Friday, December 28, 2012

News Archive: Stuntman Claims Actors Unnecessarily Endangered

Ted White and Judie Aronson
Most Friday the 13th fans are more than aware of the story of how Ted White lashed out against The Final Chapter's director Joseph Zito when he refused to let actress Judie Aronson have a break when filming her death scene where she was submerged in near-freezing water. White claims he threatened to quit the film if he did not allow her to rest and warm up or get a stuntwoman to do the scene. Years later Aronson claimed that she was hypothermic and became ill after the fact and blamed it on Zito.

I found an interesting article from 1966 where White came forward voicing his concerns with the dangers of filming after the actor Eric Fleming was killed in scene in water; a scene White says a stuntman should have been used instead of an actor.
A veteran of 13 years in the business, [Ted] White said, "Eric Fleming's death was completely uncalled for. Eric was working in a boat near rapids. An actor should have never been used in those circumstances.
There are never enough safety precautions taken in movies or television. Stuntmen are available, but movie accidents would decrease by 75 percent if they were given the responsibility for safety.
There's never a need for an actor to endanger his life."

Read the rest in the Windsor Star


  1. I have MUCH repsect for stuntman in the greater North American film & television business/industry.

    They're truly the unsung heroes of the motion picture business/industry. And I also feel that they're generally underpaid as well, too, much like our teacher & profesors are.

    Especially in the olden days of pre-CGI and pre-wire fu work. Broken bones and fractures were all-too-common. And having re-read Crystal Lake Memories over the last year of the expanded edition I was amazed and have even more respect for Mr. White. He played a great follow-up Jason to Richard Brooker and I feel that from interviews Mr. White is MUCH, much more overly cordual & approachable for some minutes and generally more friendly then our resident expat living abroad briton whom was a fine ex-circus performer turned brief actor/stuntman.

    But yeah Zito from what I've read started out The Final Chapter shoot regular & fairly normal acting, and then by Ted's own admission because "quite the bully" and was a huge prick to the poor Final Chaper kids whom were shooting a negative pick-up Paramount film ONLY for scale pay. So yeah I really feel bad for them shooting mostly in December & January in the cold, out on a reservoir with quickly shot typical b-film conditions, ect. I'm sure Mr. White didn't like seeing the kids treated in such a mannor aand as he said on the His Name Was Jason doc extended interviews he told Zito that he didn't like seeing kids disrespected.

    So yeah, kudos for him. Also for such an already older gentleman (he was reported 54 or so at the time of filming, I believe--respectfully correct me if I'm too off over here), he did quite the fine job. Him & Brooker are my two favorite Jason's: agile yet nicely pissed off and said anger reads nicely through that great old school screen used Part 3-D mask. :)

    So Ted: Pure class in my book. I also felt Zito came off as a bit of a prick but hey, Karma is a bitch and it is none of my business os let us move on. ;)

    1. A lot don't know that Ted White was one of the founding fathers of the Stuntman Association. He is one of the only two remaining (living) founders. He was one of the people responsible for stuntman safety.

  2. Whoa, dude man really? Well then I've enjoyed his interviews onine & my repect for the calm & well-traveled stuntman has just increased. That is so very interesting to hear.

    Ted really coes across as a nice, well-read & well-lived gentleman from the video interviews that I own & have seen of him. He's one of the few that I know for most in the free world is quite "obscure" in the traditional sense but I've LOVE to meet him at a con to get some of his many celeb & making-ofs film & television stories before a lot of the more dullard modern high-def/CGI laden stories of today ...