Robert P. “Bob” Orrison (July 28, 1928 – October 11, 2014) was a Korean War veteran who grew up in the Bakersfield area performing in the rodeo as a steer wrestler and bulldogger, eventually following his younger brother George Orrison into the world stunts (George also a rodeo cowboy and doubled actor Clint Eastwood for most of his career). Bob went on to become an original member of Stunts Unlimited, worked as a stuntman in 41 movies from 1968 to 2005, and was inducted into the Hollywood Stuntmen’s Hall of Fame.
In 2014 Bob Orrison was tragically killed in a traffic accident along side his good friend and fellow SU alumn Gary McLarty. Since Bob had not requested to become an honorary member when he left the group years earlier, the membership recently decided that he should be honored posthumously and have his name placed along side his Stunts Unlimited brothers and sisters.
The following expert is from Memory Alpha:
Orrison started his career when he worked as stunt double for Dean Martin on the 1968 western 5 Card Stud on which he worked with fellow stuntman Robert F. Hoy. Beside working on several episodes of Star Trek in the late 1960s, he also performed stunts in the western Bandolero! (1968, stunt coordinated by Stunts Unlimited co-founder Hal Needham and stunts by Gary Combs (SU)and Donna Garrett), the western Che! (1969, stunt coordinated by George Sawaya and stunts by Phil Adams, Bobby Bass (SU), David Cadiente, Fred Carson, Kenny Endoso (SU), Alan Oliney (SU) , Frank Orsatti (SU), Victor Paul, and Ron Veto), the western The Wild Bunch (1969, with stunts by Tony Epper (SU), Lou Elias, Roy N. Sickner, Bob Herron, and Gary Combs), the comedy The Great Bank Robbery (1969), with stunts by Carl Saxe, Allen Pinson, Carey Loftin, Jack Perkins, Bob Miles, Bennie E. Dobbins, Carol Daniels, Bill Catching, and Paul Baxley), and the western The Undefeated (1969, stunt coordinated by Hal Needham SU).
Further stunt work in the 1980s include the crime drama Tom Horn (1980), the sequel Smokey and the Bandit II (1980), the comedy In God We Tru$t (1980) with stunts by Christine Anne Baur, Kane Hodder, Pete Kellett, Pat McGroarty, and Mic Rodgers (SU), the action comedy Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen (1981), the thriller No Man’s Land (1987) with stunts by Terry Jackson, Spiro Razatos, and Brian J. Williams, the action film Action Jackson (1988), the horror film The Seventh Sign (1988), the sequel Rambo III (1988), the action film Road House (1989), with stunts by Janet Brady (SU), Gary Epper, Branscombe Richmond, Patricia Tallman, Anthony DeLongis, and Glenn R. Wilder (SU)), and the action comedy Tango & Cash (1989).
In the 1990s, Orrison worked as stunt driving double for Dolph Lundgren on the science fiction film Universal Soldier (1992) and performed stunts in the comedy Far Out Man (1990), the action drama Days of Thunder (1990), the action thriller Die Hard 2 (1990), the action film Stone Cold (1991), the fantasy sequel Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time (1991, stunt coordination by Al Jones), the television thriller Revenge on the Highway (1992), the crime drama Hoffa (1992), the action thriller Speed (1994), the science fiction film Stargate (1994), the television western The Avenging Angel (1995), the family adventure Two-Bits & Pepper (1995), and the television comedy Breast Men (1997).
Bobby was my right hand man on every episode of the A-Team and so many other projects. I first met Bobby in 1971 when he and Walter Wyatt taught me what horse work was all about. They prepped me to do a saddle fall and drag on Bearcats working with Billy Burton. He, Walter and Billy were the finest horsemen I have ever had the pleasure of working with. Bobby was under the radar, an all around stuntman like Alan Gibbs, what we all aspired to be. There wasn’t anything he couldn’t do. I tried, but time and time again he blew my mind. There wasn’t a time when he didn’t make me and everyone else around him smile. There weren’t many stuntmen who ever questioned what I asked them to do through the years, they knew I wouldn’t ask them to do anything I wouldn’t. We knew who had the heart and who didn’t. We had a friendship that transcended kinship back in the day. Bobby never stopped amazing me with his talent and heart.
He was a stuntman’s stuntman.
I miss him, He was part of the family. My wife and I think about him often. They’ll never be anyone like him. “Bobby O”
Craig Baxley, Sr. “Bax”
I worked with Bobby Orrison for four years, almost every day on The Dukes of Hazzard TV show and he was always looking to improve the stunts we were doing on the show. Bobby Orrison and Jerry Summers were the ones that invented the only car jump harness that really works in 1979. For those of you that don’t know what that is…think of a women’s corset that wraps around your rib cage and laces up very tight, then add shoulder straps to that corset and connect the top of those straps to bungee cord that is wrapped around the top roll bar. The stunt person is then pushed into the seat, stretching the bungee cord and connected to a five point seat harness. Your body is now suspended off the seat by an inch or two and on impact, the stretched bungee keeps your body from slamming into the seat and causing spine injury. Bobby asked me to try it for the first time on my car jump through the second story of a barn on Dukes of Hazzard. It worked perfectly and I used it on every car jump in my career after that. That harness invention has been improved upon and is still in use today saving many stunt people from spinal injuries.
Bob Orrison, was a stuntman of talent the TV and Motion Picture Industry has Missed, and are still missing. A great person, friend and well respected Man. I miss the funny story’s, the singing and his Brilliant creativity. God Bless You, “Bobby O”
This is an incredible Tribute to Bobby O well done on Documenting his Life for people who didn’t meet Him. I worked with him on Days of Thunder an he was a incredible Story Teller you could listen Him for hours. Nothing but Love &Respect for Him an the The Wiz Kid