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Old 04-21-2020, 11:53 AM
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RickI RickI is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,692

I am very sorry to say that big John has passed on. He will be remembered by so many local residents, colleagues in Diving and the film business, and indirectly by adventure movie fans everywhere whether they knew John or not.

“A message from Cal Deal:
I’m very sorry to report that our good friend Big John died this afternoon. He was 93.

According to his daughter Yvonne, he had been dealing with some medical issues in recent months, but he died peacefully in his sleep at their home near Charleston, South Carolina.

I first met John at the water’s edge on Fort Lauderdale Beach. He saw my camera, asked if it was a Nikon, and our conversation was under way. It didn’t abate in any meaningful way until he moved out of state years later.

One of my favorite Big John stories concerns the time he punched a shark that had intruded on the set of a James Bond movie. John was setting up a shot that would feature Sean Connery. A shark suddenly appeared in the small set and swam toward him. John instinctively bopped it on the snout. The shark quickly swam out of the shot, but the camera had been rolling and the scene was so good that the moviemakers shot it again from a different angle — after replacing John with Sean Connery. In the final edit it appears to be Connery having the face-to-face encounter with the live shark!

As a stunt diver, John played a key role in the underwater battle scenes of the greatest Bond movie of all: “Thunderball.” He was the white-haired villain Largo!

Sad, sad news.


FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi

Last edited by RickI; 04-21-2020 at 12:15 PM.
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