A veteran stuntman who was known for his work on a 1960s NBC Western series has died. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Choya Shane died May 8 of complications from emphysema.
Shane, 80, reportedly died in a rehabilitation center in Las Vegas.
He was known as a bullwhip expert, and doubled for actor James Drury on the NBC series “The Virginian,” which was television’s first 90-minute color Western series. The show ran for nine years, from 1962-1971, the third-longest run for any TV Western behind “Gunsmoke” (20 years) and “Bonanza” (14 years).
Along with his older brother Dick Shane — who also worked on “The Virginian” — Choya Shane was a part of a traveling troupe called Whips, Garters & Guns and also performed as The Shane Duo. The report notes that the pair once performed a bullwhip act before the Queen of England at London’s Palladium.
Choya Shane’s extensive list of film credits includes “Cimarron” (1960), “How the West Was Won” (1962), “Cat Ballou” (1965), “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (1969) and “The Wild Bunch” (1969).