Hollywood legend Yakima Canutt started out at age 17 as a trick rider in a Wild West show and went on to become a rodeo champion. First hired by Tom Mix, he emerged as the leading stunt man in Hollywood, creating most of the tricks that became film staples, while setting new industry standards for safety. He became a popular leading man in the silent era in productions such as Wild Horse Canyon
, but an illness damaged his vocal chords as the sound era dawned, relegating him to action work. In the amazing career that followed he worked closely with John Wayne, Roy Rogers and Gene Autry, and contributed to many classic films including Stagecoach
(1939), Gone With The Wind
(1939) and culminating with his work on the chariot race in Ben-Hur
(1959). He was awarded a special Academy Award in 1966.
Hellhounds of the Plains (1926, B&W): An organized gang known as the Hell Hounds is rustling horses and terrorizing the countryside. After the Sheriff is killed while pursuing the outlaws, his deputy Yak Hammond takes up the search. Big John Lawson, an influential local rancher, refuses to let the young lawman marry his daughter Esther until the Hell Hounds have been captured. Starring Yakima Canutt, Neva Gerber, Al Ferguson, Lafe McKee; Directed by Jacques Jaccard.
Desert Greed (1926, B&W): Deputy Sheriff Yak Carroll comes to the rescue of pretty young Mary Thornton, helping her collect back wages owed by a deadbeat former employer. Yak accompanies the girl back to her hometown where her heartless stepfather Lucas plans on forcing Mary into marriage with a no-good smuggler, Bill Devlin. Starring Yakima Canutt, Rose Blossom, Henry Hebert, Lucile Young; Directed by Jacques Jaccard.