Wayne “Buddy” Van Horn, longtime stunt double for Clint Eastwood and director of Eastwood’s films Any Which Way You Can, The Dead Pool and Pink Cadillac, died May 11, The Los Angeles Times reported. He was 92.
Van Horn was credited as the stunt coordinator on Eastwood’s films from 1972 to 2011, including 1976’s The Enforcer, 1977’s The Gauntlet and 1983’s Sudden Impact. He also served as second unit director on Eastwood’s Magnum Force and The Rookie. As an actor, Van Horn’s most prominent onscreen appeareance was as Marshal Jim Duncan in 1973’s High Plains Drifter. The film stars Eastwood as a mysterious Stranger who metes out justice in a corrupt frontier mining town. As Eastwood’s stunt double, Duncan was cast in the role to suggest that he and the Stranger could be the same person. Van Horn is the murdered Marshal who was planning to report a gold stake to the government that the town of Lago wanted to keep for itself and Eastwood is the avenging spirit who returned to make the townspeople of Lago pay for their actions.
A skilled horseman from a young age, Van Horn utilized his equestrian abilities in the early stages of his film and television career in the ’50s and ’60s. He frequently doubled for Guy Williams in Disney’s TV series Zorro, which aired in 1957-1958. Also adept at fencing and fight scenes he appeared in movies such as 1960’s Spartacus, and 1965’s The War Lord. Other major stars he’d doubled for include Gregory Peck in Mackenna’s Gold, James Stewart in Firecreek and Henry Fonda in The Cheyenne Social Club.
Other stunt credits include Dirty Harry (1971), Space Cowboys (2000), Million Dollar Baby (2004) and Gran Torino (2008). His other televison work includes Falcon Crest, Wildside, Magnum P.I. and The Six Million Dollar Man, to name a few.
Van Horn is survived by wife Konne, two daughters and five grandchildren.