Friday, May 1, 2015

Obituary: DARK SHADOWS stuntman Alex Stevens

Reports are circulating that Alex Stevens, the stuntman who played the werewolf on DARK SHADOWS, died on April 14.

Born Alex Poulos in Connecticut in 1936, Stevens got his start at Wild West City, a western theme park in Netcong, N.J. He performed stunts for Broadway shows while tending bar before landing his most famous role as the werewolf on DARK SHADOWS. Despite appearing in just 23 episodes of the series, Stevens managed to create one of the show's most iconic characters. (Well, two of its most iconic characters, since he played the werewolf incarnations of both Chris Jennings and Quentin Collins.) It was a popular enough gig to earn him a spot — in full werewolf drag — on the television game show WHAT'S MY LINE in 1970.

His other notable role was that of "The Baker" in the popular SESAME STREET feature "The Number Song."

Stevens would become the full-time stand in for Frank Sinatra, appearing in such movies as THE DETECTIVE and LADY IN CEMENT. He also appeared as a stuntman in HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS, SUPERFLY, THE FRENCH CONNECTION and SUPERMAN THE MOVIE.

"When Hollywood began to die and they couldn't spend millions on a film, the small independent companies began to shoot on location," Stevens told a newspaper reporter in 1973. "And things really began to get busy in New York. But the next thing you know is the guys in Hollywood started taking a lot of jobs in New York.  So I said bunk on this — this is my way of life."

“Alex started me in the stunt business many years ago in New York City and taught me so much,” writes stuntwoman Diane Peterson, who’s worked on such films as TITANIC, ROBOCOP 2 and AIRPLANE! “’Cover yourself, cover yourself, cover yourself,’ he always reminded me. I've had a long and exciting career as a stuntwoman and I give Alex the credit for giving me the encouragement to succeed.”

Alex Stevens helps rough up Richard Roundtree in SHAFT'S BIG SCORE.


Unknown said...

First Suzanne Crough and now this. Life is too short.
I loved Alex's werewolf (and Vinnie's makeup). ICONIC for me.
His action figure is my favorite, even more than Barnabas's.
I still remember playing werewolves as a kid, growling and chasing my friends through the woods! Good times.
RIP, Alex.

Unknown said...

I had no idea that was Alex was the baker falling down the stairs (repeatedly) on Sesame Street. I have to admit, I never really liked the idea of Dark Shadows having a werewolf - I thought it looked kind of silly - but that's no reflection on Alex. He also dressed in drag as Madame Findlay on DS, and fell down the great staircase in the Collinwood foyer.

Unknown said...

If Adam and the Werewolf had a fight - who would win?

Unknown said...

God, why did we never get THAT story?!?

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