Hollywood stuntman Rémy Julienne — a veteran of multiple James Bond movies — has passed away at the age of 90 after contracting COVID-19.
The legend of the stunt industry, who has hundreds of movie credits, died on Thursday after spending time on an artificial respirator, his family confirmed to AFP.
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Julienne was a rallycross and motocross champion in France in the 1950s, before making the jump to cinema in the 1960s.
His debut appearance on the big screen came in the 1964 French movie Fantomas, when he doubled for lead actor Jean Marais in a motorbike sequence.
Julienne worked on the driving stunts for six James Bond films, including three Roger Moore outings, both of Timothy Dalton’s appearances and the Pierce Brosnan debut adventure GoldenEye.
His other biggest movies include The Da Vinci Code and heist classic The Italian Job, for which he designed the iconic chase scene involving Minis.
The indefatigable performer continued to work into his eighties, credited for stunt work on the 2013 Ethan Hawke thriller Getaway and 2017 short film Void and Method.
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The official 007 Twitter account led the tributes to Julienne, describing him as a “legendary force” in the history of cinematic action.
They added: “His artistry and innovation changed the way car sequences were designed and captured.
“He was a charming, dedicated and loyal member of the crew who was both respected and loved by all who worked with him.”
Stunt driving expert Rémy Julienne has passed away at the age of 90. "Rémy has been a legendary force in the action sequences of so many films. We were lucky to have worked with him on six films: For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, A View To A Kill, The Living Daylights... pic.twitter.com/v9whCMDlHb
— James Bond (@007) January 22, 2021
Rémy built a great team of remarkable stunt performers including his sons, Dominique and Michel who carry on their father's profession. Our love and sympathy goes out to his family and friends. Rémy will be sorely missed by everyone at Eon,” Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli
— James Bond (@007) January 22, 2021
Among others offering tributes to Julienne was the French National Assembly politician Jean-Pierre Door, who was a friend of the star and tweeted that the pair created “magical memories that we will not forget”.
One fan referred to Julienne as “the Gene Kelly of cars”, while Mark O’Connell — author of Bond book Catching Bullets — called him a “loved and adventurous prince” of French cinema.
Des souvenirs magiques que l’on n’oublie pas. Adieu Rémy , tu restes l’ami et le copain . pic.twitter.com/R7qlbYNxKe
— Jean-Pierre Door (@doorjean) January 22, 2021
Ah. Sad to see that COVID has taken Remy Julienne, the Gene Kelly of cars. He understood that all our inner child wants is for actual cars to behave like toy ones on the carpet. pic.twitter.com/R5KFHvUARA
— Joel Morris (@gralefrit) January 22, 2021
Six Bond films, a swinging Sixties job in Italy, the steering wheel behind RONIN and one of French cinema's loved and adventurous princes...
Rest in peace, Remy Julienne.#RIPRemyJulienne #JamesBond pic.twitter.com/iPEYYgEJWm
— MARK O'CONNELL - Writer, Author, Bond fan (@Mark0Connell) January 22, 2021
Julienne’s legacy continues through the school he opened in France, which provides skills for budding stunt drivers and co-ordinators.
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His sons, Michel and Dominique, also now have jobs in the stunt world.
The siblings worked together with Tom Cruise on stunts for Mission: Impossible — Fallout, with Dominique recently working on the Netflix remake of Rebecca and the Jack Ryan TV series.
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