Buddy Van Horn, director of Any Which Way You Can, dies at 92
Van Horn was also a longtime stunt double for Clint Eastwood.
Wayne "Buddy" Van Horn, one of Hollywood's veteran directors and stunt doubles, died on May 11 at the age of 92. His death was confirmed by an obituary notice in the Los Angeles Times.
In the early stages of his career, Van Horn was the stunt double for Guy Williams in Disney's Zorro TV series, which ran from 1957 to 1958. But Van Horn is best known for working with Clint Eastwood, who he began collaborating with in 1967. He continued to work with Eastwood as a stunt coordinator on more than 30 films, including 1973's High Plains Drifter and 1993's In The Line of Fire. In addition, he directed three of Eastwood's films: 1980's Any Which Way You Can, 1988's The Dead Pool (starring Liam Neeson, Patricia Clarkson, and Jim Carrey), and Pink Cadillac in 1989.
In a 2011 interview, he opened up about the dynamic of working with Eastwood and the actor's willingness to do his own stunt work, telling The Independent that "there's been a couple of times that he's wanted to do something and I talked him out of it. He's a pretty physical guy and likes to do his own stunts. Some of the things he does were pretty easy to get banged up. I've tried to talk him out of it sometimes, but not very successfully most of the time. He went 'n' did 'em anyway, several of 'em."
According to the obituary, Van Horn — who was born on the Universal Studios backlot — also worked as a professional horseman during his more than 60 years in the industry. He started riding at a young age, and the skill was what initially brought him to Hollywood's attention. At 21, he served in the U.S. Army for two years during the Cold War, before returning to Hollywood in the early 1950s to resume stunt work and acting.
As a stunt double, Van Horn also worked for Hollywood greats such as Gregory Peck, Jimmy Stewart, and Lee Marvin.