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Hal Needham Quotes

Hal Needham
  • Mini Bio
  • Name: Hal Brett Needham
  • Born: 6th March 1931, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
  • Died: 25th October 2013, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
  • Inspiration: Chuck Roberson (John Waynes stunt double)
  • Occupation: Stuntman, actor, screenwriter and movie director
  • Famous for: Writing the screenplay for Smokey and the Bandit which he later directed
  • Marriage resume: Arlene R. Wheeler 1960 - 1977 (divorced), Dani Crayne 1981 - 1987 (divorced) and Ellyn Wynne Williams 31st December 1996 - 25th October 2013 (his death)
  • Trivia: Enlisted for military service in the army for the Korean war

"Screw the dialogue, let's wreck some cars"

Hal Needham

"When I came in, Westerns were the big thing, so I did horse falls, transfers, bulldogs, big fights. That’s where you could really shine if you were really good at it"

Hal Needham

"I know one thing; I’ll never win an Academy Award. But I'll be a rich son of bitch. And that's what it’s all about"

Hal Needham

"My first job was as a treetopper, and I was so damn good at it they called me Squirrel"

Hal Needham

"I was beginning to think I had let my alligator mouth overload my jaybird ass"

Hal Needham

"I learned a lot of things from those big, big directors. And a lot of it was what I didn't want to do"

Hal Needham

"The first movie I worked was called "The Spirit of St. Louis." It was the story of Charles Lindberg's life"

Hal Needham

"I could do it all. I worked every day. I never turned down a stunt"

Hal Needham

"I broke my back twice and 56 bones and knocked out a few teeth"

Hal Needham

"He certainly has tried to keep me from breaking my neck in all the years I've been doubling him"

Hal Needham

"Ignore the pain and don’t complain"

Hal Needham
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Hal Needham Biography

Before Hal Needham became a Hollywood stuntman he did some billboard promotional work for a well known cigarette manufacturer and he was also a paratrooper in the U.S. army where he served in Korea.

Once he started as a stuntman there was no holding him back, he regularly was stunt double for Burt Reynolds and Clint Walker and by the end of the 1960's he was the top earning stuntman in Hollywood. In his career he broke 56 bones including his back as well as losing a few teeth, he was a pioneer of introducing safety measures and techniques to stunts like airbags and formalizing the shotmaker camera car.

He also wrote the screenplay and later directed the box office hit "Smokey and the Bandit" starring his long time friend Burt Reynolds. He directed 10 movies in all including the box office successes of "Hooper" and "The Cannonball Run".

From some of the bravest men come some of the finest one liners to savour, so here is my compilation of 11 of the best Hal Needham quotes.

Quotes About Hal Needham

Burt Reynolds paid the ultimate compliment anyone can give for a stuntman: "I thought he was — and he was — the best stuntman that ever lived"

Arnold Schwarzenegger was impressed to say: "Hal Needham was a great stunt coordinator, director and an icon. I’m still grateful he took a chance with me in The Villain"

His son David spoke of growing up with the ultimate stuntman as your father: "He’d break bones, and he’d be out of hospital and doing stunts again in no time. He was just unbreakable"

Hal Needham  image quote