Sad news has come in to pass along as it’s been reported that Buddy Van Horn has passed away. A veteran stuntman who performed dangerous stunts for Clint Eastwood in more than 30 movies, Van Horn was also a filmmaker who directed movies like Any Which Way You Can and The Dead Pool. Sadly, a new Los Angeles Times obituary reveals that Van Horn died on May 11, though a cause of death wasn’t specified. He was 92 years old.
“Buddy has saved my life throughout the years,” Clint Eastwood said in a statement responding to the news, per Variety. “He took all my hits. I will miss our talks as he always made me laugh. He was a true friend.”
Born Wayne Van Horn and sometimes credited as such, Van Horn was born on Aug. 20, 1928, in Los Angeles, California. Destined for a life in show business, Van Horn was born on the back lot of Universal Studios where his father worked as a veterinarian for movie horses and other large animals. From a young age, Van Horn also took an interest in horses and enjoyed riding his pony for miles in the valleys and canyons around North Hollywood, becoming a skilled horseman very quickly.
In fact, it was his horse riding that broke Van Horn through into the movie business, as he got his start as an extra riding horses. After a two-year stint in the U.S. Army, he was working in movies and TV in the 1950s. This culminated in a gig as Guy William’s stunt double in Disney’s Zorro TV series, appearing in all 39 episodes of the show. It also led to working as a stunt double for many well-known Hollywood stars, like Gregory Peck, Jimmy Stewart, and Lee Marvin.
Van Horn first started working with Clint Eastwood in 1967 as his stunt double. This started a decades-long relationship with Van Horn continuing to work with Eastwood and the Malpaso Team on more than 30 movies over the next 44 years. His work with Malpaso also allowed for Van Horn to switch gears and work as a director, with the stuntman helming the 1980s movies Any Which Way You Can (which was a sequel to the box office smash hit Every Which Way But Loose, The Dead Pool, and Pink Cadillac. All three starred Eastwood in the lead role.
As a prolific stunt coordinator, Van Horn’s other movie credits include The Rookie, The Net, Mystic River,Million Dollar Baby, Letters from Iwo Jima, Gran Torino, and J. Edgar. The stuntman was a Charter member of the Stuntmen’s Association of Motion Pictures. Off the set, he also had a passion for horses and a love of golf dating back to the 1950s.
Van Horn’s survivors include his wife, Konne; two daughters, Erika and Jennifer; and five grandchildren, Morgan, Cade, Hayden, Cole, and Landon. We send our condolences to the family along with Eastwood and the rest of Van Horn’s friends at this time. Literally born into the movie business, Van Horn certainly left his mark on the industry and his memory won’t be forgotten. Rest in peace. This news comes to us from Variety.