Western movie and television legend Robert F. “Bobby” Hoy, who appeared in many productions shot on location in California, Arizona and Spain, died Monday morning at Northridge Hospital after a six-month battle with cancer. He was 82.
Bob was connected to the Eurowestern genre for his acting and being the stunt coordinator on the 1990s TV series “Zorro” starring Duncan Regehr which was filmed in Texas Hollywood in Almeria, Spain. He was probably best known for his regular appearance on the TV series “The High Chaparral” which featured Spaghetti western star Cameron Mitchell.
Kiva Hoy, his wife of 22 years, and other family members were at his bedside.
“My fervent wish was to be holding him in my arms when and if he ever left, and that was granted,” she said.
Just days before, Hoy was honored with the prestigious Golden Boot award by the Motion Picture & Television Fund, commemorating his contribution to the genre of Western television and movies in all three award categories – acting, stunt work and directing.
Bob Fuller, representing the Golden Boot committee, presented the 2010 award to Hoy Jan. 28 in the penthouse suite at Northridge Hospital. It marked the first time the Golden Boot was given to an honoree in the hospital.
In addition to his widow, Hoy is survived by a son, Christopher Hoy, 45, a resident of Bali, and numerous nieces and nephews.
In his 55-year career as an actor, Hoy played a wide variety of movie and television roles ranging from cowboys to spies. He was best-known for his role as ranch hand Joe Butler on “The High Chaparral,” a TV western that aired four seasons from 1967 to 1971.
His acting roles in more than 67 films included “Bite the Bullet,” “The Outlaw Josey Wales,” The “Legend of the Lone Ranger,” “The Gambler II,” “Nevada Smith,” “Bronco Billy,” “The Enforcer” and “The Great Race.”
On the small screen, Hoy appeared in more than 75 TV programs in addition to “The High Chapparal,” including “Wanted: Dead or Alive,” “Walker: Texas Ranger,” “JAG,” “Dallas” (recurring role), “The Wild, Wild West,” “Magnum P.I.” (five episodes), “The Young Riders” and “Zorro.”
Hoy’s most recent on-screen appearance was a brief part in the “Lost and Found” episode of the CBS TV series “NCIS” in 2007.
Behind the camera, Hoy was second unit director and stunt coordinator in Spain for the TV series “Zorro” and on the pilot of “The Three Musketeers.”
In more than 100 appearances as stuntman, Hoy doubled for stars such as Tony Curtis, Charles Bronson, Audie Murphy, Tyrone Power, David Janssen, Telly Savalas and Jay Silverheels, among many others.
Hoy performed stunts for “The Lone Ranger,” “The Defiant Ones,” “Spartacus,” “River of No Return,” “Revenge of the Creature” and many more films and TV shows.
“Bobby was one of the rare stuntmen who also became an actor,” Kiva Hoy said Monday. “He was more and more in demand as an actor as his (stunt) career progressed. People started calling him for roles, not just stunts. He was very much the reluctant actor, along the lines of (Academy Award-winner) Richard Farnsworth.”
Hoy had many long-term connections in the film industry, including the late Jack Williams, another stuntman and actor who worked extensively on SCV locations and received the Golden Boot award in 1999.
Hoy and Williams were founding members of The Stuntman’s Association of Motion Pictures in 1961. The organization awarded Hoy its Lifetime Achievement award in August 2009, in recognition for his “extraordinary achievements and dedication to excellence.”
Hoy was also a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences, the Directors Guild of America, AFTRA and the Screen Actors Guild.