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Returning to Hollywood after the war, Dave found that changes had occurred to the serial and B western offerings --- the post World War II boom was on and productions were no longer inexpensive; and people's cinema wants and values had undergone a change as evidenced by the popularity of MGM extravaganzas and new film noir melodramas and crime flicks.

With no starring series available, Dave played undercover agent 'Nevada', showed off his fancy sixgun twirling, and even fought with star Eddie Dean before they overcame the antagonists in PRC's Cinecolor adventure COLORADO SERENADE (PRC, 1946). And he portrayed silver smuggler 'Gus Uhlrich' in the Roy Rogers epic BELLS OF SAN ANGELO (Republic, 1947), supposedly Republic's most expensive Trucolor western. The fight scene between Sharpe and Rogers is a classic.



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above - Dave Sharpe and singing cowboy Eddie Dean mix it up in this lobby card from COLORADO SERENADE (PRC, 1946), a pretty good western filmed in Cinecolor.



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above - Roy Rogers and Dave Sharpe in the bloody and brutal fight scene from the Trucolor BELLS OF SAN ANGELO (Republic, 1947).


With the decline of the B-western and cliffhanger in the post-World War II era, Sharpe migrated to stunting and second unit directing in major film productions and TV. In LUST FOR GOLD (Columbia, 1949), a tale of the fabled Lost Dutchman Mine, you can spot Sharpe doubling William Prince in the closing brawl against a dishonest lawman played by Will Geer. He doubled Guy Madison in TV's WILD BILL HICKOK, and worked in THE CISCO KID, ZORRO, THE FBI, THE HIGH CHAPARRAL, and others.  He was Tony Curtis' double in several films, including THE GREAT RACE (1965) - remember that great food fight with Sharpe doing a fall into a cake. And if you look close, you can see Sharpe as a cavalry trooper who takes an arrow in the back and crashes through a window in the Glenn Ford DAY OF THE EVIL GUN (MGM, 1968).

While acting in THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JUDGE ROY BEAN (1972) with Paul Newman, Dave noticed the first signs of an illness that would significantly impair his nervous system and cause muscle weakness. Many sources note that Sharpe passed away in 1980 from the effects of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease). However, other sources note Parkinson's Disease. I have several newspaper obituaries and Parkinsons is mentioned as the cause of his death. Parkinson's and ALS are both nervous system disorders, and the University of Maryland Medical Center has info on both diseases at: http://www.umm.edu/ency/article/000688.htm and http://www.umm.edu/ency/article/000755.htm.

His last work was in Warren Beatty's HEAVEN CAN WAIT (1978).

Dave Sharpe passed away on March 30, 1980.



(Courtesy of Dolly D'Amico Montgomery)

Above are Dave Sharpe on the left and Dee Montgomery's dad Bill D'Amico on the right. They became friends in the 1930s and the above photo was taken at Universal City in 1965. Note that Dave has his customary cigar.



(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Above, a smiling Dave Sharpe at one of the cowboy film conventions circa 1970s.
 

(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Above, a very ill Dave Sharpe in a 1979 photo.



(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Pondering some questions from the audience are, from left to right, Dave Sharpe, Billy Benedict and Penny Edwards at one of the 1970s film festivals.



(Courtesy of Minard Coons)
In the photo left, Dave Sharpe and Billy Benedict entertain the film festival audience with an ol' soft shoe.


Better than many of the cowboy heroes that rode the cinema trails during the 1930s and 1940s, Dave Sharpe became too involved in second unit work to vigorously pursue starring roles in the pre-World War II days. He also found that stuntwork kept him busier and was more lucrative. Upon his return from World War II military service, he discovered that the cowboy film and cliffhanger were fading into the sunset, and he concentrated on television and A grade film work.

During a career that spanned about 50 years - from the silents through the late 1970s - Dave Sharpe worked in thousands of films and TV programs. Sharpe's legacy is a significant quantity of amazing stunt work which elevated many low budget westerns and serials from mediocrity to memorable.

You may want to go to the In Search Of ... page on the Old Corral, and then to the California Death Records database.  There you will find a record for: David Hardin Sharpe, born 2/2/1910 in Missouri, Mother's maiden name was Hardin, and he passed away on 3/30/1980. Checking the Social Security Death Index (SSDI), there is a record for: David Sharpe, born 2 Feb 1910, and he passed away in March 1980.

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has film appearance information on Dave Sharpe ... but does not list all of his stunt work: http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0789211/

YouTube has a great 4 1/2 minute tribute to a very young Dave Sharpe during his early film work in "The Boyfriends" series for producer Hal Roach: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCF3DQNU29w

YouTube also has a couple of other tributes to Sharpe showing his stuntwork in various films:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=momQu1o-nb8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8c89c8dS3g4

In 2012, Sharpe was inducted into the The World Acrobatics Society Gallery of Legends, Professional Acrobatics category : http://www.worldacro.com/gol--2000-2015.html

The GYMN (Gymnastics) Forum website lists David Sharpe as the A. A. U. Tumbling champion for 1925 and 1926: http://www.gymn-forum.net/Results/AAU/Men/m-67yrs-b.html

There's some screen captures of an older Dave Sharpe in the original Star Trek TV program: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/David_Sharpe

Stuntman Neil Summers has a writeup on Sharpe at Boyd Magers' Western Clippings website: http://www.westernclippings.com/stuntmen/davesharpe_stuntmen.shtml

The Family Search website and California Death Index have information on Dave Sharpe and his parents:



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