame’s board of directors.

Jock Mahoney left his mark in The stunt world with his outstanding stunt work consisting of horseback riding, high falls, fights especially with his fight partner Dick Jones in the ‘Range Rider” television series and as Yancy Derringer.


In the Warner Bros. 1938 classic movie, “Charge of the Light Brigade”’ starring Errol Flynn and Olivia DeHavilland, the battle at the end of the film featured the charge where as many as a hundred horses and riders were involved.

To film the action, many of the riders (stuntmen and rodeo performers) paired off at each end of the run ... to race their mounts at full gallop to fight the battle. The scenes were filmed at several angles with cameras to get the most spectacular scenes possible.

When the battle was over . . . there were several horses killed and many severely injured as well as some of the riders (none were stuntmen) were injured with broken bones, as well cuts and bruises and some deaths (how many is still a mystery) ... but I was told there were eight riders who lost their lives. Among the stuntmen who rode and did Running W horse falls.

A Running W horse fall was done when piano wires were attached to the front legs of the horse ... then, the rider held onto the other end of the wires and on cue from the Director, the rider pulled on the wires and the horse’s front legs bend backwards and cause the horse to fall on its neck and head. That was the year that the Running W method of falling a horse was outlawed. Then, stuntmen like Yakima Canutt, Cliff Lyons, Duke Taylor and Fred Kennedy designed a new method of falling a horse..


If interested in learning more about the Hall of Fame, please contact John Hagner (Founder) at 435 260-2160.
Hall of Fame website:

John Hagner (Founder) is also the Artist of the Stars.
His Celebrity Portrait Drawings are available at telephone 435-259-7000,
Mailing address: 50 W. 400 N, Moab, Utah 84532.
Say you saw this article in Moab Happenings!

Return to home

© 2002-2015 Moab Happenings. All rights reserved.
Reproduction of information contained in this site is expressly prohibited.