Stunt Memorial: LaMarr, Richard (RIP)

Richard "Dick" LaMarr Born: 1895 Passed: 1975

Richard LaMarr is another forgotten name of the past who had a long and varied career as a silent screen actor, stand-in, stunt double, and character actor. Little is known about Richard LaMarr’s early career because many of the films of that era are lost and/or undocumented, but his acting credits go as far back as 1911, he’s known to have worked in Pearl White’s Perils of Pauline (1914), and apparently continued to work steadily until the end of the silent era.

Like many silent players, LaMarr didn’t have a voice that merited leading man or even character actor status so he found himself in the stereotypical roles as convicts, and gangsters for which his appearance was best suited. However, because of his rough looks and short physical stature, he found steady work for 25 years as the stand-in and stunt double for Edward G. Robinson.

However, like most actors in similar situations, he had to find other work when Robinson wasn’t working, and can even be found in a cameo in Perils of Pauline (1947), which also included other actors of the silent era in uncredited appearances. By the 1950s, Robinson’s career was winding down, and since LaMarr’s noticeable Italian accent made it difficult for him to obtain regular work in speaking roles, he began to appear more and more in background roles.

Because of his rugged appearance, LaMarr started doing Westerns, appearing in television shows like Bonanza, Gunsmoke, Tales of Wells Fargo, and in movies such as Rio Bravo (1959) and The Cheyenne Social Club (1970); a couple of uncredited appearances in Search (1972-1973) brought his career, which by that time had spanned more than 60 years, to a quiet close; he died in 1975.

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