Birthday: March 6, 1931
Birth Place: Memphis, Tennessee, USA

bostwickTalented US stuntman, director, writer & actor born March 6th, 1931 in Memphis Tennessee.....Hal Needham has had an amazing career in film spanning the best part of five decades. Needham served as a paratrooper in the Korean War, in the logging industry, and even as a male model for Viceroy cigarettes, before beginning a career in Hollywood.

His first break was working as a stunt double for Richard Boone in the TV western "Have Gun - Will Travel" (1957), plus he was a stunt regular on many other western TV shows including "Gunsmoke" (1955), "Rawhide" (1959) and "Black Saddle" (1959). With expert guidance from 'Chuck Robertson' who was the regular stunt double for John Wayne, Needham quickly honed his craft and developed a reputation as one of Hollywood's best stunt performers. He was a stunt performer in such well known films as Pork Chop Hill (1959), _Our ManFlint (1965)_, The War Wagon (1967) and Tobruk (1967).

In the latter part of the 1960s, Needham moved into the stunt coordinator role, and again his talents were in high demand, and Needham became the stunt double and stunt coordinator on many Burt Reynolds films including White Lightning (1973), The Longest Yard (1974) and Gator (1976). In 1976, Needham came to Reynolds with a script he had written about a wise cracking ladies man, and his trucker friend who try to transport a container full of beer across state lines for a handsome pay off. Reynolds liked the racy script, which honed in on the then CB radio craze, and he gave Needham the opportunity to direct the movie. Smokey and the Bandit (1977) starring Reynolds, Sally Field, Jerry Reed and Jackie Gleason was a monster hit, and took over $100 million at the box office, good enough money to green light two sequels. Needham also directed Reynolds in the star laden The Cannonball Run (1981), and the even more "over the top", but less successful Cannonball Run II (1984).

In 1980, Needham founded "Stunts Unlimited" with fellow stunt performers Robert Tessier, Glenn R. Wilder and Ronnie Rondell Jr..

Needham was fairly quiet in cinema during the 1980s, preferring to become involved in other projects, however he was back behind the camera in the mid-1990s directing several telemovies based around the "Bandit" character from the 70s movies, plus he directed Street Luge (1996) and Hard Time: Hostage Hotel (1999) (TV).

One of Hollywoods great stunt innovators!

Filmography - Director

Hard Time: Hostage Hotel (1999) (TV)
... aka Hostage Hotel (1999) (TV) (USA)
2. Street Luge (1996)
3. Bandit: Bandit's Silver Angel (1994) (TV)
... aka Bandit: Bandit and the Silver Angel (1994) (TV) (USA)
4. Bandit: Beauty and the Bandit (1994) (TV)
5. Bandit: Bandit Bandit (1994) (TV)
6. Bandit: Bandit Goes Country (1994) (TV)
... aka Bandit Goes Country (1994) (TV)
7. "B.L. Stryker" (1989) TV Series
8. Body Slam (1987)
9. Rad (1986)
10. Cannonball Run II (1984)
11. Stroker Ace (1983)
12. Megaforce (1982)
13. Cannonball Run, The (1981)
14. Smokey and the Bandit II (1980)
... aka Smokey and the Bandit Ride Again (1980) (UK)
15. Stunts Unlimited (1980) (TV)
16. Death Car on the Freeway (1979) (TV)
... aka Death Car on the Freeway (1979) (TV)
... aka Wheels of Death (1979) (TV) (UK: video title)
17. Villain, The (1979)
... aka Cactus Jack (1980) (UK)
18. Hooper (1978)
19. Smokey and the Bandit (1977)

Guest Starring Roles

Cybill - Himself - The Cheese Stands Alone (1995)
Charlie's Angels - Julio - Angels in the Wings (1977)
Mannix - Arnie - Wine From These Grapes (1971)
Gunsmoke - Morgan Man - Morgan (1970)
Gunsmoke - Renegade Indian # 3 - Hawk (1969)
Cimarron Strip - Yewcic - The Battleground (1967)
Laredo - Cole - A Matter of Policy (1965)
Gunsmoke - Charlie - Double Entry (1965)
Gunsmoke - Henchman - Hammerhead (1964)
The Richard Boone Show - - Run, Pony, Run (1964)
Gunsmoke - cowboy - The Odyssey of Jubal Tanner (1963)
Stoney Burke - Sam Fremont - Webb of Fear (1963)
Gunsmoke - Ed - The Boys (1962)
Have Gun, Will Travel - Buddy - Dream Girl (1962)
Riverboat - - Listen to the Nightingale (1961)
Coronado 9 - - Doomtown (1960)
Have Gun, Will Travel - Mabry - The Naked Gun (1959)
Have Gun, Will Travel - 3rd Posseman - The Posse (1959)
Have Gun, Will Travel - Mac - Les Girls (1959)
Have Gun, Will Travel - Little Horse - Lady on the Stagecoach (1959)

Co-Starring Roles

Fantasy Island - Orville - Photographs / Royal Flush (1979)
Mission: Impossible - Mork - Break! (1972)
Mission: Impossible - Wendell's Double - Nerves (1971)
Star Trek - Gary Mitchell's Stunt Double (uncredited) - Where No Man Has Gone Before (1966)
The Virginian - Jamie - Long Ride to Wind River (1966)
The Virginian - The Bounty Hunter - Jennifer (1965)
Rawhide - Corporal Williams - The Deserters' Patrol (1962)

Movie/Mini-Series/Special Roles

The War Wagon (1967) - Hite
McLintock (1963) - Carter