Vale Grant Page, veteran stuntman

Grant Page accepts the Screen NSW Award from George Miller.

Stuntman Grant Page, known for his work on the original Mad Max and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, has died after reportedly crashing his car near his hometown of Kendall in NSW. He was 85.

Page had more than 100 stunt credits to his name spanning five decades and ranging from Mad Dog Morgan, The Odd Angry Shot, and The Picture Show Man through to contemporary titles, such as Terminus, Gods of Egypt, and the upcoming Mad Max prequel Furiosa.

In a post on his blog, long-time friend and former manager Brian Trenchard-Smith described Page as an “inspiring man, who lived uncompromisingly”.

“Most people accept that age weighs upon us, gravity holds us down, death awaits us if we dare too much,” he wrote.

“Not necessarily, said Grant, as he successfully tampered with the laws of physics and probability.

“The ‘have a go’ spirit, the ‘think it through, take good aim and go for it’ quality that has distinguished Australian achievers in all fields of endeavor was clearly present in Grant.”

Born in Adelaide, Page studied physical education at Adelaide University before joining the Royal NSW Commando Unit with dreams of becoming a paratrooper.

After a meeting with Trenchard-Smith, his film career began to take off, going on to work in front of and behind the camera on films such as The Man From Hong Kong and Death Cheaters. He also featured as himself in 1970s documentary Danger Freaks.

Page coordinated George Miller’s Mad Max in the late 1970s, a film that Trenchard-Smith said “firmly established” his international reputation for death-defying images.

He again collaborated with Miller on Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome in the mid-1980s and contributed to well-known titles including The Light Horseman, Road Games, and All the Rivers Run.

As an actor, Page has appeared in Rolf de Heer’s 2002 The Tracker, along with series’ White Collar Blue, Young Lions, and Rake, among others.

He is also known for formulating the industry’s first Film Safety Code and initiating several innovative stunt techniques now adopted internationally.

Recognition has come in the form of the 2015 Equity Lifetime Achievement Award and the inaugural Screen NSW annual award in 2016.

Director Mark Hartley was among those to pay tribute to Page on social media, noting that “with charisma to burn and an unforced easygoing charm, on-screen and off he was the quintessential Aussie male”.

“The jaw-dropping and bone-crunching work he leaves behind in a number of bonafide Oz classics , including Mad Max, Road Games and The Man From Hong Kong, should cement his legacy as not just our premiere stuntman, but as an antipodean icon,” he wrote on Facebook.

Page is survived by his four sons Adrian, Jeremy, Leroy, and Gulliver, as well as ex-wife Joy and former partner Ulli.