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From rodeo to the big screen: Local man recounts life as a Hollywood stuntman

R.L. Tolbert grips the reins of a bronc as it jumps out of the chute at a rodeo in this photo from his days as a cowboy. Tolbert moved from the rodeo circuit to stunt work in Hollywood. (Photo courtesy of R.L. Tolbert).

VALE – R.L. Tolbert has gone up in flames, crashed cars and taken punches from Hollywood actors.

That’s because the seasonal Vale resident was a stuntman in the film and TV industry, mostly doing horseback stunts deemed too dangerous for the stars.

In movie after movie, Tolbert has leaped from speeding trains, jumped from towering cliffs and roared through city streets in gravity-defying car chases.

That was him driving horses in “Back to the Future III.” That was him tumbling down a staircase in “Silverado.”

And, yes, that . . .