|Occupation||Stunt double, film director|
Victor Monroe Armstrong (born 5 October 1946) is a British film director, stunt coordinator, second unit director, and stunt double – the world's most prolific according to the Guinness Book of Records.
The 6-foot Armstrong doubled for 6'1" Harrison Ford in the first three Indiana Jones films, 6'2" Timothy Dalton for Flash Gordon, George Lazenby for the Swiss Alps skiing scenes in the Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and 6'4" Christopher Reeve in Superman and Superman II. Reportedly, Armstrong looked so much like Harrison Ford that the crewmembers on the films were constantly mistaking him for Ford. This proved useful when Ford injured his back and had to sit out for filming crucial action sequences in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Armstrong filled in for him. The stunt where he jumps from a horse onto a German tank in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was voted one of the Top Ten film stunts of all time by a panel of experts and Sky Movies viewers in the UK in 2002. On a private photograph taken on the film set, Ford wrote to Armstrong, "If you learn to talk I'm in deep trouble!" Armstrong was unable to work on the fourth Indiana Jones film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull due to commitments to The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. However, he had discussed possible action sequences with Steven Spielberg during production of War of the Worlds.
Armstrong is a famed stunt coordinator and action unit director, notable for (amongst others) the action sequences of several James Bond films, War of the Worlds, and I Am Legend. Armstrong was also the opening scene director on Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
In 1993, Armstrong's made his directorial debut with action film Joshua Tree (a.k.a. Army of One) starring Dolph Lundgren, George Segal, Kristian Alfonso and Ken Foree. In the film, is about Wellman Anthony Santee (Lundgren), a former racecar driver who has turned to hauling exotic stolen cars with his friend Eddie Turner (Foree). One day he is framed by police officer Frank Severance (Segal) for the murder of a highway patrolman, also killing his friend Eddie. Santee is sent to prison after recovering in a prison hospital, but escapes during transfer and takes a female hostage named Rita Marrick (Alfonso) at a gas station, not suspecting that she's a cop. On the run from the law, involving exotic cars and desert scenery, Santee must prove his innocence and prove Severance guilty of being involved in the car ring and for murder. Much of the film was filmed in the Alabama Hills of the Sierra Nevada and the desert of the Joshua Tree National Park of southeast California.
In 2012, Armstrong was Second Unit Director for The Amazing Spider-Man. In 2013, he signed on to direct Left Behind, a remake of the series that got released in 2014. His next directorial effort was the true story A Sunday Horse.
In 2001 he received a Technical Achievement Academy Award for "the Fan Descender for accurately and safely arresting the descent of stunt persons in high freefalls". In 2002 he received the BAFTA Michael Balcon Award.
Armstrong is the brother of Andy Armstrong and husband of stuntwoman Wendy Leech who is the daughter of fellow James Bond stunt performer George Leech. He met her while filming Superman II (she doubled for Margot Kidder) and they have four children between them. Armstrong has two children from his first marriage, and Leech has a daughter from her first marriage. They have one daughter together.
His memoir My Life as Indiana Jones, James Bond, Superman and Other Action Heroes: The True Adventures of the World's Greatest Stuntman was published by Titan Books in early 2011.