Second annual Gene LeBell Memorial Ride is packed with stunt artists who honor him

Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News

By  | | Daily News


Riders make their way along Las Virgenes Rd. during the second annual Gene LeBell Memorial Ride honoring the legendary stuntman and martial arts icon in Calabasas Saturday, October 14, 2023. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

If you watch TV or go to movies, you have seen most of the people who turned up in a parking lot in Calabasas early on Saturday, Oct. 14. You might not recognize them, but you’ve seen them. They are the men and women falling from buildings, driving fast cars, taking a bullet and getting punched in the face.

Stuntmen, stuntwomen and friends came to the parking lot of Stunts Unlimited on their motorcycles to honor a late friend and an icon in the stunt community, at the second annual Gene LeBell Memorial Ride.

LeBell, who passed away at home on Aug. 9, 2022 at 89, left a lasting impression on those lucky to have met him. Once called the “Toughest Man Alive,” he forged a legacy in both the stunt and martial arts worlds.

LeBell was a member of the elite Stunts Unlimited organization, whose members are some of Hollywood’s top A-list stunt performers. An empty chair with his name emblazoned on it still sits at their office table.

“There’s always going to be a chair. He was a member of our group, and there’s no other Gene, so he will always have a chair in our office that nobody can fill,” said Chris O’Hara, president of Stunts Unlimited.