Britain’s oldest stuntman recreates his near-fatal 1985 stunt


Britain’s oldest stuntman survived a 40ft plunge from a burning building – 26 years after he almost died filming a similar leap filming the Hollywood blockbuster Death Wish.

Britain's oldest stuntman recreates his near-fatal 1985 stunt

Rocky Taylor, 64, suffered a fractured spine, pelvis and horrific burns when the scene went horrifically wrong on the set of Michael Winner’s 1985 thriller starring Charles Bronson.

But Rocky – who has doubled for Roger Moore and Sean Connery in James Bond films – exorcised his demons by executing the copycat stunt perfectly in front of hundreds of onlookers.

Today relieved Rocky of Cobham, Surrey, said: ”I was incredibly nervous when I was standing on the building with the flames behind me.

”It brought back everything which happened all those years ago. But it felt good to jump.

”It was something I had to do and I’m glad to have finally done it again and got it out of my system.”

Rocky threw himself off a building at Battersea Power Station in London yesterday evening.

He re-enacted the stunt to raise money for Remember A Charity, an organisation which encourages people to leave gifts to charities in their wills.

Britain's oldest stuntman recreates his near-fatal 1985 stunt

Father-of-two Rocky, whose late father Larry was a stuntman in the 1964 blockbuster Zulu, made his film debut as a 16-year-old kid who fought with Cliff Richard in The Young Ones in 1961.

He was paid £20 for the part but impressed to such an extent that offers of work began to flood in.

Rocky has doubled on or overseen stunts in Titanic, Batman, Highlander, the Harry Potter films and the Da Vinci Code.

His work on the Bond films prompted Sean Connery to describe him as ‘Without a doubt the complete professional in his chosen field’.

And Roger Moore praised him as ‘One hundred per cent professional and exceedingly brave’.

But Rocky’s career almost ended on the south London set of Michael Winner’s Death Wish movie in June 1985.

Doubling as Charles Bronson, Rocky was supposed to leap from a building as petrol sprinklers were ignited all around him.

But a huge explosion rocked the old Lambeth Hospital engulfing, Rocky in flames and sending him plummeting to the ground below.

Britain's oldest stuntman recreates his near-fatal 1985 stunt

Missing the cardboard boxes which were meant to break his fall, he crashed on to the concrete in front of horrified cameramen.

Crew rushed to his aide and dragged him away from the burning building. He was immediately rushed to Ashford Hospital in Middlesex.

He spent eight weeks in hospital and was unable to work for six year due to three fractured vertebrae.

Bermondsey-born Rocky, whose wife Pamela, also 64, watched Tuesday’s successful jump, eventually recovered and went on to work on a string of movies in 15 countries.

Rob Cope at Remember A Charity said: ”Rocky, the true professional and film legend that he is, did every proud last night.

”Not only did he complete the jaw dropping movie stunt from 1985, he also raised awareness of the importance of gifts to charities in wills.

”Without the kindest and generosity of people who leave such legacy gifts most of our favourite charities wouldn’t exist.

”If Rocky’s stunt encourages just a tiny fraction more of us to consider leaving such gifts, after we’ve looked after our loved ones, we could generate an additional £1 billion a year for good causes.”


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