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Casino Royale wins twice at 2007 Taurus World Stunt Awards

26-May-2007 • Casino Royale

The stars were out and the action was in full force at this year's Taurus World Stunt Awards on the Paramount Pictures lot last night. An enthusiastic audience of over 1700 watched as action film icon Burt Reynolds, star of the blockbuster hit 300 Gerard Butler, and the "godmother of stunt women," Jeannie Epper were honored for their remarkable contributions to the world of action films. Awards host Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson kept the proceedings lively while some of Hollywood's 'extreme athletes,' the stunt professionals who consistently push the limits to thrill audiences around the world, were honored with their highest reward, The Taurus. The show will air domestically on AMC on Friday, May 25th at 10:30 p.m.

Celebrities and VIP's in attendance -- many making appearances on stage -- included Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jessica Alba, Michael Buffer, Gerard Butler, Michael Chiklis, Elisha Cuthbert, Rob Dibble, Josh Duhamel, Chris Evans, Will Ferrell, Harrison Ford, Dennis Hopper, Kelly Hu, Ali Larter, Katie Lohman, Christina Milian, John C. Reilly, David Spade, Mr. T, Ken Watanabe, and Shaun White among many others.

The show kicked off with a bang when the Rock made his first appearance onstage in an armored car, crashing into the set! Over the course of the evening, the audience was likewise treated to a series of live performances, giving a rapturous reception to Grammy-winner Joe Cocker, who rocked the house with "Feeling Alright," and acclaimed modern dance company Diavolo, who executed an elaborate acrobatic routine over, under, in and out of a moving car.

- A spectacular demonstration of Parkour whose practitioners dash across the landscape, jumping, ducking or climbing over buildings and structures with supreme elegance and physical efficiency. Parkour was featured in the film Casino Royale, which won "Best High Work"

- The blockbuster hit film The Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest coming to life with a spectacular swash-buckling sword fight!

- Ali Larter ("Heroes," upcoming Resident Evil: Extinction) and Josh Duhamel ("Las Vegas," upcoming Transformers) introduced the first-ever on fire runway fashion show featuring models ablaze!

On top of all the dramatic entrances, death-defying stunts, and joyous award winners, the show exhibited immense heart and gratitude with the presentation of its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards.

- Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger presented the Taurus Lifetime Achievement Award for an Action Movie Star to Burt Reynolds, star of such classic films as Deliverance, Smokey and the Bandit, Cannonball Run, and Boogie Nights. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger called Reynolds, "the greatest of the great."

- After a touching tribute by many industry legends such as Steven Spielberg, nearly 100 stunt women including May Boss, Debbie Evans, and daughter Eurlyne Epper presented the Taurus Lifetime Achievement Award to Jeannie Epper. Epper, who has worked on over a hundred film and television shows, was overwhelmed with emotion when she looked at the parade of women on stage. Epper exclaimed, "Look at us all now -- there truly is strength in women."

- Dennis Hopper presented the Taurus World Stunt Awards Action Movie Star of the Year to Gerard Butler, describing Butler's role as Spartan King Leonidas in the groundbreaking international smash film 300 as a, "powerful, flesh-and-blood performance combined with brilliantly aggressive, athletic stuntwork." Hopper said, "Gerard Butler brought us a state of the art, yet ancient vision of an action hero for the 21st century."

The presentation of this year's Taurus World Stunt Awards Foundation grant recipients, Tony Angelotti and Larry Rippenkroeger was one of the centerpieces of the show. Angelotti, who was seriously injured while he was doubling for Johnny Depp in the Pirates of the Caribbean: At the End of the World, also won this years Best Fight award for his work in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. Bruce Willis made a heartfelt tribute to his "own stunt man and good friend Larry Rippenkroeger," this year's Taurus Foundation recipient, who was injured during Live Free or Die Hard. Willis said, "I want to thank everyone who's a part of the Taurus World Stunt Awards Foundation which provides assistance to stunt performers who experience debilitating stunt related injuries." Envisioned by philanthropist Dietrich Mateschitz, founder and CEO of Red Bull Energy Drink, the Foundation gives financial grants in the event of a stunt related temporary, partial or permanent disability. The Foundation is perpetuated by annual Taurus World Stunt Awards programming and ongoing fundraising activities.

The primary aim of the event was to honor the elite professionals of the stunt community. To that end, it's our pleasure to congratulate the following 2007 Taurus World Stunt Awards Winners!

Best Work with a Vehicle
Presented by Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly
Steve Kelso, Doc D. Charbonneau, Paul M. Lane

Best Fight
Presented by Michael Buffer
Tony Angelotti, Phil Culotta, Thomas Dupont, Lisa Hoyle, Jeremy Fry, Kirk Maxwell, Tom Morga, Buddy "Love" Sosthand, Mark A. Wagner, Jeff Wolfe

Best High Work
Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis, Chris Evans and Ioan Gruffudd
Ben Cooke, Kai Martin, Marvin Stewart-Campbell, Adam Kirley

Best Overall Stunt By A Stunt Woman
Presented by Kelly Hu
Debbie Evans

Best Specialty Stunt
Presented by Shaun White and Elisha Cuthbert
Sean Graham, Michael Nicely

Best Action in a Foreign Film
Presented by Ken Wantanabe
ALARM FOR COBRA 11 (Germany)
Stefan Richter

Hardest Hit
Presented by Christina Milian
Jimmy N. Roberts, Steve Baum

Best Fire
Presented by Josh Duhamel and Ali Larter
Simon Rhee

Best Stunt Coordination and/or 2nd Unit Direction
Presented by Harrison Ford with a special congratulations from Daniel Craig
Gary Powell

The show airs in the USA on AMC On Friday, May 25th at 10:30 P.M. ET/PT.

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