'Smokey and the Bandit' Director/Stunt Man Hal Needham Dies at 82

'Smokey and the Bandit' Director/Stunt Man Hal Needham Dies at 82

Hal Needham, the Hollywood stunt man turned director who helmed several Burt Reynolds’ films including Smokey and the Bandit, has died at the age of 82.

Needham’s manager says the cinema legend had been battling cancer.

At one time the highest paid stuntman in the world, he was said to have broken 56 bones, broken his back twice, punctured a lung and knocked out a few teeth while working on 4500 TV episodes and 310 feature films….

He became friends with Reynolds, who offered Needham the opportunity to direct “Smokey and the Bandit,” for which Needham had written the screenplay. Needham also directed “Hooper,” “The Cannonball Run,” “Stroker Ace” and “Rad.”

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