Everybody loves a good action movie. The amazing tricks, crazy maneuvers and adrenaline-pumping action scenes are mesmerizing, mainly because many of us couldn’t imagine completing a wild, and often dangerous, stunt. But many actors don’t feel up to risking their necks for these show-stopping stunts, either. Instead, movies often rely on stuntmen to ensure the movie is action-packed.
Surprisingly, despite the danger associated with the job, there are tons of people vying for roles as stuntmen and women. Because so many are competing for these positions, an average stunt double typically doesn’t make a fortune. In fact, according to the Screen Actors Guild, a union of theatrical workers that sets minimum day and weekly rates for stunt work, the daily minimum for a stunt double is $859, and the weekly rate is $3,200. It’s by no means a meager wage, but it certainly lags behind the other performers on set.
But sometimes a stunt double finds a way to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. Curious about who the most in-demand stunt doubles are? This list takes a look at some of the biggest stunt double names in Hollywood.
1. Dar Robinson
As one of the world’s most famous stuntmen, Robinson first appeared in the prison movie Papillon as the stunt double for Steve McQueen. The Richest writes that Robinson went on to perform stunts for other big names in Hollywood, including Christopher Plummer and Burt Reynolds. He appeared in movies such as Sharky’s Machine, Turk 182, and Stick, along with the well-known TV series That’s Incredible.
Robinson was so talented that he was named the highest paid stuntman ever by the Guinness Book of Records. How much was Robinson making exactly? An outstanding $100,000 per stunt. But many would say he earned every penny of that $100,000 price tag – he was known for his incredible drop offs and death-defying jumps. One of his most memorable stunts was a 900-foot free fall jump with from Toronto’s Canadian National Tower, with wires catching him 200 feet from the ground. Sadly, his dangerous moves eventually caught up with him. While filming a motorcycle stunt for the movie Million Dollar Industry, 39-year-old Robinson wrecked his bike and died.