Without A Net

Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Hal Needham, director of 'Smokey & The Bandit,' 'Cannonball Run,' dies

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Hal Needham, the famed stuntman-turned-director, has died, according to the Hollywood Reporter, citing producer Gale Anne Hurd. He was 82. He died in Los Angeles after battling cancer, according to Hurd.


Needham became known as a stuntman with his work on "Have Gun, Will Travel" and did the stunts in movies like "How the West Was Won" and "Little Big Man." He was a stunt double for Burt Reynolds, but moved on to direct him in a movie he also wrote, "Smokey and the Bandit."


Needham and Reynolds also teamed on movies like "Hooper" and "The Cannonball Run."


Several celebrities took to Twitter to share their thoughts on Needham's passing, including former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Needham directed Schwarzenegger in one of his early films from the 1970s, "The Villain."



On his own, Needham directed a movie about a subject very important to the 1980s: BMX biking. That movie: "Rad."


In 2012, Needham received an honorary Academy Award for his work in film.

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