Frank Maher (stuntman)

Francis James "Frank" Maher (18 June 1929 13 July 2007) was a British stuntman, best known for his roles as a stuntman or stunt coordinator in a vast range of British TV shows including Danger Man (US: Secret Agent) and The Prisoner; he was frequently the stunt double for the series star Patrick McGoohan.[1]

Early career

He was born in London on 18 June 1929. He was a gold medal winning boxer at school. Before his career as a stuntman/actor he served in World War II in the Parachute Regiment of the British Army. He lied about his age to join the regiment which meant that he was only 15 when he took part in the battle of Arnhem (part of Operation Market Garden).

His first stunt role was as a Roman Centurion in the film Caesar And Cleopatra (1945) starring Stewart Granger. His other movie stunt roles included work on The Crimson Pirate (1952) doubling for Burt Lancaster and as a riding double in The Devil’s Disciple (1959).

His later movie stunt roles included work on The Italian Job in 1969.

TV stuntman

As a stuntman on The Avengers, he played opposite both Honor Blackman and Diana Rigg. After working on Man in a Suitcase, he became stunt coordinator on Department S and Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased).

Following his work on Danger Man, he again doubled for Patrick McGoohan in 1966-67 in the TV series The Prisoner. He had a particularly large role in the episode "The Schizoid Man", which required a doppelganger of McGoohan’s Number Six character to have a lot of screen time alongside the "real" Number Six.

He also appeared as “Third Gunman” in The Prisoner western/cowboy style episode "Living in Harmony". He claimed to have suggested the idea of having a western/cowboy style episode to McGoohan.

Maher also served as a stuntman / stunt coordinator / stunt arranger on a number of other TV programmes, including: Blake's 7, The Persuaders!, The Champions, Robin Hood, The Saint and Space 1999.

On The Saint (1962–69), he replaced Les Crawford as Roger Moore's double. Moore nicknamed him "Mrs Maher" because of his very careful planning of each stunt sequence.

He also worked as the fight arranger in the first of the BBC Northern Ireland Billy Plays "Too Late to Talk to Billy" in 1982, in which Billy was played by Kenneth Branagh.

Author and writer

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he wrote a number of thriller style novels including The Capricorn Run (also known as The Hook) in 1979, Wipe Out in 1980 and Sahara Strike in 1980.

He also wrote action sequences for films, including Die Hard.

Family

He married four times. His first marriage being to actress Dilys Laye. He had one son, Gary, and one daughter, Stephanie, with his second wife Jackie, who was a dancer.

Death

He died on 13 July 2007 at St Mary's Hospital in Newport on the Isle of Wight after a long battle with emphysema.

Filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1955The Quatermass XperimentP.C. EvansUncredited
1956Up in the WorldPolicemanUncredited
1957Town on TrialCrime Scene SpectatorUncredited
1957Blue Murder at St. Trinian'sSoldierUncredited
1963The Cracksman
1964Children of the DamnedDetectiveUncredited
1966Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.Robber #2Uncredited
1967Casino RoyaleMan in CasinoUncredited
1968The Fiction-MakersRip Savage
1972Innocent BystandersDaniel
1977Sweeney!PolicemanUncredited
1980North Sea HijackAssault TeamUncredited
1980Superman IIMan in StreetUncredited

References

  1. Hayward, Anthony (22 July 2007). "Frank Maher: Film and TV stuntman". The Independent. Archived from the original on 19 August 2007. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.