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Jock Mahoney; Stuntman Made a Career of Action

December 16, 1989|From Associated Press

BREMERTON, Wash. — Jock Mahoney, one of Hollywood's most famous stuntmen-turned-actor and the stepfather of actress Sally Field, has died of an apparent stroke. He was 70.

Mahoney, a resident of Poulsbo, Wash., died Thursday at Harrison Memorial Hospital where he had been taken after an automobile accident two days earlier.

Kitsap County's chief deputy coroner, Jane Jermy, said an autopsy will be done to verify the cause of death.

Born Jacques Mahoney in Chicago, he was a tall, rugged youth whose film career began in 1945 after he served as a fighter pilot in World War II.

He did stunt work for Errol Flynn, Gregory Peck, Gene Autry and others. Autry signed him to a contract and cast him in "The Range Rider," an action-packed television series in the 1950s.

Mahoney socked and tumbled his way through appearances on "The Loretta Young Show," "Rawhide," "Laramie" and other programs until his career began to fade in the 1960s.

He appeared in several "Tarzan" movies during that decade, one of which led to a major bout with illness. While filming in India, Mahoney came down with dengue fever, dysentery and pneumonia.

"I refused to take my own advice: Know your limitations and fight the urge to do the stunt just one more time," he later said.

After more than two years of recovery, Mahoney's star began to rise again in the late 1960s when he appeared on numerous television shows.

On the set of "Kung Fu" in 1973 he suffered a severe stroke and he made only occasional appearances thereafter. He was seen in several 1981 episodes of "B.J. and the Bear."

He is survived by his wife, Autumn (Patricia) Mahoney. A complete list of survivors and funeral arrangements were not available.

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