One of the key figures in the development of modern cinematic stunt design and improved safety procedures and co-founder of the Stuntmen's Association of Motion Pictures and Television, Loren Janes ranks alongside Dar Robinson, Hal Needham and Yakima Canutt for his contributions to movie stunt work. Janes has lent his athletic skills to many amazing stunt sequences in over 130 feature films, and has doubled for some of Hollywood's biggest stars including Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, Jack Nicholson and even Debbie Reynolds in a career spanning nearly half a century. He has contributed his talents to such spectacular films as The Ten Commandments (1956), Spartacus (1960), The Magnificent Seven (1960), Planet of the Apes (1968), The Towering Inferno (1974) and Beverly Hills Cop (1984). Ruggedly handsome, Janes also had minor acting roles in over a dozen Hollywood feature films.
Loren Janes was born in 1931 in Sierra Madre, CA, and has lived his entire life in Southern California. He was a lifeguard and performed in a water show with performances from Monterey to San Francisco. After his discharge from the Marines, he spent two years teaching 11th and 12th grade math and science in a private school.
In 1954 Loren became a professional movie stuntman making a big splash on his debut—an 80 foot dive off a cliff at Catalina Island in Jupiter’s Darling. In the following years, Loren worked with practically every major director and producer. He doubled Jack Nicholson, Kirk Douglas, Paul Newman, Michael Douglas, Charles Bronson, Robert Wagner, Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, Yul Brunner, and Frank Sinatra. Loren doubled Steve McQueen for 23 years starting with Wanted Dead or Alive.
Loren feels fortunate that in his long career he has never been seriously injured. In fact, he has never broken a bone. He gives credit for this to his coaches for teaching him discipline and focus; his acrobatic background; staying in good shape by never smoking, drinking, or using drugs; and his faith in God. Loren was privileged to work with and learn from the late Richard Talmadge beginning with From Hell to Texas. Loren calls him “the greatest all-around stuntman.”
In 1956, Loren became the first civilian to enter the United States Olympic trials in the modern pentathlon, a gruelling Summer Olympic event that combines five sports: riding, fencing, shooting, swimming, and running. He competed a second time in 1964. He is a member and past president (1991) of the exclusive Adventurers’ Club of Los Angeles and the Explorers Club of New York. His extensive travels and explorations have taken him throughout the world. He is a biologist, plant and animal ecologist, musician, school teacher, movie photographer, speaker, and film lecturer.
Janes served on the Board of Directors of the Screen Actors Guild in 1992, and was National Chairman of the Screen Actors Guild Stunt and Safety Committee. Since the early 1950s Janes has been speaking on the principles of the United States Constitution to clubs and organizations all over America. During this time, he even ran (unsuccessfully) for U. S. Congress two times. In August 2001, well known Western actor L.Q. Jones presented Loren Janes with the Golden Boot Award for his lifetime contribution to the Western film genre.
Loren hass received numerous awards for his contributions including - The Gallery of Legends Award from the World Acrobatic Society (2003) and The Silver Spur Award in recognition of outstanding achievement in entertainment and Western films (2003); in March 2004, Loren's name was placed into the Walk of Western Stars in Santa Clarita, California and in 2011 Loren was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Taurus Stunt Awards, at Paramount pictures. (The Taurus award is voted on by the entire stunt community.)
Loren has filmed a lot of "behind the scenes" action on his many film jobs around the world and became a lecturer in ‘61 showing his film “Behind the Action” to audiences young and old, especially at the annual Lone Pine Film Festival.
Stuntmen Rick Seaman, Loren Janes and Bob
(A TCM Featurette)
"Stuntmen Tony Brubaker, Loren Janes and
(A TCM Featurette)