Chuck Bail, Famed Stuntman and ‘Gumball Rally’ Director, Dies at 85


He acted and flew a bi-plane in ‘The Stunt Man’ and bought into fistfights and shootouts in dozens of TV Westerns.

Chuck Bail, the Hollywood man of motion who portrayed the stunt coordinator within the Peter O’Toole-starring The Stunt Man and directed frenetic movies together with The Gumball Rally and Cleopatra Jones and the On line casino of Gold, has died. He was 85.

Bail died Wednesday in a hospital in Tyler, Texas, his good friend and fellow former stuntman Gary Kent advised The Hollywood Reporter. Bail had coronary heart and gall bladder points after which contracted COVID-19, he stated.

A strapping 6-foot-4, Bail served because the stunt double for Max Baer Jr. on The Beverly Hillbillies and for Peter Breck on The Massive Valley, and he threw punches as henchmen employed by Mr. Freeze (Otto Preminger), Catwoman (Julie Newmar), The Penguin (Burgess Meredith) and The Riddler (John Astin) on Batman.

Because the regular stunt coordinator Chuck Barton, Bail basically performed himself in director Richard Rush’s The Stunt Man (1980). He additionally flew the bi-plane that carried out dives across the Resort del Coronado in one of many movie’s extra notable sequences.

He had been Rush’s stunt coordinator on Getting Straight (1970) and Freebie and the Bean (1974), and the 2 labored collectively on Hells Angels on Wheels (1967) and The Savage Seven (1968) as properly.

Bail stepped as much as make his directing debut within the waning days of the blaxploitation period on Black Samson (1974), starring Rockne Tarkington, then helmed the Hong Kong-set Cleopatra Jones and the On line casino of Gold (1975), starring Tamara Dobson.

He examine a real-life coast-to-coast highway race in a newspaper and pitched Warner Bros. on the thought for The Gumball Rally (1976). The movie, which starred Michael Sarrazin and Raul Julia, was a forerunner to the extra well-known The Cannonball Run.

Bail additionally served because the second-unit director who labored out the motion sequences on Greased Lightning (1977), The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper (1981) and The Beastmaster (1982).

Concerning that final one, actor Marc Singer famous in an exquisite video biography of Bail put collectively by stuntman Bob Ivy that he “introduced in a gaggle of stuntmen from the previous days, the Westerns from tv … these guys ran stunts like a soccer staff runs performs. Horses, canine, girls, kids, all within the combine.”

Later, Bail helmed Choke Canyon (1986) and Avenue Nook Justice (1996), which he additionally wrote and produced, and known as the pictures for episodes of CHiPs, Knight Rider, Dragnet and Baywatch Nights.

Bail was born in Pittsburgh in 1935. His father was a jeweler and his mom owned a magnificence parlor. He entered the U.S. Navy when he was 17 and was a aggressive boxer and swimmer within the service.

After his discharge, Bail joined a Wild West present on a tour of Asia, however when it ran out of cash, the U.S. Embassy organized for the performers to return to the States. He docked in Los Angeles in 1957 and stayed to work in Hollywood when stuntman Chuck Sofa took him beneath his wing; quickly, he was falling off horses and stepping into shootouts and fistfights on such TV Westerns as Damaged Arrow, The Texan, Bat Masterson and Wished: Lifeless or Alive.

Bail’s credit additionally included the options Candy Chicken of Youth (1962), The Inexperienced Berets (1968), Dennis Hopper’s The Final Film (1971) and The Home of Seven Corpses (1974) and such TV exhibits as Perry Mason, Honey West, Daniel Boone, The Massive Valley, The Excessive Chaparral, Bonanza, The Monkees and Kung Fu.

Bail was “a person of his phrase and a straight shooter,” Kent stated. “What he stated he at all times stood by, which by Hollywood requirements is a tricky factor to do.”

Survivors embody his son, Mark.

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