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.”
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.
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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