Chuck Roberson

Chuck Roberson

Charles Hugh Roberson (born near Shannon, Texas 10 May 1919 - died Bakersfield, California 8 June 1988) was an American cowboy, actor, and stuntman. He was nicknamed "Bad Chuck" by director John Ford, for whom he worked many times, to distinguish him from "Good Chuck," stuntman Chuck Hayward. Roberson was reportedly the rowdier of the two, thus the nicknames.

Roberson was the son of farmer Ollie W. Roberson and Jannie Hamm Roberson. Raised on cattle ranches in Shannon, Texas, and Roswell, New Mexico, he left school at 13 to become a cowhand and oilfield roughneck. He married and took his wife and daughter to California, where he joined the Culver City Police Department and guarded the gate at MGM studios. Following army service in World War II, he returned to the police force. During duty at Warner Bros. studios during a labor strike, he met stuntman Fred Kennedy, who alerted him to a stunt job at Republic Pictures. Roberson got the job, due both to his expert horsemanship and his resemblance to John Carroll, whom Roberson doubled in his first picture, Wyoming (1947). His close physical resemblance to John Wayne led to nearly 30 years as Wayne's stunt double. He often played small roles and stunted in other roles in the same film, which frequently resulted in his "shooting" himself once the picture was cut together. He graduated to larger supporting roles in westerns for Wayne and John Ford, and to a parallel career as a second-unit director.

In 1979 he published an autobiography entitled “The Fall Guy: 30 Years as the Duke's Double” (ISBN 088839036X). Roberson died of cancer in 1988 and is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery, Hollywood Hills, next to his brother, actor Lou Roberson.

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