Wayne “Buddy” Van Horn, Clint Eastwood’s longtime stunt double and sometimes director, died on May 11, according to a Los Angeles Times obituary on Sunday. He was 92 years old.
Van Horn was the stunt coordinator on Eastwood films from 1972 to 2011, including “The Enforcer”, “The Gauntlet” and “Sudden Impact”. He was also a second unit manager on Eastwood’s “Magnum Force” before assuming all directorial roles on “Any Which Way You Can” in 1980, “The Dead Pool” in 1988, the fifth and final appearance of the iconic Eastwood character, “Dirty” Harry Callahan, then “Pink Cadillac” in 1989. “
A skilled rider from a young age, Van Horn loved to tell stories of his pony riding for miles in the valleys and canyons surrounding North Hollywood as a child. His rugged skills have earned him a gig on horseback as an extra in westerns. However, on the set of his second film, Van Horn received a letter informing the 21-year-old that he had been recruited. This led to two years of service in the United States Army in Germany during the Cold War.
After his service, Van Horn continued to work in television and film. His first big job was as Guy Williams’ stunt double in Walt Disney’s Zorro series, which ran from 1957 to 1958. The 1960s saw Van Horn doubling down for even bigger names on even bigger works. important, including Gregory Peck, Jimmy Stewart, Lee Marvin and Henri Fonda. He also used his fencing skills in fight scenes in films such as “Spartacus” and “The War Lord”.
Van Horn became Clint Eastwood’s stuntman in 1967, a partnership that spanned over 44 years and over 30 films, including the classic âDirty Harryâ film series. His most important screen appearance not as Eastwood came in in 1973’s “High Plains Drifter”, in which he played Field Marshal Jim Duncan. Taking advantage of Van Horn’s resemblance to the actor, his casting was intended to suggest that he and Eastwood’s âStrangerâ character were, in fact, the same person. The veteran stuntman followed Eastwood through his own directorial career until “J. Edgar.”
Van Horn is survived by his wife Konne, two daughters Erika and Jennifer; and five grandchildren, Morgan, Cade, Hayden, Cole and Landon.