Carey Loftin

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Carey Loftin
Born(1914-01-31)January 31, 1914
Blountstown, Calhoun County, Florida, USA
DiedMarch 4, 1997(1997-03-04) (aged 83)
Huntington Beach, Orange County, California
OccupationStuntman; Actor: Years active: 1930's - 1997
 
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Carey Loftin
Born(1914-01-31)January 31, 1914
Blountstown, Calhoun County, Florida, USA
DiedMarch 4, 1997(1997-03-04) (aged 83)
Huntington Beach, Orange County, California
OccupationStuntman; Actor: Years active: 1930's - 1997

Carey Loftin (January 31, 1914 – March 4, 1997) (also credited as Cary Loftin) and William Carey Loftin was an American stuntman , stunt coordinator and actor. He is often considered to be Hollywood's greatest stunt driver, and his talents were used in dozens of films. Loftin was born in Blountstown, Florida, and began his career doing Motorcycle stunts in stunt shows, and broke into film work in the late 1930s. though he did stunt work in many types of films, it is his driving abilities for which he is most remembered. While working on Bullitt, one of his fellow stuntmen called him "the greatest car man in the business". Aside from being a busy stuntman, Loftin also acted in bit parts many of them in films or television shows he was doing stunts for. One of his most famous roles was as the unseen, psychotic truck driver in Steven Spielberg's Duel, even though his face was never seen. He also acted as a truck driver in Stroker Ace (1983) and his face was never seen, like Duel, but not a villain. Films to which he contributed as a stuntman and/or stunt coordinator include, Vanishing point, Magnum Force, Bullitt, The Getaway, the Love Bug, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Spartacus, Some Like It Hot, The Great Race, The French Connection, Diamonds Are Forever, The Front Page, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, Smokey and the Bandit, The China Syndrome, The Dead Zone, Fletch, Big Trouble In Little China, Armed and Dangerous, Christmas Comes to Willow Creek, Messenger of death, The Rookie and many more. He also did stunts for such television shows as The Fugitive, The Man From U.N.C.L.E, Movin'On, Star Trek, (as the truck driver who hits and kills Edith Keller in the episode "The City On the Edge of Forever"), The Rockford Files, B.J. and the Bear, Knight Rider, The Fall Guy, The A-Team, and The Dukes of Hazzard. Over the course of his long career, Carey Loftin worked with a number of famous directors, such as Stanley Kramer, Billy Wilder, Stanley Kubrick, Clint Eastwood, and stuntman turned director Hal Needham.

He also had a supporting role as Skinner in the Keenan Wynn and Bob Mathias series The Troubleshooters, which aired on NBC in the 1959–1960 season. His co-stars included Chet Allen and Forrest Compton.

A notable demonstration of stunt driving that Loftin performed was the car chase/race in Against All Odds (1984). He was the driver of the black Ferrari. According to the movie's director, Taylor Hackford, Loftin was 68 when he did this stunt. At first Hackford was reluctant to hire the aging stuntman but stunt coordinator Gary Davis convinced Hackford that even at 68, Loftin was by far the best car man in the business at that time.[citation needed]

Loftin eventually semi-retired in 1991 at age 77 after doing Pink Lightning (1991), although he still took minor stunt roles as a truck driver since he loved driving trucks, enjoyed talking to truck drivers and had a passion for trucks. Those roles include Revenge on the Highway (1992), Red-Blooded American Girl II (1996), Fire Down Below (1997)Trucks (1997) Vanishing Point (1997) and Black Dog (1998) (filmed in 1996 but released in 1998). Loftin did truck stunts for the main character's Truck, portrayed by Patrick Swayze. He also did stunt work driving for the main character's trucks in "B.J. and the Bear" (1978-1981) and "Movin' On" (1974-1976). In Movin' On Loftin was mostly the stunt double for Claude Akins and Frank Converse for the outside driving scene's. In the episode "Games" Loftin noted that Stunt Man George Sack had his first minor stunt gig driving the truck when the truck hit a police car. Other than that, most of the driving scene's and all the other truck stunt scene's were done by Loftin. Loftin also did the major driving scenes in "B.J. and the Bear" (1978-1981) as Greg Evigan's stunt double. (The bill board stunt was done by new comer stunt man Errol Sack, George's son.) Loftin noted that he did some regular driving scene's too for Greg Evigan, even although Greg Evigan did do some of his own driving.

Loftin died of natural causes in Huntington Beach, California aged 83 years. He is a member of the Stuntmen's Hall of Fame, and the Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

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