It may be a very esoteric job role but stunt performers consider their career path as an art because it takes immense amount of skill and bravery to go out and do what they do everyday. Even one moments hesitation could cost these men their lives and everyday on the job is risking it. Here's a list of the most daring, most craziest ,and, as some might even consider, the most stupidest stunts ever performed. These stuntmen have gathered a fanbase and almost become a cult because of their bravado.
Harry Houdini, an American stuntman, was widely reputed as one of the greatest magicians of all time. His stunt performances were so daring and one-of-a-kind that they were considered as magic. He gained mass popularity for many of his acts such as the 'Suspended Straightjacket' or the 'Milk Can'. During his time, there were many people who tried to copy his acts. Houdini performed the 'Chinese Water Torture Cell', which features in this list, to discourage and outrival his imitators.
Houdini's "Chinese Water Torture Cell" Escape performed on a TV Show -
2. Ormer Locklear
Locklear, a pilot, became famous as an airplane wingwalker and pioneered this act, unintentionally, in 1918. He needed to fix an engine problem mid-flight and, therefore, had to walk the wing of his plane. He, later, went on to become a reknowned airplane walker/stuntman in Hollywood, untill his death in 1920.
3. Dan Goodwin:
Dan Goodwin was nicknamed SpiderDan when he climbed the Sears Towers, the tallest building in Chicago at the time, to prove naysayers wrong. He witnessed a fire at the MGM grand in Nevada on November 21, 1980 and was convinced he could have saved them by climbing the building and attaching cables to the floors to allow rescue baskets to move to and from helicopters. When he shared his rescue plan with the fire department they laughed at him. His stunt was meant as a challenge to their disbelief.
4. David Smith Junior:
David "The Bullet" Smith otherwise known as the 'Human Cannonball' invented one of the most entertaining and daring stunts in history. He has been fired out of a cannon more than 500 times, astonishing live audiences all over the world. He may have his imitators, like Houdini, but he maintains the spot of highest flying human cannonball.
5. Philippe Petit:
Philippe knew what he wanted from life at the early age of 16, which is when he started his act of walking a high-wire. His masterpiece or 'Le Coup' as he would like to describe it is when he walked a high-wire between the Twin Towers in New York. 'Man on Wire' is a film based on this very stunt which won the 'World Cinema Jury' and 'Audience' award at the Sundance Film Festival 2008.
6. Evel Knievel:
Evel Knievel, born Robert Craig Knievel was a motocycle daredevil stuntman who gained entry into the Guinness Book of World Records for 'Survivor of Most Bones Broken in a Lifetime'. He was known for his iconic performances worldwide but what gave him most acclaim was his act at Caesar's Palace in 1967. Knievel's retirement came when he broke both arms on an act while also causing the cameraman he crashed into to lose an eye.
7. Buster Keaton:
Keaton was an American comedy actor who made a name for himself as one of the most daring actors in Hollywood.This audacious actor performed these daring stunts just to provide comic relief to his fans. His most daring of them all was when he was standing in front of a 2000 pound, 3-storey collapsing house and managed to escape unscathed.