David Sharpe

Active - 1925 - 1972  |   Born - Jan 1, 1909   |   Died - Mar 30, 1980   |   Genres - Western, Action, Comedy, Adventure

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Biography by Hal Erickson

"Ask any stunt man who his favorite stunt man is," wrote film historian Alan Barbour in 1970, "and chances are nine out of ten of them will answer David Sharpe. " In vaudeville from childhood, Sharpe was a superb athlete, the winner of the A.A.U. tumbling championship and several other competitions. Beginning his film career in his teens, Sharpe could literally double for anybody, be they husky he-men like Allan Lane and Kane Richmond or petite actresses like Kay Aldridge and Frances Gifford. His work in such Republic serials as The Adventures of Captain Marvel (love that back-flip!) and Spy Smasher has entered the realm of legend. A personable actor, Sharpe was one of the leads in Hal Roach's "Boy Friends" 2-reelers of the early 1930s. Remaining active into the 1970s, Sharpe doubled for Tony Curtis in Blake Edwards' The Great Race and made innumerable appearances on Red Skelton's TV show, usually cast as a somersaulting little old lady. Sadly, David Sharpe spent his last years in complete immobility, suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

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