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Grant Page, Legendary Stunt Performer in Australian Films, Dies at 85

Grant Page, the larger-than-life Australian stunt performer famous for his jaw-dropping work in films including Mad Max, The Man From Hong Kong and Mad Dog Morgan, has died. He was 85.

Page died Thursday when the car he was driving near his home in Kendall on the coast of New South Wales hit a tree, his son Leroy Page told Daily Mail Australia.

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Page worked with director Brian Trenchard-Smith on more than a dozen projects, including The Stuntmen (1973), King Fu Killers (1974), The Man From Hong Kong (1973) — where Page fights martial arts expert Jimmy Wang Yu in scenes using knives, cleavers and meat hooks — Deathcheaters (1976), Stunt Rock (1978) and Hospitals Don’t Burn Down! (1978).

And for the documentary Dangerfreaks (1987), Trenchard-Smith filmed Page standing on a ledge outside the perimeter fence on the observation deck of the Empire State Building in New York.

Page “successfully tampered with the laws of physics and probability,” Trenchard-Smith wrote Thursday in a blog post. “The ‘have a go’ spirit, the ‘think it through, take good aim and go for it’ quality that has distinguished Australian achievers in all fields of endeavor was clearly present in Grant.

“He had courage and daring, tempered by a realistic attitude about the risks of his profession in the era before computer-generated stunts.”

For George Miller’s Mad Max (1979), Page famously smashed a car through a caravan and emerged with just a limp (after all, he did begin the stunt with a broken leg). He then returned for Miller in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985).

After attending the University of Adelaide, Page spent years training with the Commandos, the special forces unit in Australia. He developed skills like rappelling and parachuting that he would use in the movies, and Trenchard-Smith served as his manager early on.

Page jumped backward off an 80-foot cliff while on fire in Mad Dog Morgan (1976), starring Dennis Hopper. And in the mockumentary Stunt Rock, Page, playing a version of himself, did reckless stunts for a TV show during a visit to Los Angeles to visit the heavy metal band Sorcery.

Page was featured in the documentary Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! (2008), about forgotten Aussie genre cinema, and before the premiere, he did director Mark Hartley a favor and set himself on fire as a publicity stunt. (Page often eschewed the traditional fire suit.)

Grant Page, stuntman, portrait from 'Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!' (2008)
Grant Page as seen in the 2008 documentary ‘Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!’

George Lazenby (for whom Page doubled in The Man From Hong Kong), Stacy Keach (the nemesis of Page’s character in 1981’s Road Games) and Quentin Tarantino speak glowingly of him in the documentary.

“Everyone agreed that he was the single most fearless man they had ever met — and quite possibly the luckiest,” Hartley wrote in a foreword for Page’s 2009 memoirs, Man on Fire: A Stunt of a Life.

Page worked constantly since the mid-1970s, serving most recently as a stunt coordinator on films including Hartley’s Patrick: Evil Awakens (2013), Gods of Egypt (2016), Mechanic: Resurrection (2016), The Defector (2018) and The Legend of the Five (2020).

Survivors include his sons, Gulliver, also a stunt performer (X-Men: Origins, Suicide Squad); Leroy, a grip and stunt performer, too; Adrian; and Jeremy.

Page also receives high praise in Scott McGee’s 2022 book Danger on the Silver Screen, which celebrates the greatest stunts in films.

“He was the kind of stuntman that harkened to those of the silent era, when men and women often approached a stunt by just winging it,” McGee wrote. “He said in an interview, ‘If I worried about coming out of stunts alive, I’d have a gut full of ulcers.’”

Rhett Bartlett contributed to this report.

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