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Forward by Kathleen Nolan
Chapter One THE STUNTWOMAN
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In Her Own Words
 "My films abound in difficult stunts and through the years I have worked with many people, but never anyone more capable and willing than Julie  Ann Johnson."
----FRANK TASHLIN, Director



"A rarity!  She handles the action for the actress as an actress.  Charming, refreshing....stuntwork belies her beautiful appearance."
----ABBY SINGER, Unit Manager



"She is unequivocally capable.  One of the best stuntwomen I have worked with during my past twenty-five years.  She has a unique quality.  I would never hesitate to use this girl."
---ED SAETA, Unit Manager



"An extremely alert and attractive girl with an extraordinary sense of timing and coordination.  She has the know-how to get the most photographically."
---BOB VREELAND, Unit Manager



"I have known Julie for the past 35 years.  She has been well respected for her work as a stunt performer, as well as a stunt coordinator at a time when men completely dominated the world of stunts.  Julie's story is one of a woman who took on one of Hollywood's most powerful figures, Aaron Spelling.  Her fight against sex-discrimination and the drug use on set opened a can of worms that would eventually cost her her livelihood and almost her life.  As a woman, I take my hat off in respect of her bravery and her untiring efforts to level the playing field, so young aspiring stuntwomen will be measured by merit and not by the game that's played."
--JADE DAVID, Stunt and Safety Representative, Screen Actors Guild 1996 - 2001


" I have long admired Julie Ann Johnson and considered her to be one of Hollywood's premier stuntwomen.  I know what courage it takes to tackle the status quo, especially in Hollwood.  In 1976, I filed 32 EEOC charges alleging discrimination in Hollywood's hiring practices that triggered an investigation, which revealed a widespread practice of discrimination in Hollywood.  As a result, I was labeled a troublemaker and blacklisted....so, I firmly stand in full support for all that Julie stands for.  Brava Julie...for having the courage to write this book.  "Nothing changes until someone makes it change".
--MARVIN WALTERS, Stunt Coordinator
Co-founder Black Stuntmen's Association


"It is important in 2012 to remember the reasons we fought for equal rights in the early days of civil rights.  Julie Ann Johnson and David Robb remind us how far we have come and how far we have to go.  The struggle is not over by any means and we should never forget."
--MARGARET RYAN KREEGER, Esq
 




 

19_Julie_with_Diamond_In_The_Raw_Award.Julie Ann Johnson, Veteran Stuntwoman
"Once a stuntwoman, always a stuntwoman"

Born and raised in Fullerton, California, Julie's athletic abilities and her love of sports carried on the family tradition.  Her father was a respected athletic coach and her grandfather, baseball Hall of Famer Samuel Earl Crawford, played 19 years with the Detroit Tigers and Cincinnati Reds. 
In high school, Julie played basketball, tennis, baseball, and was a member of the softball "Sluggerettes" team.  After graduation, she was a switchboard operator in 1961 for a television commercial company, then a production assistant and production coordinator.  On a commercial someone asked her to jump over an ironing board, and that led her into the stunt work she did for the next 45 years.
Among her many film and television credits:

Caprice, The St. Valentine's Day Massacre, The Doris Day Show, Eye of the Cat, Dirty Harry, Magnum Force, The Rockford Files, McMillan & Wife, The Mod Squad, St Elsewhere, The Strawberry Statement, The Midnight Man, Nickelodeon, Blazing Saddles, Earthquake, Charlie's Angels, The Magician, The Cat From Outer Space, Play Misty for Me, Little Big Man, Starsky & Hutch, Raging Bull, Heartbeeps, The Thorn Birds, The Goonies, I Heart Huckabees, Spider-Man 2, Smokin' Aces, Crank.

Julie was known for doing some wild stunts.  She said they were stunts like"We-don't-know-what's-going-to-happen-so-get-Julie-to-do-it."  In Nickelodeon, she was hanging upside down 20 feet below the basket of a hot air balloon about two hundred feet off the ground, wondering what the hell she was doing there.  "I looked up into the funnel and all I could see were the flames feeding up into the balloon."  In The Cat from Outer Space, flying a thousand feet over the San Fernando Valley, Julie balanced one foot on the wing of a bi-plane wing and one foot on the skid of the helicopter.
Julie Johnson became one of the first recognized women to stunt coordinate.  In the early 1970's, she coordinated a fight in Pete 'n Tillie, more fights for Women in Chains, and by 1978, she was stunt coordinator of the hit TV show, Charlie's Angels.
She was one of the co-founders of the Stuntwomen's Association in 1967.  she co-founded the Society of Professional Stuntwomen in 1975, about which a magazine writer said, "Facing perils unknown to their male colleagues, stuntwomen have had to wage war on the industry tradition of using men in drag to perform stunts for actresses, just as they've had to struggle for equal pay."
In 1977, Julie served as a member of the Screen Actors Guild's Stunt and Safety Committee, and on the SAG Negotiating panel for the bargaining agreements (1977,1980,1983). She chaired the SAG Stuntwomen's Subcommittee, which created the first and only Stuntwomen's Survey in 1982.  She was invited to present a report on stuntwomen and on the Survey to the Commission on the Status of Women in 1987.

Julie became known for speaking out and taking action.  At the Screen Actors Guild and in the stuntwomen's associations, she worked to stop "paint downs," prevent men from doubling women, improve stunt safety issues, ensure equal pay for stuntwomen, and open the high paying positions of stunt coordinator to women.  Younger stuntwomen today say she was "a pioneer," "The risks she took makes Julie a complete stuntwoman-the full package."
Most recently, Julie initiated the idea of a book about stuntwomen, proposing it to author Mollie Gregory.  The book covers 100 years of stuntwork by women from the Perils of Pauline to Transformers.  The planned date of publication is 2012.
As Julie once said,"When you find your niche in this life it is sacred to you.  You have found a place to excel, you are appreciated for your work, and you're proud you can accomplish what few people can do."

_________________

Julie Ann Johnson battled Hollywood’s ‘glass ceiling’; she took on the stunt community’s ‘Cocaine Cowboys,’ and she fought the most powerful and vindictive man in television industry – Aaron Spelling.

It wasn’t David vs. Goliath; it was David vs. three Goliaths.

     The Stuntwoman is the inspirational true story of a little girl who overcame a Dickensian childhood to become a true Hollywood heroine.

     Stuntwomen are some of the bravest women in America, and Julie was the bravest of the brave. She was not only a pioneering stunt coordinator on “Charlie’s Angels” in the days when only men held the title of stunt coordinator, but she was also a crusading champion for women’s rights in a business long dominated by men.

    The path of the hero is not always a straight line. Julie’s roller-coaster life story – her loves and heartaches, the thrill of breaking into show business, and her exciting behind-the-scenes accounts of some of the most memorable stunts in Hollywood history – is interwoven between scenes from her dramatic courtroom battle against sex discrimination. At the end of her trial, a jury awarded her $1.1 million, but her fight was far from over.

     The Stuntwoman is the story of a brave woman who stood alone against the most powerful forces in Hollywood. For her troubles, she was ridiculed, blacklisted and threatened by the Mafia. And when she sued, her attorney swore under oath that he sabotaged her case on orders from the mob.  But through it all, she persevered, and in the end, she prevailed, and most importantly, she made a difference.

     As former Screen Actors Guild president Kathleen Nolan stated:  “Julie is one of the bravest women I have ever known, and there is no doubt that her courage and determination have helped make Hollywood a better and safer place to live and work. Today’s stuntwomen, and future generations to come, owe her a debt of gratitude.”




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