Stuntwoman Polly Burson dead at 86

April 17, 2006 at 3:14 PM

VENTURA, Calif., April 17 (UPI) -- Renowned rodeo trick rider and pioneer Hollywood stuntwoman Polly Burson has died in Ventura, Calif. She was 86.

Burson died in the hospital April 4 after a short illness, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Burson was 25 when she launched her Hollywood career in 1945, standing in for Mary Moore in the Republic Pictures film, "The Purple Monster Strikes," the newspaper said.

She went on to stand in for Sophia Loren, Shelley Winters, Ruth Roman, Barbara Stanwyck, Yvonne De Carlo, Anne Baxter and Doris Day. She broke broke her back several times as well as arms and legs, dislocated her shoulders and suffered many concussions.

Some of her most memorable stunts were for Betty Hutton in "The Perils of Pauline," for Jean Peters in "Niagra," for Julie Adams in the classic "Creature From the Black Lagoon" and Kim Darby in "True Grit."

"She was an icon in our business," United Stuntwoman's Association President Bonnie Happy told The Times. "She had integrity. She never said she could do something that she couldn't do. But there was very little she couldn't do."

Burson received a Golden Boot Award from the Motion Picture & Television Fund and was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame, the Hollywood Stuntmen's Hall of Fame and the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame.

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