Richard Graydon, an intrepid stuntman who performed in 10 James Bond films and the original Star Wars over a decades-long career, died December 22, The Telegraph reports. He was 92.
Graydon credited his early work as a jockey as an excellent foundation for his stunt work. His Bond run started in 1963 with From Russia With Love. In 1969, he doubled for George Lazenby tobogganing down the Cresta Run in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. In one scene he slides down on a piece of chain to a cable car dangling over an 80-foot drop. “The only safety devices I had were two hooks in the palm of my hand attached to my safety belt,” he recalled. “The difficulty was that ice had formed on the cable.”
His next gig as 007 would come a decade later, again atop a cable car suspended hundreds of feet above the ground doubling for Roger Moore in Moonraker, fighting the steel-toothed Jaws (fellow stuntman Martin Grace). You can check out the scene in the video above. At one point, disaster nearly struck when Graydon slipped and was left hanging by one hand with no safety harness. “One slip and it would have been certain death,” he said, recalling the episode as “the nastiest moment of my career”, The Telegraph reported.
In You Only Live Twice (1967), Graydon rappelled into a volcano and made a brief appearance as a Russian cosmonaut. In Octopussy (1983), he doubled again for Moore as 007, making his way along the top of a moving train, fighting off henchmen of the archvillain Kamal Khan (Louis Jourdan). Graydon’s other Bond films include Goldfinger (uncredited), Thunderball, A View To A Kill, For Your Eyes Only and The Spy Who Loved Me.
Graydon’s first screen credit was in 1952 in The Story Of Robin Hood And His Merrie Men. He performed or coordinated stunts in dozens of other films including Where Eagles Dare –– which featured yet another harrowing cable car fight scene — When Eight Bells Toll, Don’t Look Now, Royal Flash, The Man Who Fell To Earth, The Duellists, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Tim Burton’s Batman, and Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels.
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