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Stunt performers and daredevils

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  • Ben Johnson (1918 - 1996)
    )) Ben "Son" Johnson, Jr. (June 13, 1918 – April 8, 1996) was an American stuntman, world champion rodeo cowboy and actor. The son of a rancher, Johnson arrived in Hollywood to deliver a consignmen...
  • Sam Patch ("The Yankee Leaper") (1799 - 1829)
    Sam Patch (1799 – November 13, 1829), known as "The Yankee Leaper", became the first famous American daredevil after successfully jumping from a raised platform into the Niagara River near the base...
  • Harry Houdini (Erik Weisz) (1874 - 1926)
    Harry Houdini (1874 - 1926) , considered one of the greatest illusionists in history, was a Hungarian-born American magician and escapologist, stunt performer, actor, and film producer noted for his se...
  • Evel Knievel (1938 - 2007)
    Find a Grave Birth: Oct. 17, 1938 Butte Silver Bow County Montana, USA Death: Nov. 30, 2007 Clearwater Pinellas County Florida, USA Stuntman and entertainer. Robert Knievel was born in Butte, M...

A stunt performer, often referred to as a stuntman, or daredevil, is someone who performs dangerous stunts, often as a career. The French word that describes it is cascadeur and it is used as is in other languages (i.e. in Greek it is called κασκαντέρ)

A stunt-man or stunt-woman, typically performs stunts intended for use in a motion pictures or dramatized television. Stunts are sometimes rigged so that, while they look dangerous, safety mechanisms are built into the performance, however, often stunts are as dangerous as they appear to be. Stunts often seen in films and television include car crashes, falls from great height, drags (for example, behind a horse) and explosions. Film and television stunt performers are often trained in martial arts and stage combat. There is an inherent risk in the performance of all stunt work in film, television and stage work; the most risk exists when performing stunts in front of a live audience. In filmed performances, visible safety mechanisms can be removed by editing. In live performances the audience can better see if the performer is genuinely doing what they claim to be doing.

Daredevils are distinct from stunt performers and stunt doubles; their performance is of the stunt itself, without the context of a film or television show. Daredevils often perform for an audience. Live stunt performers include escape artists, sword swallowers, glass walkers, fire eaters, trapeze artists, and many other sideshow and circus arts. They also include motorcycle display teams and the once popular Wall of Death.