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Thread: Eric Fleming

  1. #1
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    Eric Fleming

    Eric Fleming was the star of a T.V. western, Rawhide, playing
    Gil Favor, during the late fifties and early sixties. It also starred
    Clint Eastwood.

    He was filming a movie in South America and drowned in one of
    the rivers. The stuntmen in this movie refused to do this one
    scene because of the danger of rapids and whirlpools under-
    neath but Eric thought he could do it. The canoe or boat he
    was riding in overturned and he was pulled under. His fiancee
    was watching on the shore and saw it all. They were to be
    married when the movie wrapped. Eric was only 41 at the
    time of his death. He wanted no funeral and donated his
    body to science in South America. No details that I know of
    are available of where he was buried after that or if he was
    cremated.
    Last edited by Rebekah; 07-22-2017 at 08:00 AM.

  2. #2
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    I don't know him. Thanks for the info.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info, Rebekah. i didnt know that he died so tragically, poor guy. He also did the classic sci fi movie of the 50s CONQUEST OF SPACE, which i found very enterteining.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the info, Rebekah. i didnt know that he died so tragically, poor guy. He also did the classic sci fi movie of the 50s CONQUEST OF SPACE, which i found very entertaining.

  5. #5
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    I don't know why he would attempt to do a stunt that even the
    stuntmen refused to do. They knew the danger. This was an
    avoidable accident.

  6. #6
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    he seemed like a nervy type willing to take chances. here is what IMDB bio says,
    "At the age of eight, he hopped a freight train to Chicago to escape an abusive father. Following hospitalization for gang fight injuries, he was returned to California where he lived with his mother and worked at Paramount as a laborer. Fleming joined the Merchant Marine, served in the Pacific in WW II, and was a Master Carpenter in the U.S. Navy Seabees. During Fleming's enlistment in the Seabees in 1942, his face was shattered when a 200-pound block of steel slipped from a hoist. A long convalescence and four plastic surgical procedures created the face familiar to Rawhide viewers. He remained with the top-rated show for seven of its eight seasons and planned to retire to Hawaii where he had purchased a ranch. He filmed "The Glass Bottom Boat" in 1965 and contracted with MGM-TV to film the two-part adventure series "High Jungle" in Peru. During the shooting of location shots on the Huallaga River on September 28, 1966, Fleming dove from a dug-out canoe after paddling it beyond the rapids. His body was lost in the turbulent water and was not recovered until three days later.

    IMDb Mini Biography By: Sherry Hansley

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebekah View Post
    Eric Fleming was the star of a T.V. western, Rawhide, playing
    Gil Favor, during the late fifties and early sixties. It also starred
    Clint Eastwood.

    He was filming a movie in South America and drowned in one of
    the rivers. The stuntmen in this movie refused to do this one
    scene because of the danger of rapids and whirlpools under-
    neath but Eric thought he could do it. The canoe or boat he
    was riding in overturned and he was pulled under. His fiancee
    was watching on the shore and saw it all. They were to be
    married when the movie wrapped. Eric was only 42 at the
    time of his death. He wanted no funeral and donated his
    body to science in South America.
    No details that I know of
    are available of where he was buried after that or if he was
    cremated.
    One source I read had it that when they found his body something like four days later it was so badly mangled/damaged there was no way any medical school could use it, so he was just cremated. Don't recall reading what happened to the ashes (sorry--"cremains"--I can hear my mortician mother yelling at me right now ) after that.

    I've read a few Fleming bios and that's not the only aspect of his life where there seems to be some disagreement, for some reason. Either way, it seems he had an interesting time while he was on this planet, to say the least. Some interesting factoids:

    He and his father definitely did not get along. Supposedly he held a gun to his father's head one night, fully ready to kill him, after receiving a severe beating from him several days before, but didn't end up pulling the trigger for whatever reason.

    When he wasn't on location in Arizona filming Rawhide he was living in his apartment in Hollywood...which was basically someone's garage he had rented out and converted into an apartment. He didn't like to spend money, apparently, citing hard times in the past and a fear that if he did spend any money, he would quickly go back to being broke. According to some girlfriends, he gave new meaning to the word "tightwad."

    Sergio Leone first offered him the part of The Man with No Name, but he turned it down. Leone then turned around and offered it to his Rawhide co-star Clint.

    Anyhow.... sad thing to have lost him so early on. He was great on Rawhide.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
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    I can believe that. He seemed to have a stubborn streak a mile wide. It has been 51 years since he passed.

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