Website last updated: 18-5-2017

20 APRIL 2013
STUNTMAN FRED "NOSHER" POWELL (1928-2013)

By: Anders Frejdh
Published:
2013-04-21
We are saddened to report that the legendary stuntman and long-time member of the 'Bond family' (worked on 14 of the James Bond films) Fred "Nosher" Powell (father of Gary Powell and Greg Powell) has passed away, aged 84. Our thoughts are with his family.

Michael Nesbitt, webmaster for Nosher's official website, commented:

"With great regret and sadness I have to report that Nosher Powell passed away last evening in his sleep, surrounded by his family.

A legend of a man who had a heart of gold, anyone that was lucky enough to have met him over the years were left with the memory of such an amazing character. Nosher may be gone but he will never be forgotten. RIP my friend."

About Nosher Powell:
Nosher Powell was born in the South of London on August 15, 1928, while his brother Dinny Powell was born four years later on 27th July 1932. (The brothers eventually become known as the best stunt brothers in the industry.)

Nosher had a full and varied life starting out in boxing in the early 1930's training in Jack Solomon’s gym in London's West End (a boxing gymnasium known for its hand in the training, promoting and managing of some of the most famous boxers in the world at that time) and fast becoming a handy heavyweight in the early to middle 1950's being ranked 3rd in Britain. This was when boxers were boxers and had to fight hard to scrape a living.

He first worked as a stuntman in the 1944 film Henry V starring Laurence Olivier. He first started doing minor stunts and going on to become one of the top stuntmen of his time. The last film he worked on became Legionnaire (1998) starring Jean Claude Van Damme.

In total, Nosher Powell did stunts in 13 of the official James Bond films including From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964) (1964), Thunderball (1965) (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), Live and Let Die (1973), The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Moonraker (1979) (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983) (1983) and A View to a Kill (1985). (He also worked on the 1967 Bond parody Casino Royale.)

Nosher was also a minder to the rich and famous stars including Frank Sinatra Jr, Sammy Davis Jr, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Bob Hope and Ava Gardner. He was also at one point minder to the richest man in the world, John Paul Getty.

Nosher was also a well known doorman looking after some of the most famous night spots in Britain. He once famously turned the Kray twins (Reginald and Ronald) away for not being properly dressed and threw out Orson Welles from Isow’s (a kosher restaurant in London owned by Norman Isow).

A few colleagues from the film industry have kindly left us a comment on Nosher's passing:

"I first met Nosher on my first Bond film (You Only Live Twice) at that time I was just a young kid getting started so it was thrill to me to meet and work with all these big "names" in the business of which Nosher was one.

Subsequently I went on to work with Nosher many many times and no big call would be complete without him. I especially remember working with him on Superman 1 & 2 and for months during the show I would spar with Nosher, Dinny and Greg. It was a wonderful way to keep fit and to keep my physique in shape to double Chris Reeves, but it also brought home to me what a tough life it would be to be a professional fighter. I was thankful that we were only sparring and they did not hit me as they could have done.

Nosher will always be remembered for his stories and wit, he will be greatly missed by stuntmen and producers alike." - Vic Armstrong (Stuntman/Stunt Coordinator/2nd Unit Director, worked on 7 Bond films between 1967 and 2002)

"It is so sad to lose, Nosher. He was such a 'larger than life character' and such a Legend in the British film industry." - Paul Weston (Stuntman/Stunt Coordinator who has worked on 10 'Bonds')

"Nosher was a wonderful stunt performer, a lovely friend and a real character. My thoughts are with his family." - Sir Roger Moore

"I have fond memories of Nosher, and not only as a stunt man.

Over the years, whenever we were working on location in some rough neighbourhood my assistant, Derek Cracknell, always put Nosher on the call sheet. There is always the local wideboy and his friends who want to talk to the leading lady, meet 007, etc. "I know my rights. I can stand here if I want to."

Derek would just wait for the frightening and impressive sight of Nosher ambling up, saying: "What seems to be the trouble, Derek?" The trouble quickly vanished ..." - Guy Hamilton (Director of four Bond films of which Nosher worked on all)

"I am very sorry to hear of the passing of Nosher Powell. I have very fond memories of this talented and colourful character. He belonged to a breed of daring "do-it-for-real" stuntmen, the like of which we won't see again." - John Glen (Director of five Bond films of which Nosher worked on three)

Editor's note:
According to his autobiography, Nosher Powell had a total of 78 fights - 51 as a professional, with nine losses, though he was never knocked out.

For more about the talented Powell family with over 40 years of stunt experience in the film industry, read a brilliant article, first published in The Times on May 24, 2009.

Photo above:
Book cover for Nosher Powell's autobiography Nosher. © 1999 John Blake Publishing Ltd.

For more about Nosher Powell's stunt career, check out the official website dedicated:
nosherpowell.awardspace.co.uk
#in_memoriam

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Managing Editor: Anders Frejdh