Hal Needham

Director, Stuntman, Stunt coordinator
One of Hollywood's busiest and most accomplished stunt men for over two decades, Hal Needham broke into directing features via his friend, actor Burt Reynolds, who starred in several wildly popular if decidedly low-brow ... Read more »
Born: 03/06/1931 in Memphis, Tennessee, USA

Filmography

Director (20)

Bandit, Bandit 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Director

The King of Jazz 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Director

Body Slam 1986 (Movie)

(Director)

Rad 1986 (Movie)

(Director)

Cannonball Run II 1984 (Movie)

(Director)

Stroker Ace 1983 (Movie)

(Director)

Megaforce 1982 (Movie)

(Director)

The Cannonball Run 1981 (Movie)

(Director)

The Stockers 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Director

Smokey and the Bandit II 1980 (Movie)

(Director)

The Villain 1979 (Movie)

(Director)

Hooper 1978 (Movie)

(Director)

Smokey and the Bandit 1977 (Movie)

(Director)

Gator 1975 (Movie)

2nd unit director (Director)

Take a Hard Ride 1974 (Movie)

2nd unit director (Director)

The Longest Yard 1973 (Movie)

2nd unit director (Director)

Bandit: Bandit Goes Country (TV Show)

Director

Bandit: Bandit's Silver Angel (TV Show)

Director

Bandit: Beauty and the Bandit (TV Show)

Director

Hostage Hotel (TV Show)

Director
Physical Effects (17)

Sunchaser 1996 (Movie)

(Stunts)

Foul Play 1978 (Movie)

(Stunts)

The End 1978 (Movie)

(Stunt Coordinator)

Semi-Tough 1977 (Movie)

(Stunt Coordinator)

Nickelodeon 1976 (Movie)

(Stunt Coordinator)

Nickelodeon 1976 (Movie)

(Stunts)

Peeper 1976 (Movie)

(Stunt Coordinator)

The French Connection II 1975 (Movie)

(Stunt Coordinator)

Three the Hard Way 1973 (Movie)

(Stunt Coordinator)

W. W. and the Dixie Dancekings 1973 (Movie)

(Stunt Coordinator)

The Culpepper Cattle Company 1972 (Movie)

(Stunt Coordinator)

The Undefeated 1969 (Movie)

(Stunt Coordinator)

Bandolero! 1968 (Movie)

(Stunt Coordinator)

The Devil's Brigade 1968 (Movie)

(Stunt Coordinator)

The Ballad of Josie 1967 (Movie)

(Stunt Coordinator)

Goodnight My Love (TV Show)

Stunt Coordinator

Hardcase (TV Show)

Stunt Coordinator
Actor (16)

World Stunt Awards 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Performer

Cybill 1994 - 1995 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Stuntman Awards 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Guest

Southern Voices, American Dreams 1984 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Foul Play 1978 (Movie)

(Actor)

Jackson County Jail 1976 (Movie)

(Actor)

Egan 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Actor

W. W. and the Dixie Dancekings 1973 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Culpepper Cattle Company 1972 (Movie)

Burgess (Actor)

One More Train to Rob 1970 (Movie)

Bert Gant (Actor)

The War Wagon 1966 (Movie)

Hite (Actor)

McLintock! 1962 (Movie)

Carter (Actor)

Death Car on the Freeway (TV Show)

Actor

Stunts Unlimited (TV Show)

Actor

The Bounty Man (TV Show)

Actor
Writer (5)

Cannonball Run II 1984 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Stroker Ace 1983 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Megaforce 1982 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Smokey and the Bandit II 1980 (Movie)

(Characters as Source Material)

Smokey and the Bandit 1977 (Movie)

(From Story)

Biography

One of Hollywood's busiest and most accomplished stunt men for over two decades, Hal Needham broke into directing features via his friend, actor Burt Reynolds, who starred in several wildly popular if decidedly low-brow action-comedies for him, including "Smokey and the Bandit" (1977), "Hooper" (1978) and "The Cannonball Run" (1981). Critics despised Needham's cardboard scripts, which were largely constructed as filler between elaborate stunts and stale gags, but he deflected naysayers with good humor. Laughter seemed to be the key element of his work both on and offscreen, as evidenced by his penchant for running bloopers under the end credits of his films. Needham's career waned in the early 1980s, prompting a move to television, but his early movie efforts remained the epitome of crowd-pleasing, popcorn-driven entertainment for over three decades. He died in October 2013.

Relationships

Howard Needham

Father

Edith May Needham

Mother

Debra Jean Needham

Daughter

Daniel Albert Needham

Son

Brother
younger

David Allyn Needham

Son

Great-Grandfather
Blackfoot Indian

Dani Crayne

Wife
married on June 28, 1981 divorced in 1996 widow of David Janssen

Milestones

1996

Served as stunt coordinator for Michael Cimino's "Sunchaser"

1994

Was executive producer and director of several TV-movies featuring the Bandit character (now played by Brian Bloom)

1989

Helmed episodes of the ABC series "B.L. Stryker", starring Reynolds

1987

Directed last film to date "Body Slam"

1982

Screenwriting debut "Megaforce", also directed

1980

Directed the sequel "Somkey and the Bandit II"

1979

Acted in and directed the CBS TV-movie "Death Car on the Freeway"

1979

Helmed the cartoonish but enjoyable "The Villain"

1978

Directed the semi-autobiographical "Hooper"

1977

Feature directorial debut, "Smokey and the Bandit", starring Reynolds; also received a stroy credit

1976

Was second unit director on Reynolds' "Gator"

1974

Did second unit work on "The Longest Yard", starring Burt Reynolds

1972

TV acting debut, "The Bounty Man" (ABC)

1963

Acting debut in "McLintock!"

1962

Worked on the stunts for "How the West Was Won"

1959

Was stunt double on the TV series "Riverboat", starring Burt Reynolds

1957

Debut as stuntman in "The Spirit of St. Louis"

1951

Served in the US Army, specialized in parachute testing

Moved to Southern California, became part owner of tree service

Raised in Missouri and Arkansas

Worked in as a tree topper in the lumber industry after high school

Was stunt coordinator for several film directed by Andrew V McLaglen in the 1960s

Worked as stunt double for Richard Boone on "Have Gun, Will Travel"

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