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Yakima Canutt
AKA: Yak
Occupation: Second Unit Director
Also: Director, Actor, Stunt man
Birthname: Enos Edward Canutt
Birthdate: November 29, 1896
Birthplace: Colfax, Washington, USA
Died: May 24, 1986(North Hollywood, California, USA)

Enos Edward Canutt was born on ranch sixteen miles from Colfax, Washington, 1895. He spend all his childhood close horses and at the age of sixteen he joined a rodeo. After serving in the navy during the First World War he continued with a record-breaking career as a saddlebronc rider. At this time he picked up th nickname "Yakima".

Yakima skill as a rider and stunt fighter gave him a contract starring in a series of Western silents. A case of flu damaged his voice and he started focusing on stuntwork and quickly he became known as Hollywood's premier stuntman. Canutt created new or refined old techniques uses in Westerns and action films for years to come.

Canutt retired from active stunting after injuries recieved from Boom Town (1940) and In Old Oklahoma (1943), to concentrate on directing second unit. He was the man behind some of the most dynamic and memorable action sequences in film history, culminating in the famed chariot race in Ben-Hur (1959).

Yakima Canutt died in 1986, as one of the most famous and respected stunt men of our time.

Selected Films
Lightning Bryce - 1919
Girl Who Dared, The - 1920
Heart of a Texan, The - 1922
Days of '49, The - 1924

Iron Rider, The - 1926
Outlaw Breaker, The - 1926
Open Range - 1927
Riders of the Golden Gulch - 1932

Telegraph Trail, The - 1933
Gunsmoke Ranch - 1937
Secret of Treasure Island, The - 1938
Hauchos of Eldorado - 1941

Adventure of Frank and Jesse James - 1948
Rocky Mountain - 1950
Knights of the Round Table - 1953
Rio Bravo - 1959

Ben-Hur - 1959
Spartacus - 1960
How the West Was Won - 1962
Fall of the Roman Empire, The - 1964

Cat Ballou - 1965
Spy Smasher Returns (TV) - 1966
Khartoum - 1966
Blue - 1968

Rio Lobo - 1970
Man Called Horse, A - 1970
Song of Norway - 1970
Breakheart Pass - 1975

Yakima Canutt was married twice. His first wife was Kitty Wilks (1916-1919, divorced) and his second wife was Minnie Audrea Rice (1931-1986, his death).
He is named Yakima after the city of Yakima, Washington. Installed in the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, OK (USA).
He is father of stuntmen Joe Canutt and Tap Canutt.

User Comments:

shirley (2011-06-23)
WOW! Was reintroduced to Yakima on History Detectives last night. Remember him from my favorite movies as I was a big western fan. I am friends with someone who worked with him in some of his movies, Dick Jones, "Range Rider and Buffalo Bill, Jr tv shows" Also see some of his movies listed on Yakimas list!! I grew up in Yakima and so I always wondered about the name, now I know!!! Double WOW! WOW!
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