Two Retired Hollywood Stuntmen Killed in Traffic Accident

Bob Orrison and Gary McLarty were pronounced dead at the scene outside Sacramento after their truck was broadsided

Bob Orrison and and Gary McLarty, longtime friends and retired Hollywood stuntmen, were killed Saturday afternoon when the pickup truck in which they were riding was broadsided in Rancho Cordova, Calif., the Merced Sun-Star reported. Orrison was 86 and McLarty was 73.

Orrison apparently was the driver and making a U-turn when his truck was hit by a Jeep Cherokee traveling 55 mph, the newspaper reported. He and McLarty were pronounced dead at the scene.

“It was a direct hit,” Sacramento sheriff’s spokesman Lisa Bowman told the Merced Sun-Star

Orrison and McLarty worked together on such films as The Wild Bunch (1969), The Return of a Man Called Horse (1976) and Days of Thunder (1990). Both are members of the Hollywood Stuntmen’s Hall of Fame.

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Orrison, a native of Bakersfield, Calif., doubled for Dean Martin in 5 Card Stud (1968), piloted the car known as the General Lee in the CBS action series The Dukes of Hazzard and did stunt work on the action film Speed (1994). 

McLarty, a former rodeo bronc rider, was a protege of legendary stuntman Hal Needham and worked in Hollywood for 40 years. He served as the stunt coordinator on three John Landis films: Animal House (1978), in which he drove a Harley up the frat-house stairs in a memorable scene; The Blues Brothers (1980); and, tragically, Twilight Zone: The Movie, in which actor Vic Morrow and two children were killed in a helicopter accident.

McLarty also worked on such films as Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970), The Longest Yard (1974), Blade Runner (1982), Beverly Hills Cop II (1987) and Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000).

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McLarty also was Robert Blake’s double on the ABC series Baretta, and in 2005, he testified that the actor offered him $10,000 to kill Blake’s wife, Bonnie Lee Bakley. He said he declined.

Bakley was shot to death outside a Studio City restaurant in 2001. Blake was acquitted in criminal court but found liable in civil court for her death.

Twitter: @mikebarnes4