The thing about stunt people is that it’s hard to really get pictures of them. The whole point is that you can’t see what they’re doing. There are basically no pictures of Peter Diamond working on the set of The Princess Bride. And let’s be real; that’s an enormously complicated production, when it comes to stunts. It’s not just The Man In Black and Inigo and their duel. It’s the climb up the Cliffs of Insanity, the fight between The Man In Black and Fezzik, the duel between Inigo and Count Rugen. Quite a lot of the movie is men fighting one another in one way or another. Rob Reiner went out of his way to hire the best, and that includes in stunt work.
There was a lot more to it than just The Princess Bride, though. Wikipedia suggests that Diamond has been involved in over a thousand productions, though IMDb doesn’t mention half that many. Though I’m pretty sure this is one of those areas where IMDb is deficient, like not getting all of people’s uncredited work. Indeed exactly like that, as stunt work isn’t always credited. It’s getting better, which is why movie credits can be so long, but Diamond isn’t even always credited in his acting—he turns out to have been in Candleshoe, uncredited as “thug.”
That is, as far as I can tell, often the way—minor characters who only exist to beat someone up or otherwise participate in action scenes are often the only on-screen roles that stuntmen have. Diamond was cast as “Hood” and “Biker Scout Pushed Off Bike” and “German Soldier” and of course “Tusken Raider,” one of three listed roles in the first Star Wars movie. Well, of course. Why hire an ordinary actor? You’re just going to need to replace him with a stuntman anyway, so why not start with a stuntman?
Do I know if Peter Diamond was capable of reading lines? I do not. I don’t think any of his roles had lines. What I do know is that movies wouldn’t look the same without him. Stunt arranger. Stunt coordinator. Stunt double. Just plain stuntman. Many of the movies are obscure, and in some of them, I can’t imagine what stunts were involved. (The Trials of Oscar Wilde?) But he did Bond movies and Hammer horror movies. Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Heck, The Great Muppet Caper. And, yes, The Princess Bride and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and The Mask of Zorro. And at Mask of Zorro, he was sixty-nine years old and did stunts, presumably doubling for Sir Anthony Hopkins or similar.
I’ve never been entirely sold on the idea that we need a Best Stunts category at the Oscars, certainly not while we’ve still got people who complain that the ceremony is too long; doubtless the solution will be to cut either the musical numbers, which I like, or the smaller categories that don’t get enough attention as it is. But goodness knows we need to show more appreciation for the fact that these are people who, let’s be real, risk their lives for our entertainment. His only IMDb quote is about lying to Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher about how safe their swing over the chasm was, and remember that this is the sort of thing he himself did all the time.
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