Ja-born stuntman reminsces on world record jump

March 31, 2020
Jamaica-born stuntman Roy T. Anderson (right) with Hollywood megastar Will Smith.
Jamaica-born stuntman Roy T. Anderson (right) with Hollywood megastar Will Smith.

Jamaica-born movie stuntman Roy T. Anderson is celebrating the 30th anniversary of a famous jump he made between two buildings in Toronto, Canada.

On March 26, 1990, Anderson soared 28 feet across an alley way and set a world record - which still stands today.

The stunt was the result of seven months of careful planning and preparation. Toronto city officials gave Anderson their blessing only after he agreed to post a $3-million bond.

As he jumped, below him was a 12-foot high cushion of empty cardboard boxes just in case he missed.

On a cold day with swirling winds and below zero temperatures, Anderson kneeled down for a moment of silence, then took three small steps and 16 strides down a specially built 107-foot ramp, and jumped into "oblivion."

"I pulled a hamstring in mid-flight," Anderson recalled, "but something just took over and carried me the rest of the way."

After landing, and with his nervous mother and 100 newsmen and friends watching from below, Anderson yelled out triumphantly "it's a new world record."

Anderson is a veteran movie and television stuntman/stunt coordinator. He is a two-time world record holder and a 2001 Taurus World Stunt Award nominee for his impressive car work in Shaft.

He has doubled for such Hollywood stars as Will Smith, Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx, and Morgan Freeman.

Anderson is also a writer, director, and producer of two award-winning documentaries on the Jamaican Maroons, Akwantu: the Journey (2012), and Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess (2015).

Anderson immigrated with his family to Toronto in the early '70s. He enjoyed a stellar athletic career in high school and university.

He graduated in 1988 with a bachelor of arts degree from York University in Toronto. Anderson now resides with his wife in New Jersey.

FIRST STUNT

He performed his first movie stunt in the 1982 cult classic Class of 84. After completing his studies, Anderson set out to pursue stunt work full-time.

Since then, he has become a fixture in the North American movie and television stunt scene, racking up more than 400 production credits in the process, working on such hits as Men in Black 3, The Dark Knight Rises, Bourne Ultimatum, American Gangster, and top-rated TV series including Blue Bloods, Elementary, and Gotham.

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