Stunts Unlimited Member Charlie Picerni Sr. was presented with the Taurus Lifetime Achievement Award on Saturday, May 12th, 2018 for his outstanding contribution to the world of action feature films.
Charlie Picerni got his start show business through his brother Paul Picerni, who was an actor on the hit television show “The Untouchables”. Charlie was intent on learning everything he could about the business and quickly moved from extra to stunt double, excelling as a stuntman and stunt coordinator. Soon Charlie became the lead stunt double and stunt coordinator on the popular television show “Starsky and Hutch,” eventually making his way up to second unit and first unit director on the show. Over half a century Charlie Picerni has performed stunts, acted, became an original member of Stunts Unlimited, stunt coordinated and directed first and second unit for an incredibly impressive roster of films and television shows with absolutely no sign of slowing down! Charlie Picerni is hands down a force to be reckoned with! Way to go Brother, we love you!!!!
I want to congratulate a legend Charlie on his lifetime achievement award and Andy Gill, Jack Gill, Craig Hosking, JJ Perry, Jay Lynch, Henry Kingi on their nominations. Sorry I won’t be there to celebrate, have a fantastic evening. Let’s bring some more awards home, Black and Gold is the best – Pat Romano (SU President)
Congrats to Charlie and all the Black and Gold brothers. Sorry I wasn’t be there to celebrate, but hope you had a fantastic evening!👊🏻 – Brent Fletcher (SU Vice President)
Charlie came up through the ranks and learned his craft well, albeit, some of it the hard way. He became a proud, true, graduate of the ‘Old School’. Through his hard work and dedication, Charlie became one of the finest stuntman in our industry, a superb Stunt Coordinator and an excellent Director. He has remained a model of true inspiration to us all. Congratulations on your coveted Life Time Achievement Award. You deserve it and you earned it. Wear it well my friend. I don’t think you are ready for the shelf quite yet though! Best, Buddy Joe Hooker(SU)
Congrats Charlie Picerni!!! Well deserved!! You started when the hits were hard and inuries were part of the job, but you knew you had to work the next day and toughed it out. As an Action Designer and Director you continually set the bar for all others to follow and we all have learned from your knowledge. Thank you from all of us – Jack Gill (SU)
Charlie and I go all the way back to rat patrol which I think is the early middle 60s. Also he was the stunt coordinator on Mannix and he left to do a feature which gave me eight years of wonderful employment with Mike Connors. Congratulations Charlie! – Richard Ziker (SU)
Congratulations Charlie, well deserved!!! – Henry Kingi Sr. (SU)
Charlie you were way over due congratulations on the Lifetime Achievement can’t wait to see you there! You have given us so much over the years work, advice. So Happy for you🎥🎬🏆 – John Meier (SU)
Charlie you are the best!! You and Buddy Jo gave me one of the best weeks in this business when we worked for Stoney in NM. You guys had the best stories!! So proud of you and it is so well deserved!! – Eric Norris (SU)
Congrats Charlie!!!! Very cool award and you’re so deserving. I’m so happy to be part of such a legendary group – John Stoneham Jr. (SU)
Charlie was one of the originals when Hal, Charlie and the others decided to start a group of the most talented individuals in the business. “Stunts Unlimited” was born and together they set the bar for what a professional group of stunt performers should be…it wasn’t long before the word got out that SU was where you went when you wanted the best of the best…Charlie help set that bar from his early days as a stuntman to coordinator to directing some of Hollywoods biggest block buster action movies and yet so humble and willing to help out the new guys…he was what we all wanted to be pulling up to the set in the Ferrari’s or a Roll Royce with the tailored fit leather coat to the Italian shoes – he was the man…yet with all his success he still there to help out in any way he can… from my early days doubling Lou on The Incredible Hulk Charlie giving me pointers when I was in a tight spot highly respected and an icon that’s Charlie Picerni – Manny Perry (SU)
Thank you for all that you have done for the industry Charlie. You were instrumental in my early career, you and Hal Needham kicked the door down making the way for stuntmen to become directors and you set the standard with Die Hard, sparking a multi billion dollar franchise! Congratulations on all your success, love you – Norman Howell (SU)
With all these hero awards, stock in Stunts Unlimited is going through the roof!!! Congratulations Charlie, but I didn’t know they gave that award to old people ; ) – Gene LeBell (SU)
Charlie, You are a living legend and now you’ve got an award to prove it. Congratulations on a great career to date, and to many more years to come – Gregg Smrz (SU)
Charlie, in life you have achieved so much. And along the way you have helped many others achieve success. It’s a well deserved award, spanning many years of a great career. Congrats to you. Best, Erik Rondell (SU)
Chuck Picerni Jr.’s Speech, Taurus World Stunt Awards 2018
Thank you to Dietrick and Red Bull for continuing to support and fund the Taurus Awards and the backing of the Foundation for Injured Stunt Persons.
“Passion” remember that! When I was told a few weeks ago that my dad was going to be honored the lifetime achievement, the very first thing that came to my mind is that this was long overdue, but as I thought about it, my dad’s lifetime in our business is still going strong, even after, believe it or not, 57 years – his drive, PASSION, and determination still amazes me and continues to drive me after 41 years and I hope drives you as well.
