The great escape stunt that left a cameraman with a broken leg

One of those stunts involved a slippery motorcycle, some bad luck, and an injured cameraman. Don’t worry, dear reader, the cameraman escaped with only a broken leg.

Gibbes is a legitimate legend in his own right, and his story can be read at the Australian Motocross History website: Gibbes started racing in 1955 and won several international motocross championships in 1960. While on tour, Gibbes – owned by Steve McQueen beautiful face and nervous frame – was approached by Ekins about the possibility of performing as a stuntman. According to the interview with the Daily Mail, Gibbes claims he didn’t know who McQueen was, or that he recognized fellow ‘Great Escape’ stars Richard Attenborough and James Garner.

However, Gibbes remembers interactions with McQueen quite well. The star, he recalls, was something of a hot dog. He said:

“His job was to brag, you could tell right away. I certainly wouldn’t describe him as lowly. But that’s what these actors get paid for. I stopped and that would be it. But when Steve got on set it would be a great show, with lots of bike swerves and handlebar swings. Even when he wasn’t on camera, he’d be the center of attention. always making noise in the background.”

Gibbes describes the typical “look at me everyone” instincts of many actors. McQueen, it seems, liked to be watched.

About Frances R. Smith

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