Salute to Martin Grace, 007 stuntman

This week, the 007 film world lost Martin Grace, 67, a veteran stuntman who was Roger Moore’s primary stunt double from The Spy Who Loved Me through A View To a Kill. The MI6 Web site reported he died Jan. 27, two months after an accident where he fractured his pelvis. He had suffered a similar injury doubling for Sir Roger in an action sequence set on a train in Octopussy.

It seems fitting that Grace deserves a salute from this site. And a good place to start is For Your Eyes Only, whose pre-titles featured Grace doubling for Sir Roger holding on for dear life in a helicopter controlled by an old acquaintance:

In A View To a Kill, Grace was promoted to the spot of lead stunt arranger while still doubling for 007 in a sequence filmed at the Eiffel Tower.

The veteran stunt man had lots of work outside of the world of James Bond, as this clip shows from a film that’s instantly recognizable:

The Bumps and Bruises of the Bond Business

The Times Online has a nice little piece on the Powell family, who for the past two generations have done stunt work for the James Bond movies.

The Powell family is among the best-kept secrets in film, having performed Bond’s stunts for more than 40 years. In 20 films, Fred “Nosher” Powell, 80, and Dennis “Dinny” Powell, 76, or Nosher’s sons Greg, 54, and Gary, 45, have helped successive Bonds from Sean Connery to Daniel Craig do the dirty business of making Bond look good.

If that sounds like fun gig, bear in mind that the elder Powells now have badly impaired hearing (after all the gun use), and a history of broken bones. Still, how many people can say, as Gary can, that they’ve personally trashed seven Aston Martin DBSs within two consecutive weeks?

The Family Who Do Stunts for James Bond is a fascinating look-behind-the-scenes story of the evolution of cinema stunt work, and another chapter in the ongoing history of the James Bond films. It’s worth your attention.