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David Richard Ellis

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David Richard Ellis (8 September 19527 January 2013; age 60) was a former stuntman and stunt actor who turned into stunt coordinator and director. He served as stunt double for Laurence Luckinbill in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. His costume was sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay. [1]

Ellis was born in Hollywood, California. He is the brother of stuntwoman Annie Ellis and the father of producer Tawny Ellis. In 2004 he was nominated for a Taurus World Stunt Award for best stunt coordination in The Matrix Reloaded and shared this nomination with R.A. Rondell and Glenn Boswell.

Ellis started his career as an actor in several Disney films in the '70s, including The Strongest Man in the World (1975, with William Schallert and James Gregory). With a background as an experienced surfer, he also started a career as a stuntman and performed in films such as Deathsport (1978, with Richard Lynch and William Smithers), Smokey and the Bandit II (1980), Nice Dreams (1981), in which he doubled actor Tommy Chong, The Beastmaster (1982), Rocky III (1982, with Bob Minor, Tony Brubaker, and Tom Lupo), To Live and Die in L.A. (1985, with Dean Stockwell), the academy award nominated Anna (1987), Lethal Weapon (1987, with Mitchell Ryan and Lycia Naff), the action film Blind Fury (1989, with Terry O'Quinn, Noble Willingham, and Meg Foster), Road House (1989, with Anthony De Longis and Patricia Tallman), Days of Thunder (1990), and Warlock: The Armageddon (1993, with Zach Galligan).

Beside his stunt performances in films and television series, he has also contributed his knowledge as stunt coordinator and was responsable for the action in films, including Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978, with Leonard Nimoy), Airplane II: The Sequel (1982, with William Shatner), the television series V: The Final Battle (1984, with Richard Herd and Andrew Prine) and its sequel V (1984-1985, with Judson Scott), Burglar (1987, with Whoopi Goldberg), the six time academy award nominated Fatal Attraction (1987), Tennessee Nights (1989, with Denise Crosby and Ed Lauter), several episodes of Baywatch (1989-1991, alongside Gregory J. Barnett, and with Branscombe Richmond and Tracee Lee Cocco), the academy award winning Misery (1990, with Graham Jarvis), The Addams Family (1991, with Carel Struycken and Christopher Lloyd), Kuffs (1992, with Christian Slater), Body of Evidence and Made in America (both 1993, the latter one starring Whoopi Goldberg), and The Jungle Book (1994).

Not far away from the position of the stunt coordinator, Ellis also served as second unit director on several productions. Among them are the television film Condor (1986, with Ray Wise and Carolyn Seymour), several episodes of Baywatch (1989-1991), Mel Brooks' comedy Life Stinks (1991, with Michael Ensign and Brian Thompson), Forever Young (1992, with Nicolas Surovy and Eric Pierpoint), Blank Check (1994, starring Brian Bonsall), Waterworld (1995), Sphere (1998), Deep Blue Sea (1999), Disney's The Kid (2000, featuring Jeri Ryan), The Perfect Storm (2000), Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001), The Matrix Reloaded (2003, with Anthony Zerbe), and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003).

Ellis has directed the films Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco (1996), Final Destination 2 (2003, with Tony Todd), Cellular (2004, with Lenore Kasdorf and stunt coordination by Freddie Hice), Snakes on a Plane (2006), Asylum (2007), and the sequel The Final Destination (2009, with music by Brian Tyler).

Ellis died on 7 January 2013 while working on the remake of the action film Kinte in Johannesburg, South Africa. No cause of death is known. [2]

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