Website last updated: 19-9-2017

17 JUNE 2012
STUNTMAN GEORGE LEECH (1921-2012)

By: Anders Frejdh
Published:
2012-06-19
We are saddened to report that the highly talented stuntman/stunt arranger and long-time James Bond film collaborator George Leech (father of stuntwoman Wendy Leech and father in law of Vic Armstrong) has passed away. Our thoughts are with his family.

George Leech first entered the film world after the second world war when, in 1947, he was James Mason's stand-in for Carol Reed's Odd Man Out.

From the late 1950s, he became a "bit part actor" in films such as Port Afrique (1956), And the Same to You (1960) and the wonderful The Guns of Navarone (1961). Keeping in excellent shape, George found a niche for himself as a stunt performer and in 1962 made his first appearance in a Bond film - the first Bond film - Dr. No (1962) in which he played Joseph Wiseman's stunt double.

A couple of years later he was at it again with Goldfinger (1964) (1964) - watch carefully and you'll see him in Q-Branch wearing a bullet proof overall, being fired at by a machine gun!

He got a slightly bigger role in Thunderball (1965) (1965) when cast as one of Largo's Disco Volante crew, and he performed other stunt parts too in that along with You Only Live Twice (1967), and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968).

TV and film assignments continued with Man in a Suitcase (1967), The Prisoner (1967) and If All the Women in the World (1966).

In 1969 he graduated to become stunt arranger in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) and quickly followed up with credits on Kelly's Heroes, Diamonds Are Forever (1971), The Pink Panther Strikes Again, The Eagle Has Landed, The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Revenge Of The Pink Panther, The Wild Geese, Superman, North Sea Hijack, The Sea Wolves, For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983) (1983) and A View to a Kill (1985).

George is one of very few talented stuntmen who actually played James Bond, and not just once, he doubled for three of the actors as 007; Sean Connery in Goldfinger, George Lazenby in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and Roger Moore in The Spy Who Loved Me.

In 2006, George Leech was inducted into the Hollywood Stuntmen's Hall Of Fame.

Photo above:
George Leech being interviewed at Cine Lumiere, London during the 40th Anniversary of Thunderball in November 2005. Photographer: Brian Smith © Bond and Beyond. All rights reserved.

For more information about George Leech' film career, check out his profile on IMDB:

www.imdb.com/name/nm0498543/

Tags:

#in_memoriam

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