When I was 8 years old in our backyard, I heard a helicopter coming in really low and didn’t quite know what it was and then I saw a gear bag thrown out and then my father leap out at 15 feet, a helicopter flown by my cousin Chuck Tamburro, after they finished on set. I knew at that age what I wanted to do. Crazy as that was (and Chuck was cited for it), that was the persona of my pop was and still is – ballsy and unique personified.
When I started in the business it was an opportunity give to me by my dad on Starsky and Hutch the series – I say that because young stunt people of today say, “Oh how cool, you got to work with Ben Stiller!” I say NO! Go back to Paul Glaser and David Soul. I got to see my dad’s incredible talent, PASSION and knowledge first hand as he laid out cameras, set the shot with stunt people and drove the Torino doubling for Paul Glaser, sliding through the intersection where I was as a 16 year old jumped off a skateboard, as he slid through. That was the beginning for me. About 10 years later, my dad gave me my first shot at a BIG stunt for me – a 60 mph pipe ramp engulfed in flames on a feature called “Roadhouse.” I spun the Mercedes through the air, flame and smoke engulfed the car as I landed and hit the crash cars and the car was still on fire. Everyone on set wanted to rush in to put the car out, but my dad held them back to get the end of the shot, knowing with expertise, just watching me inside, he knew I was fine and when he cut the shot, he was the first out there to pull me out.
That’s just a small sample of what my father has meant to my and Steve’s career. We would not be where we are without his tutelage from the time I was 8 years old. He has guided us, as well as countless stunt people, with his knowledge and PASSION for our stunt world, which still drives him today. Because of him I introduced my two sons CJ and Chad to our business, CJ did 5 or 6 movies, his first being for me on Gone in 60 Seconds, crashing a go-kart at age 6 and Chad who did commercials and a couple of pilots. Both decided to go a different way, CJ wanted to pursue baseball at age 10 and is now a pro ball player with the SF Giants and Chad, who is in the audience, is in his third year as a mechanical engineer physics major at Pepperdine, as well as an expert skier – both great choices I think!
I cannot think of a better recipient of this award (not being biased by any means…), as I said in my opening, “PASSION” has not left our dad in 57 years and never will. People have asked him multiple times over the years, “Charlie, when do you think you will retire?” his answer is always, “Retire from what? I love what I do and the people I do it with.” “PASSION”
Thank you all very much – Chuck Picerni Jr.
My Dad is my super hero. When I was 10 watching my dad on “Starsky and Hutch” I watched him do a car hit and from that day he became my super hero. He has taught me to be the stunt person and person I am today. I am so proud he received this award he is so deserving and will always be my hero. – Steve Picerni (SU)
Congratulations Charlie on your Lifetime achievement award. There is no one else that deserves it more than you. Black and Gold showing em how it’s done! All the Best Charlie! – Andy Gill (SU)
I want to congratulate all of the nominee’s on their nominations and a big congratulations to Charlie on your Lifetime Achievement Award… You are a Legend and a inspiration to many. I really wanted to make the awards last night but I am still working in Nashville until next week. Way to go guys Black and Gold! – Michael Smith (SU)
Charlie Picerni, Nick and Andy Gill at Cannes Film Festival (1993)
Charlie, you have alway been a LEGEND! Congratulations on all your achievements and this award too!Cheers! – Mike Massa (SU)
Congratulations!! Well deserved Charlie! Love and respect my brother – Matt Taylor (SU)
Charlie, You were worthy of the Lifetime Achievement Award, when I first met you 31 years ago!!! You are truly a legend but not just as a stunt man. You have led the way, taught, and created careers, for literally hundreds of younger stuntmen. We sought to follow your lead and copy your techniques and methods! Well deserved!!! – Craig Hosking (SU)
Mr. Picerni, Congratulations in the highest Regard. It’s well deserved to Legend, Sir – Tanner Gill, (SU)
Charlie, I’ve said before, and I’ll say it again, if my generation of stuntman has seen farther, it’s because we stood on the shoulders of giants like you!! Respect! Well deserved – J.J. Perry (SU)
Congratulations Charlie! Well deserved!!! Congratulations to all our Brothers who were nominated!!! Incredible work!!! Proud to be Black & Gold!!! – Scott Wilder (SU)
Your impact on this industry is legendary. JJ’s last email hit the nail on the head. Thank you Charlie and congrats on your award – Chris O’Hara (SU)
Charlie Picerni I’m so happy for you. You absolutely have earned a life time achievement award. Thank you for all that you have given to our industry. Stunts Unlimited would not be what it is today without your contribution and leadership. Rock on Brothers👍💪- Erik Stabenau (SU)
Congrats everyone!! You guys are freakin rock stars. Much deserved Charlie. Its an honor and a privilege to call you my brother – Kanin Howell (SU)
Congratulations to Stunts World Legend Charlie! 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻👍🏻👍🏻🎉🎉🎉😊🎬🎥🏆💪🏻 The Black n Gold family is the best and kick ass 2018! – Andy Cheng (SU)
I want to congratulate Charlie on his Lifetime Achievement Award. It is an honor to be in Stunts Unlimited, to be associated with everyone in the group and to be part of the Black and Gold team! – Mark Vanselow (SU)
Congratulations guys! Strong representation. Well deserved Charlie Picerni! – Melissa Stubbs (SU)
And the story continues….