A stunt double is a type of body double, specifically a skilled replacement used for dangerous film or video sequences, in movies and television (such as jumping out of a building, jumping from vehicle to vehicle, or other similar actions), and for other sophisticated stunts (especially fight scenes). Stunt doubles may be used in cases where an actor's physical condition precludes a great amount of physical activity, or when an actor is contractually prohibited from performing stunts. Stunt doubles are sometimes referred to as "stunties."
The terms stunt double and body double may be used interchangeably for cases where special skills are needed, such as dancing, playing the piano, or competitive skiing. Stunt doubles should be distinguished from stunt performers, who perform stunts for the sake of the stunt alone, often as a career.
Many stunt doubles have happy and long production careers as part of a star actor's contractual "support crew" along with the star's cooks, trainers, dressers, assistants. Stunt doubles for Eddie Murphy, John Wayne, Harrison Ford, Steve Martin and Michael Landon have been associated with their lead actors for decades.
"Stunt double" is not the exclusive province of humans; several dog actors are used as doubles, for example Enzo was the stunt double for his aging sire Moose on the sitcom Frasier. Soccer, the dog who portrayed Wishbone, reportedly hated swimming and therefore had stunt doubles.
Some actors, for example: James Garner, Burt Reynolds, Johnny Yong Bosch, Tom Cruise, Charlize Theron, Michelle Yeoh, Thora Birch, Milla Jovovich, Bridgette Wilson, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Viggo Mortensen are known to have performed their own stunts. Jackie Chan is particularly famous for doing most of his own stunts. Thai martial artist and actor Tony Jaa performs his own stunts, likewise.
The Daily News, Jacksonville, N.C., Timmi Toler column: If I could find a stunt double who could type.(Column)
Jul 27, 2007; Byline: Timmi Toler Jul. 27--I watched an awards show on TV this week for stunt people in Hollywood. I thought it was the first...
Best Diaz of Her Life; Kimberly Shannon Murphy Is Cameron Diaz's No.1 Choice When She Needs a Stunt Double for Her Movies, as Laura Coventry Found Out
Dec 15, 2010; Byline: Laura Coventry Q&A HANGING out on the set of the latest action movie, rubbing shoulders with Hollywood's A-listers and...