(written from a Production point of view)
Frank Orsatti (26 February 1942 – 23 December 2004; age 62) was the stuntman and stunt actor who performed stunts in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and in three episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. He received no credit for his television appearances. Orsatti also filled in as stunt coordinator on the The Next Generation third season episode "A Matter of Perspective", coordinating the stunt fight between stunt doubles Dan Koko and John Nowak.
Born in Los Angeles, California, he is part of a stunt family. His father is former baseball player for the St. Louis Cardinals and stuntman Ernie Orsatti, his brother is stuntman and stunt coordinator Ernie F. Orsatti, and his nephew is Noon Orsatti, who is also in the stunt industry. His mother is opera singer Inez Gorman. Originally he tried to start a baseball career at the St. Louis Cardinals, but an injury crossed this vision. He then worked for ten years on freighters for the Merchant Marine.
Orsatti started his stunt career in the late '60s and performed in several television series such as The New People (1969), Daniel Boone (1968-1970, alongside stuntmen Charlie Picerni, Kenny Endoso, and Richard E. Butler), Mission: Impossible (1971, with William Shatner and Charlie Picerni), The Streets of San Francisco (1972, with Tim O'Connor, Ed Lauter, and Ed McCready), Kung Fu (1973, with John Anderson, Kermit Murdock, and Keye Luke), and Planet of the Apes (1974, with Jay Robinson, John McLiam, and Hubie Kerns, Jr.).
He was also part of many feature films, including the science fiction film Planet of the Apes (1968), Roman Polanski's Academy Award winning Rosemary's Baby (1968, with Victoria Vetri and Elisha Cook, Jr.), Russ Mayberry's drama The Jesus Trip (1971), the comedy Fuzz (1972, alongside Charlie Picerni and under stunt coordinator Glenn R. Wilder), the Academy Award winner The Poseidon Adventure (1972, with stunts by Paul Stader, Gary Epper, George Sawaya, and George Wilbur), the science fiction thriller Soylent Green (1973, starring Leigh Taylor-Young and Brock Peters), the thriller The Towering Inferno (1974), and John Schlesinger's Academy Award nominated thriller Marathon Man (1976, with Fritz Weaver).
Between 1978 and 1982 he served as stunt double for Bill Bixby in the fanatasy series The Incredible Hulk, in which he also appeared in several other parts and served as director for twelve episodes. Manny Perry and Gene LeBell were also among the stunt cast. Orsatti also doubled actor Burt Reynolds for nine years in several films and television series.
Orsatti continued and performed in the fantasy film The Beastmaster (1982), the television series Matt Houston (1983, with Fran Bennett), the action film First Blood (1982), Joe Dante's comedy The 'burbs (1989, with Wendy Schaal, Dick Miller, Robert Picardo, and Henry Gibson), and Richard Donner's action sequel Lethal Weapon 2 (1989). He served as stunt double for Arnold Schwarzenegger in James Cameron's The Terminator (1984) and served also as stunt coordinator for projects such as the television film Stark (1985, starring Nicolas Surovy and featuring Denise Crosby), the thriller Lock Up (1989), and the fantasy sequel Highlander II: The Quickening (1991, starring Virginia Madsen).
Further feature films as stunt performer include the thriller The Last Boy Scout (1991), the sequel Lethal Weapon 3 (1992), the science fiction comedy Mom and Dad Save the World (1992, starring Teri Garr and with stunt performers George Colucci, Mitchell Danton, B.J. Davis, Christopher Doyle, Dennis Madalone, Rosine "Ace" Hatem, Dan Koko, Irving E. Lewis, Ken Lesco, Tom Morga, and Lynn Salvatori), the comedy Nine Months (1995), the thriller Heaven's Prisoners (1996, with Teri Hatcher), the comedy High School High (1996, with Louise Fletcher), the thriller Con Air (1997, with Colm Meaney), and stunt coordination for the comedy Frank McKlusky, C.I. (2002).
Orsatti passed away in Sherman Oaks, California, due to acute respiratory failure, in 2004. He was 62 years old and survived by his wife Julie Ann Steinberg Orsatti, daughters Kimberly Ann and Gina Marie, brothers Ernie and Rex, and a granddaughter.