Iconic James Bond stuntman, lately living in Woburn, who rubbed shoulders with the likes of John Wayne, Peter Sellers, Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe, has died

Daughter runs Woburn Coffee House where the team loved hearing amazing stories about his TV, stage and film career.

Thursday, 20th May 2021, 10:46 am

The daughter of actor and renowned stunt man, Roy Scammell, has paid tribute to her father following his death saying he "enjoyed the buzz of fear".

Real-life action man, Roy, 88, passed away at the weekend at Luton & Dunstable Hospital following a short illness. He appeared in more Bond films than he could keep count of and worked with the 20th century's biggest stars.

Roy spent a long time convalescing in Woburn at his daughter Karen Best’s home, The Woburn Coffee House, during 2018 - 2020 and will be sadly missed by all the Coffee House team who loved to hear the amazing stories about his TV, stage and film career.

Roy Scammell

Karen said: “I am deeply saddened to announce the passing of my remarkable father. He was always such a role-model - and taught me that fear is just a word in the dictionary. He enjoyed the buzz of fear, the challenge it posed and he derived great satisfaction and kudos from his extraordinary performances. He always executed meticulous planning, leaving nothing to chance.

“His incredible story will continue to inspire us all to face our fears, but especially the new arrivals in our family - his two great grandsons, Spencer and Archer, who are both already showing that Scammell action man attitude to life.”

Roy was the ultimate handsome daredevil. If you needed someone to plunge into the sea from a blazing oil rig, drop down a gorge, crash through the window of a tower block, brave an inferno, hang from a helicopter or rev a car across a ravine, this was your man.

He was born in 1932 in Kingsbury, London. Roy and his brother Terry were evacuated from London to Ridgmont when they were eight and six, in 1941. Roy attended the Ridgmont Lower School where he broke his arm jumping off the seesaw. He has often re-visited the school and in 2019 gave a presentation to all the pupils of his fond memories and tough times spent in Ridgmont as a young child looking after his younger brother. His favourite place to relax was amongst the Old All Saints Church ruins in Ridgmont.

Roy Scammell by Donato Cinicolo

He left school at the age of 13, and pursued a passion for skating. First roller blading, then ice-skating, which consequently landed him a semi-pro title for the Wembley Lions. In between playing games, Roy worked on an act that he had accumulated - jumping over 16 barrels on the ice.

By this time, he had become an ice-skating pro. Little did he know that Major Gerald Palmer, a famous impresario for the Tom Arnold Ice Show was watching him in the wings. He gave him an audition on the spot - and the rest was history.

His career began on the ice-rink, but in 1947, filming was underway for a new film starring Dirk Bogarde. Somebody pointed out the fact that Roy looked a little like Dirk, and so he was appointed as the stunt double to do a high speed bike race. This was just the first of many stunts for the legend

Roy went on to perform stunts in some of the most iconic films of all time including: A Clockwork Orange, Alien, Midnight Express, Flash Gordon, Papillon, Italian Job, Rollerball and many Bond films.

Roy Scammell in GREYSTOKE TARZAN

No stunt was too big, and no stunt was too small for Roy. His career spanned from performing stunts on six Bond movies to even parachuting for Frank Sinatra and then performing ‘Strangers in the Night’ on stage with him.

His career as a stuntman, skater and gymnast took him to places all across the globe, he worked with everyone from John Wayne to Peter Sellers, Steve McQueen to Marilyn Monroe.

Roy was also no stranger to the West End. Andrew Lloyd Webber commissioned him to arrange skate racing scenes in Starlight Express which ran for 18 years. He appeared in hundreds of TV shows – Doctor Who for decades and his career broadened to the creative side when he came up with the concept for Ice Warriors, sold it to LWT, and then helped turn it into a hugely successful 13-episode TV series.

Do you have memories of Roy? Email [email protected]

Roy in MONTE CARLO OR BUST 1968
Roy Scammell in THE JOKER in Israel