Stunt Memorial: Bakunas, A.J. (RIP)

A.J. Bakunas

Born: 1950 Passed: 1978

(Died performing a high fall for the film “Steel”) “Dog Day Afternoon” (1977), “The Car” (1978), “Go Tell The Spartans” (1978) “Hooper” (1978), “The Warriors” (1979), “The Stuntman” (1980), “Steel” (1980) Highest movie stunt jump without a parachute Who: A.J. Bakunas When: 1978 Where: United States What: 232 ft ———————————————————- The highest jump made by a movie stuntman without a parachute is 70.71 m. (232 ft.), by A.J. Bakunas doubling for Burt Reynolds in Hooper (USA, 1978). He fell onto an air mattress. Born in 1950, A.J. Bakunas was regarded in Hollywood as one of the best stuntmen around. Specializing in high falls, he appeared in Dog Day Afternoon (USA, 1977), The Car (USA, 1978), Go Tell The Spartans (USA, 1978) Hooper (USA, 1978), The Warriors (USA, 1979) and The Stuntman (USA, 1980). On September 9, 1980, when doubling for the actor George Kennedy during the filming of Steel, Bakunas fell from the top of a construction site in Lexington, Kentucky, but the jump resulted in the stuntmans tragic death when the air bag he landed on split. .

While still a toddler, AJ lived in Cliffside Park, NJ, after which he lived in Fort Lee, NJ (one town north of Cliffside Park). At his death, his parents still lived at the same residence in Fort Lee.

Lee Majors attended the funeral and visited with the family attheir Fort Lee home. He had five sisters. There were six children, AJ being the only boy. There is no AJ the third. After AJ’s death, a sister named her next born AJ, much later another sister’s son named his child AJ. AJ had no children. (AJ’s name was not AJ, but Albert John, as was his father’s.)

AJ did other major movie stunts as well as TV stunts and TV commercials not listed in his bio.

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