Participating in over 500 films in his five-decade career as a stunt man and acrobat, Russel M. Saunders served as stunt man to some of the most legendary names in film history (including Gene Kelly and Alan Ladd) and appeared in some of the most beloved films of the 20th century (Seven Brides for Seven Brothers , Singin' in the Rain ).
Born in Winnipeg, the Canadian National Championship gymnastics and diving winner only gained entry into films after retiring and becoming a fixture at Santa Monica's Muscle Beach. Instructing countless aspiring acrobats who came to the beach for instruction over the years, Saunders soon met the Pena family of acrobats at Muscle Beach and agreed to join them in their participation in the filming of The Great Profile in 1940. This was before a brief stint as an Army war correspondent put a momentary hold on his cinematic career. A charter member of the Hollywood Stuntmen's Association of Motion Pictures, Saunders also spent 12 years training actors to interact with animals on television's Circus of the Stars.
Russel M. Sanders died on May 29, 2001, in Los Angeles, CA. He was 82 ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi