Alf Joint

The Stage
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Alf Joint, who died at the age of 78 on July 25, was Britain’s most famous stuntman. Known as one of the world’s great ‘high fallers’, he starred in the early Milk Tray adverts as the man in black, who jumps off cliffs and swims under boats to secretly deliver his box of chocolates to a glamorous model.

A stunt arranger, fencing master and occasional actor, he performed stunts in a host of blockbusters, including the early Bond films such as Goldfinger (1964) and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969). He acted as Richard Burton’s double in Where Eagles Dare (1969) and other film credits included Kelly’s Heroes (1976), A Bridge Too Far (1976), Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983) and Supergirl (1983).

He had begun his early career working in television series such as Dangerman and The Avengers but his most daring stunt was arranging and performing the 430ft climactic plunge (doubling for actor Eric Porter) into the Reichenbach Falls in the last episode of Granda TV’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1987). More recently he was the main stunt arranger for the series London’s Burning.

“Alf knew every trick in the book,” said fellow stuntman Malcolm Treen. “He knew every camera angle that a director should use and how to arrange mayhem and murder at the drop of a hat with economy and safety. He was a good man and for someone in his line of work, a slightly shy and humble person. I feel privileged to have known him because he was the fount of all knowledge about stunts.”

Patrick Newley

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The Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, London. Photo: Noel Foster