Watch through the end credits of any movie – an action movie especially – and you're bound to see a whole team of stuntmen involved in the production. But of all the stunties in Hollywood, Hal Needham stood out as one of the most important. And now, we're sad to say, he is no more.
Over the course of his long career, Needham was said to have worked on some 310 movies and 4,500 television episodes. In those prolific decades he broke 56 bones and broke his back twice, but it all paid off.

He eventually worked his way up to the director's chair for such classics as Smokey and the Bandit and The Cannonball Run. A former paratrooper, Needham pioneered many of the stunt procedures used today and even had his own NASCAR team.

Sadly Needham passed away this past Friday at 82, a ripe old age particularly for someone who made his living jumping out of airplanes, crashing cars and lighting himself on fire. Check out a fan-made video down below showcasing some of the highlights of Hal's career.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      dci gene shunt
      • 1 Year Ago
      The drive to the gravesite will consist of 3 jumps over bridges, 4 fruit stands knocked over, a 90 degree handbrake turn, and busting through a large pane of glass 2 guys are walking across with.
      scott3
      • 1 Year Ago
      I would recommend his book. He is a perfect example of a self made man who was born more than poor and worked his way to the top. There was little luck involved here just hard work. He live life long, hard and enjoyed ever step along the way. RIP the real Bandit.
      rmt_1
      • 1 Year Ago
      The posted story here on Autoblog barely scratches the surface of Hal Needham's accomplishments beyond just being a stunt man and as a movie director; his greatest legacy may have been his ability to innovate the stunt and movie industries. Needham's biography posted on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) states, "He invented and introduced to the film industry, the air ram, air bag, the car cannon turnover, the nitrogen ratchet, the jerk-off ratchet, rocket power and The Shotmaker Camera Car to make stunts safer and yet more spectacular at the same time"; everything now commonplace on TV and the movies. Also, IMDb states that Needham "was the first human to test the car airbag". Overall, he lead quite an extraordinary life.
      btulliani
      • 1 Year Ago
      Very cool! So much good cheesy goodness. The 70's, 80's rocked and glad I was a teenager at the time. RIP Mr.Needham,
      MarkK_911_guy
      • 1 Year Ago
      Thanks for making this!! Hal's films shaped my life in many ways, especially the Cannon Ball Run films. I saw the first one when I was about 16, and the opening Lamborghini shots will remain my favorites forever. I autocrossed Fiat X1/9s after that and fell in love with Italian cars. Later, when I had the means, I was able to buy a Ferrari 308. It was beautiful, but had, by that time I had also purchased and rebuilt old Porsche 911's. Made money on every car purchase (with a LOT pf personal labor). Owning both, in about 1990, I decided Porsche (911 only) was the mark for me. Please make your own choice! Just telling you why Hal and his films mean so much to me.
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      RIP Hal.
      dukeisduke
      • 1 Year Ago
      Rest in peace, Hal.
      ghmason
      • 1 Year Ago
      This man made the movie RAD happen, which defined my childhood. RIP
      MotownHeavyMetal
      • 1 Year Ago
      "stuntie" (sic), huh?