Paul Baxley was born in Casper Wyoming in 1923. Growing up in Los Angeles, he went on to become an all-city quarterback and track star at Eagle Rock High.
A Marine, a Scout and Sniper in the 4th Division in World War II, he fought on Kwajalein (Roi-namur), Iwo Jima, Saipan and Tinian. He received Two Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star, and a letter of commendation from the President of the United States. Taught briefly on Paris Island after the war.
After the War, he went back to college and became an all-American quarterback. Afterwhich he met Richard Talmadge, who at the time, was the most successful Stunt Coordinator in the motion picture business. Along with Dick and Davey Sharp, the threesome were probably the best all around athletes the industry had ever known. His movie star looks were an obvious fit for doubling some of the biggest stars in Hollywood, among them James Dean, Alan Ladd and Marlon Brando. After working together, he and Marlon became best friends and remained so until Marlon passed away in 2004.
Continuing as one of the most successful Stunt Coordinators and Second Unit director through the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s, he also directed several episodes of T.H.E. Cat and The Dukes of Hazzard. Later in his career he enjoyed working as his son's Stunt Coodinator and Second Unit director.