British stuntman Frank Maher dies

July 20, 2007 at 10:58 AM
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NEWPORT, England, July 20 (UPI) -- Frank Maher, a British stuntman who doubled for actors Errol Flynn, Burt Lancaster and Patrick McGoohan in movies and television, has died at age 78.

Maher, who died in Newport, England, July 13, acted and did stunt work in TV and films through the 1970s, The Independent reported Friday. He broke into the business as an extra cast as a Roman centurion in the 1945 movie, "Caesar and Cleopatra," with Claude Rains and Vivien Leigh.

As a stunt performer and coordinator in feature films and TV adventure series, Maher could be seen sliding down a sail in "The Crimson Pirate," doubling for Lancaster, or falling down a flight of stairs as McGoohan in "Danger Men."

"I was actually a fantastic double for Pat -- pure luck, luck of birth, but we were the same height and build," Maher once said in an interview.

Starting as a stunt coordinator and double on the big screen, Maher eventually moved to the small screen in 1959 in "The Adventures of Robin Hood," one of ITV's early adventure series.

As his career wound down, Maher co-wrote three novels with Denis J. Cleary.

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