November 16, 1984 – October 15, 2017
Clay Virtue was born into the Virtue stunt family, and was a professional stunt man since he was 11 years old. Raised in the business by his father Danny Virtue, and working alongside his brother Marshall Virtue, Clay developed into one of the hardest hitting stunt men who ever lived.
Clay was always in high demand as both a performer and coordinator. His list of credits included many of the features and television series that have been shot in Vancouver, including “War for the Planet of the Apes”, “Warcraft”, “Seventh Son”, “Godzilla”, “Total Recall”, “The Grey”, “The A-Team”, “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian”, “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”, “XMen: The Last Stand”, “Underworld: Evolution”, “The Chronicles of Riddick”, “Flash”, “Arrow”, “Legends of Tomorrow”, and “Supergirl”, just to name a few.
He was a highly accomplished stunt coordinator as well, working on such shows as “R.L Stine’s Monsterville:, “Strange Empire”, “Good Night for Justice”, and “The Haunting Hour”.
Clay’s list of award nominations include a Taurus Stunt Award nomination in 2010 for Best High Work on “The A-Team”, a Screen Actor’s Guild Award stunt ensemble nomination in 2017 for his work in “War for the Planet of the Apes”, and most recently, a Daytime Emmy Awards nomination for Best Stunt Coordination for the MOW “Cop and a Half: New Recruit”.
Left behind in our Stunts Canada family are his father Danny Virtue, and brother Marshall Virtue.
Tony Morelli was a Canadian stuntman and martial artist.
Tony’s stunt career began in 1983, and took part in various film and television projects, including “Airwolf”, “Legends of the Fall”, “The X-Files”, “The 6th Day”, “Smallville”, “X-Men: The Last Stand”, “2012”, “The Twilight Saga: New Moon”, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”, “The Cabin in the Woods”, “Arrow” and “Godzilla”.
Tony died suddenly on April 19, 2015, aged 58. He is survived by his wife and children.
One of the original members of Stunts Canada, Keith, along with his brother John Wardlow started in stunts in Vancouver when the industry was in it’s infancy.
Keith’s credits included “Clan of the Cave Bear”, “The Beachcombers” and “Air Wolf”.
Keith was also an accomplished Special Effects Technician and musician.
On January 16, 2023, John (Victor) Wardlow passed away at seventy-seven years of age. He was born in Yorkshire, England and emigrated to Canada when he was eight.
In 1969, at twenty-three, he became involved in the BC movie business, which then became his life for over forty years. He went on to become a professional Stunt Man/Second Unit Director.
John saw the possibility of developing our film industry, which was dominated at the time by Hollywood. He co-founded Stunts Canada and was among the first stunt performers in Canada. In the early days, he worked as an Assistant Director, Location Manager and Unit/Production Manager for feature films, TV movies, series and commercials. His rich and diverse history helped to shape the industry into the vibrant and vital one it is today.
In 2016 John received the John Juliani Award of Excellence, a lifetime achievement award in recognition of “significant achievement as a performing artist and for distinguished contribution to the lives of Performers and the Film and Television Industry overall.”
John’s smile, positive attitude, appreciation of life and gratitude for so many people will be greatly missed.
At the end of 2022, John was inducted into the Canadian Stunt Hall of Fame.
George Josef started in the business at the age of eleven, when he was offered the role of “Arturo” in the Italian play “The Cursed Phantoms” by Eduardo De Filippo. The show ran from September 1956 to June 1957 on one of the stages of The Romanian National Theater in Bucharest.
The following three years he played various children’s parts on stage.
From 1964 to 1979, he worked in Romania as a professional stunt man, actor and stunt coordinator on over one hundred feature films and TV shows besides numerous industrial-educational movies. They were both Romanian and foreign productions.
In 1979, he moved to Italy, where he worked on a number of Italian and English productions.
In 1980, he moved to Canada and settled in Vancouver, which was fast becoming a major film and television production centre. He was a proud member of Stunts Canada since his induction in 1981 and played a vital role in the development of the early stunt community in Western Canada.
Some of his notable credits include “The Journey of Natty Gann”, “Underworld”, “Carpool”, “Reindeer Games”, “Ararat” and “Paycheck”
He continued to work as a stunt performer, actor and stunt coordinator until his death from cancer in 2004.
John Dodds was born and raised in Ponoka, Alberta. He began his rodeo career at the age of nine and grew up to become a champion cowboy and professional stuntman.
John became a member of the Cowboys’ Protective Association (now the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association) in 1965, and competed in the bull riding and bareback riding events. During his career, John won four Canadian bull riding titles in 1969, 1971, 1972 and 1977. He qualified for the Canadian Finals Rodeo six times in the bull riding and once in bareback riding in 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1980 and 1982. John also qualified for the National Finals Rodeo in 1971, 1972 and 1977 in bull riding.
John retired from active competition after competing in the bull riding at the 1982 Canadian Finals Rodeo.
He was honored as Cowboy of the Year for the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association in 1984 and inducted into the Canadian Professional Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1999.
The film business in Alberta was established in the mid 1970’s, when Robert Altman came to Calgary to shoot his film “Buffalo Bill & the Indians, or Sitting Bull’s History Lesson” starring Paul Newman. Stunts Canada founder Alex Green was hired to do stunts on the film, and that is where he met John, who had been brought on to the project by John Scott, the Albertan founder of Stunts Canada.
It was right after that film in 1975 that John joined the group, along with his brother Joe Dodds, and the Glass brothers, Tom and Reg. They (along with Alex Green and John Scott) became the core members of the early Stunts Canada team, and continued to work steadily in Alberta, and then in British Columbia as the film and television business grew.
Because he was known throughout the province as one of the top cowboys in the business, John became one of the most sought after stunt performers and wranglers in the area, working on such films as “Days of Heaven”, “Unforgiven”, “Legends of the Fall”, “Lonesome Dove” and “The Edge”.
John worked in the film and television business as a stuntman for over 25 years, and was also active in the mentoring and teaching of young cowboys up until his death from cancer in Calgary in 2005.
Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame link:
At The Bridge Studios
2400 Boundary Road
Burnaby B.C. V5M 3Z3