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Vic Armstrong Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (14)  | Personal Quotes (7)

Overview (3)

Born in Farnham Common, Buckinghamshire, England, UK
Birth NameVictor Monroe Armstrong
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Vic Armstrong was born on October 5, 1946 in Farnham Common, Buckinghamshire, England as Victor Monroe Armstrong. He is known for his work on Left Behind (2014), I Am Legend (2007) and The Green Hornet (2011). He is married to Wendy Leech. They have three children.

Spouse (1)

Wendy Leech (? - present) ( 3 children)

Trivia (14)

Brother of Andy Armstrong
Father of Nina Armstrong
Was one of three stunt doubles for Harrison Ford on the Indiana Jones trilogy, even though Ford enjoyed doing his stunts himself. Armstrong looked so much like Ford that members of the cast and crew often mistook him for Ford. When Ford suffered a back injury making the second Indiana Jones film that required surgery, Armstrong filled in for him and filmed a good portion of Ford's stunts and fight scenes.
His three children with Wendy Leech, Bruce Armstrong, Scott Armstrong (who worked on the special effects crew in Die Another Day (2002), and Nina Armstrong, have all worked in film production and/or stunts. Discussing the family team effort for Die Another Day (2002), Armstrong said in an April 20, 2002, interview for Scotland's Daily Record about his sons (who were respectively 27 and 21 at the time), "I've got nothing to do with them - they are under another department. They loved stunts when they were younger, but they are mechanically minded. But my daughter Nina is a stunt woman and I worked with her in Charlie's Angels (2000)."
The world's most prolific stuntman, according to The Guinness Book of World Records.
Quit school at the age of 14 to become a jockey.
Worked with George Leech before meeting his wife, Wendy Leech, on the set of Superman (1978). All three were stunt doubles: Armstrong for Christopher Reeve (Superman), Wendy for Margot Kidder (Lois Lane), and George for the man in the burglar's office.
Frequently said that his favorite movies to work on were the "Indiana Jones" series.
Directed the opening scene of Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991).
Rode the horse that plunged off the castle wall into the ocean in Never Say Never Again (1983).
Doubled Roger Moore in the shark pool fight with Kananga in Live and Let Die (1973).
Was George Lazenby's double and stuntman on On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), a period which he likes to refer to as 'The best days of my filming career'.
Played the first Ninja to enter Blofeld's volcano while firing a machine gun in You Only Live Twice (1967).
Was the stunt double for Christopher Lee in House of The Long Shadows.

Personal Quotes (7)

Being a stuntman isn't about being crazy. It's the exact opposite of that. Stunt work is control, calmness, rational thinking, good reflexes, athletic ability and good attitude. And a lot of hard work. [Belfast Newsletter, 19 October 2002]
[on doing the stunt in which a rider and his horse fall together:] "It's the hardest thing in the business. The poor old cowboys! It takes huge technical ability to time a horse fall. You've got to be on the right leg and on the right stride, so that when you give your horse the signal, he throws himself through the air. Then you've got to hold him all the way to the ground, for the safety of the animal as well, so he doesn't try to get out of it and break a leg. More often than not he turns over, and more often than not he's on top of you. [London Sunday Times, 20 October 2002]
[re a stunt in Superman II (1980) where he flies from a swimming pool up through the roof of Grand Central Station:] "We did this by building the set upside down with the ceiling over a pit in the studio floor and placed the camera upside down, and I dove from the roof of the studio through the ceiling piece into my catch rig. I only had three feet to turn from a vertical dive onto my back once I had gone through the ceiling piece before I hit the catch rig."
[on meeting Richard Todd:] Like owners do, he'd come down and look at the horses on a Sunday. I can still smell the aftershave. It's amazing. I didn't know what aftershave was then. I thought, 'Wow, how glamorous.' [London Sunday Times, 20 October 2002]
[on being hired by Jimmy Lodge to stunt in Arabesque (1966):] Jimmy doubled for Gregory Peck. I doubled for this other fellow, and we did this chase with helicopters following us and I thought, 'Wow, this is fantastic.' Twenty pounds a day! Phenomenal! [October 20, 2002; £20 equaled $56 in 1965]
I'd never seen such money in my life, so I decided that this is what I wanted to do. ... To begin in the stunt business you have to have one skill. It doesn't matter what it is; mine was horse-riding; but you have to be a specialist in one thing. You might be a good high-diver, a good driver, a gymnast -- that's what you'll get hired for. Invariably, people can pick up those other skills along the way. [Belfast Newsletter, October 19, 2002]
[on directing the second unit for Tomorrow Never Dies (1997):] We did the major sequences [the traditional] way -- including the boat, ski and helicopter sequences. It's by far the most economical way of doing it, otherwise there's so much time wasted and energy wasted -- especially if you've got the actors there for a limited time. But there were times when we would go off and shoot whole sequences and then put the actors into them. In those situations, [the director's] first unit became the good old insert unit! ... The thing about Bond films is that the spectacular footage is all real stuff. On The World Is Not Enough (1999), we used digital effects very sparingly. I think that's the hallmark of the franchise: it is dangerous and people do the stunts. It is truly man against man, or man against nature, and I think it shows. It takes a hell of a long time to shoot those kinds of scenes, which is why I had a second unit that was running the whole time I was. [American Cinematographer, December 1999]

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