R.I.P. Louie Elias, Hollywood stunt man and 'Batman' henchman
On December 13, 2017, "Action Louie" passed away at the age of 84.
For 30 years, Louie Elias was one of Hollywood's preferred stunt men. His career kicked off in 1960, performing stunts for the Oscar-winning film Spartacus. The rest of the decade pulled the stunt man in for difficult scenes in hit movies like Planet of the Apes, True Grit and The Wild Bunch. Known as "Action Louie," his daring added excitement and energy to some of the '60s biggest movies.
Just before his big screen successes in the '60s, though, Elias got his feet wet acting on TV, with his first bit part on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet in 1958. By the end of the '60s, he'd appeared in just about every critically acclaimed classic show, including Star Trek, Perry Mason, Gunsmoke, Maverick, 77 Sunset Strip and The Untouchables. On F Troop, he played Trooper Franklin, a lookout who also serves as an effective punchline in the very first episode of the series. He later leapt from that tower in a stunning moment of the standout sitcom. And on Outer Limits, he's credited as Eck, the two-dimensional alien.
He also stepped into iconic shows in the 1960s and even landed a role as one of The Penguin's henchmen in two episodes of Batman. He played Swordfish, showing up in a memorable fight scene choreographed with a flurry of umbrellas. Later in 1966 when Batman: The Movie came out, Elias also snuck onscreen as a tavern patron, amid other onscreen work as a stunt man.
Perhaps his most riveting work as a TV stunt man came on the action-packed series, The Wild Wild West, where Elias served as series star Robert Conrad's body double. He also stepped into a scene of the episode "The Night of the Arrow" as a soldier.
Straight through 1991, Elias continued to appear on TV shows like M*A*S*H, Starsky and Hutch, Kojak and Charlie's Angels. In the 1980s, the multifaceted actor and stunt man diversified further, writing screenplays for episodes of Airwolf and Dallas. His stunt work was leveraged in major movies, too, from 1973's Westworld to 1990's Dick Tracy. His final acting role was in 1991 on the William Conrad-driven series Jake and the Fatman.
On December 13, 2017, Louie Elias passed away at the age of 84.