From Hollywood to Bracknell stuntman reveals allBy Hugh Fort
May 04, 2012
A little-known fact about Bracknell is that the borough is home to two of the film world’s finest stuntmen.
After featuring Binfield daredevil Vic Armstrong recently, The Bracknell Forest Standard was contacted by 82-year-old Doug Robinson a veteran of seven Bond films.
Reporter Hugh Fort met Doug to find out more about a life of being blown up and hurled down flights of stairs
Doug Robinson has seen it all in Hollywood: seven Bond films, a high-speed motorbike crash in the World War Two epic Where Eagles Dare, a karate fight with Sean Connery, and even a role as a Snow Trooper in The Empire Strikes Back.
The fighting fit 82-year-old, who now lives in Frensham, Crown Wood, worked alongside some of the industry’s biggest stars since the 1950s.
Doug is a good friend of Bracknell’s other stunt legend, Vic Armstrong, although their first encounter on the set of film did not go too well.
He said: “Vic is a lovely fellow and a close friend of mine. However, the first time we met he shot me in the bum.
“We were doing a stunt scene in the first version of Casino Royale hanging from a rope, abseiling down a mountain. We were holding these bolt guns and suddenly I felt this pain.
“I yelled, ‘Who did that?’ and everyone kept quiet.
“Years later, Vic told me it was him who had shot me.
“He was a young lad at the time and said he was too scared of me to confess!”
Doug also worked with Roger Moore as James Bond on the set of A View to a Kill.
The film features a famous scene where Bond throws a baddie down a huge flight of stairs. That bad guy was Doug, and he had a little confession to make.
He said: “After we did that scene, the producer said ‘That was the best stair fall I've ever seen’.
“The truth is I slipped, and pretty much actually fell down the stairs, so that’s probably why it was so good.”
As well as a top-class stuntman, Doug is also a seventh grade karate and judo master.
He and his brother Joe were responsible for training Honor Blackman for her leather-suited role in The Avengers.
He said his most memorable stunt was the crash scene in Where Eagles Dare, in which he doubled for Hollywood legend Omar Sharif. He said: “It was spectacular but a bit dodgy,
“The idea was to come off the bike and for it to hit a mattress to slow it down.
“It missed it by miles and I went through the air and rolled along the floor.
“It was okay in the end.”
Doug’s other roles include being a muscle-bound Argonaut in Jason and the Argonauts, stunts in the Indiana Jones films, doubling for Doug McLure, and a part in Ben Hur.
Doug, who counts Clint Eastwood as a close friend, was born in Newcastle in 1927, but as a child moved with his family to South Africa before returning to Britain.
He moved to Bracknell Forest when he retired in 1998.
Despite being in his 80s, Doug still practises and occasionally teaches classes in karate and judo.
He takes great care with his diet and works out at the gym at the Hilton Hotel, in Birch Hill, six days a week.