Brad Harris, best known for his work in sword-and-sandal movies, died after a short illness Tuesday in Santa Monica, his daughter Sabrina Calley confirmed. He was 84.
“He was just a really wonderful, loving, full of life man,” Calley told Variety. “He made friends wherever he went all over the world, and he will be greatly missed.”
The actor and stuntman worked in Europe for majority of his career, appearing in over 50 spy films and spaghetti Westerns in the 1960s, including “The Fury of Hercules,” “Pirates of the Mississippi,” “Black Eagle of Santa Fe,” “Kiss, Kiss, Kill, Kill,” “Spy Today, Die Tomorrow,” “Death Trip,” “The Mad Butcher” and “Supermen.”
In addition to his movie work, he appeared on the small screen as Deputy Duffy in the soap opera “Falcon Crest” from 1984-1989.
Born in Idaho, Harris later moved to California and attended UCLA on an athletic scholarship where he studied economics. After sustaining injuries from football, he was advised to take up weightlifting, which then sparked an interest in bodybuilding.
Upon graduation, he secured work in the industry as a stand-in and stuntman. Harris got his start as a stuntman in Stanley Kubrick’s “Spartacus,” and later made his big-screen debut in the 1957 biographical film “Monkey on My Back.”
His first leading roles were in Gianfranco Parolini’s 1961 films “Goliath Against the Giants” and “Samson.” Parolini and Harris went on to work together on several titles written and directed by Parolini.
Later in his career, he served as an executive producer on several of his films including “King of Kong Island” and “The Mutations.” Harris worked with Tony Kendall and Parolini in the “Kommissar X” series, which his daughter said ranked among his favorite roles.
Harris married actress Olga Schoberova in 1967. They had a daughter, Sabrina, before they divorced in 1969. In 1971, Schoberova remarried studio executive and producer John Calley, who adopted Sabrina.
More recently, Harris owned a company, Modern Body Design Harris, where he invented and marketed fitness equipment. His daughter said her dad lived by his motto, “Stay fit. Have fun. Harm no one.”