Olympic Sprinter turned Hollywood Stunt Performer Dean Smith passes away

1952 Helsinki Olympics gold medalist sprinter Dean Smith, who later established himself as a first-rate Hollywood stunt performer, died at the age of 91.

The Hollywood Reporter reported that according to his friend Rob Word, Smith passed away on June 24, 2023, at his residence in Breckenridge, Texas, after battling cancer.
Smith set his foot in Hollywood with the help of James Garner, appeared in seven Paul Newman films, and worked on a dozen featuring John Wayne.

Smith was born on January 15, 1932, in Breckenridge and played football and ran track at the University of Texas.

He finished fourth in the 100-meter dash before handling a leg for the U.S. 400-meter relay squad that bagged gold at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Finland. Prior to starting his stunt performing career, Smith served 21 months in the U.S. Army as well.

Smith became a member of the Hollywood Stuntmen’s Hall of Fame and the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame and was bestowed with the “All American Cowboy” award in 1997. He also received the Golden Boot Award in 1998 and the Silver Spur Award in 2007.

Dean Smith is succeeded by his wife, Debbie, and son, Finis.

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