DAREDEVIL Dick Sheppard, a stunt driver and showman who worked on the Italian Job and James Bond films, has died at the age of 90.
The dad-of-nine boasted that he had wrecked 2,003 cars, appeared in 500 films and held 18 world records during his career.
His death on March 1 was announced by his family on his Facebook page today.
They said “Fondly known by many for his obsession with cars and motorbikes he was truly a larger than life character who caught the public’s attention with his daredevil stunts and world records.
“His final wishes, however, were that we his family might grieve in private so we can reflect on his other roles as husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather.”
At one point in his career, he held the most records in the Guinness World Book Of Records, though the title was later claimed by New Yorker Ashrita Furman.
Sheppard was said to have destroyed over 2,000 cars while filming his mind-bending stunts for film and television.
Starring Michael Caine as ex-convict Charlie, The Italian Job is renowned for its road races, following a group of cons plotting an elaborate heist.
Performing stunts in the 60s classic, Sheppard also appeared in the James Bond flicks Thunderball and Diamonds Are Forever.
Dick, who was born and raised in Gloucester and lived in the city all his life, called himself “The World’s Most Prolific Stuntman – As documented by the Guinness Book Of Records.”
He told how he went from his first motorcycle scramble as a 9-year-old just after World War II to become a stunt man who featured in the Guinness Book of Records every year from 1969 to 1996.
He finally retired from his daredevil career in 1993 after wrecking his 2,000th car at a show in South Africa.
Speaking about his favourite job, he said: “My favourite film of all time has got to be The Italian Job.
“It contains all the ingredients for a night of escapism at the cinema.
“It was a very low budget movie, but it was great fun to make, and it must be heading for the record of the most repeated film on TV.”
View more information: https://www.the-sun.com/entertainment/2446384/dick-sheppard-dead-james-bond-stuntman/