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"The Bond movies have tured out to be today's best action pictures, which is why you end up competing with yourself. We get together with the art and special effects departments and ask, 'Have we done this before? And if we have, how can we do it bigger and better?'"
― Bob Simmons reflects on the James Bond series.[src]

Bob Simmons was an English actor and stunt man, best known for his work in many British made films, most notably EON Productions' James Bond film series from its inception in 1962 with Dr. No until the 1985 film A View to a Kill.

Biography

Simmons was a former Army Physical Training Instructor at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst who had initially planned to be an actor, but thought a career in performing stunts would be more lucrative and interesting. Simmons first worked for Albert R. Broccoli and Irving Allen's Warwick Films on the film The Red Beret, that included future Bond film regulars director Terence Young, screenwriter Richard Maibaum and cameraman, later director of photography Ted Moore. Simmons later worked in many other Warwick Films, and worked for Allen in his The Long Ships and Genghis Khan, where he had his eye injured when kicked by a horse.[1]

When Albert R. Broccoli began to produce the James Bond films, Simmons tested as an actor for the Bond role, but until his death in 1987, he became the stunt coordinator for every Bond film except From Russia with Love, (that he joined later in the production) On Her Majesty's Secret Service (where he worked on Sean Connery's Shalako along with cinematographer Ted Moore) and The Man with the Golden Gun. He appeared in the gun barrel sequence for Sean Connery in three James Bond films: Dr. No, From Russia with Love, and Goldfinger. Simmons is the only person to officially perform the scene, while not starring in the main role as James Bond. Simmons also had a role as SPECTRE agent Jacques Bouvar in the pre-title sequence of the fourth film, Thunderball.

Simmons developed a stunt technique involving trampolines, first used in You Only Live Twice, whereby stuntmen would bounce off a trampoline in concert with a triggered explosion so as to simulate being blown into the air. This was used in many other films, including by Simmons again in The Wild Geese, where Simmons also doubled for Richard Burton.

Upon retirement, Simmons wrote an autobiography entitled Nobody Does It Better titled after the theme song for the 1977 Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me.

Filmography

Dr. No - Gun Barrel with Bob Simmons

Stuntman Bob Simmons in Dr. No's gun barrel sequence

  • Ivanhoe (1952)
  • The Great Van Robbery (1957) - Peters
  • The Guns of Navarone (1961) - German Soldier on Navarone (uncredited)
  • Dr. No (1962) - James Bond in Gunbarrel Sequence (uncredited)
  • From Russia with Love (1963) - James Bond in Gunbarrel Sequence (uncredited)
  • The Long Ships (1964)
  • Goldfinger (1964) - James Bond in Gunbarrel Sequence (uncredited)
  • Thunderball (1965) - Colonel Jacque Bouvar - SPECTRE #6 (uncredited)
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966)
  • You Only Live Twice (1967)
  • Shalako (1968)
  • The Adventurers (1969)
  • When Eight Bells Toll (1971)
  • Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
  • Live and Let Die (1973)
  • The Next Man (1976) - London Assassin
  • The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) - Ivan, KGB Thug (uncredited)
  • The Wild Geese (1978) - Pilot (uncredited)
  • For Your Eyes Only (1981) - Henchman Lotus Explosion Victim (uncredited)
  • A View to a Kill (1985)

References

  1. Simmons, Bob & Passingham, Kenneth Nobody Does It Better-My 25 years of stunts with James Bond and other stars Sterling Publishing 1987

Bibliography

  • Simmons, Bob & Passingham, Kenneth Nobody Does It Better-My 25 years of stunts with James Bond and other stars Sterling Publishing 1987

External links

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