From Stuntman To Star Ben Johnson’s act of courage earned him a fat contract.

Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson.

Ben Johnson was a cowboy who broke into Hollywood as a stuntman in the 1940s.  He was the stunt double for Henry Fonda in 1948’s Fort Apache.  During the shoot, horses pulling a wagon stampeded, endangering the men on board.  Johnson was nearby and rode the wagon down and stopped the team.  Director John Ford said he wanted to reward Johnson—but what happened shocked Ben.  The legendary filmmaker gave him a seven-year contract paying $5,000 a week. Johnson later won an Academy Award in 1971 for The Last Picture Show.

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