Australian stuntman Grant Page weighs up loss and cherished memories after the March floods on Mid North Coast

LOSS AND MEMORIES: Grant Page with some rescued recordings in Dunbogan.
LOSS AND MEMORIES: Grant Page with some rescued recordings in Dunbogan.

Australian film stuntman Grant Page has lived a career on the edge.

The recipient of two lifetime awards from the Australian film industry has been rocked, like so many of his friends and neighbours, by the devastation of the March floods.

A lifetime of treasures has been washed away.

Now in his 80s, Mr Page has collected more than 55 years of memorabilia from his stunt performances across productions including Mad Max, Police Rescue, All Saints, Gods of Egypt and Danger Freaks.

Those memories were stored in a prized collection of interviews, recordings and souvenirs at his Dunbogan home on NSW's Mid North Coast. Many have since been swept into the Camden Haven river.

"I've been doing this for 50 years. I had so much paperwork and photos, it was all downstairs and got washed out," he said.

GRANT PAGE IN ACTION: Cherished memories saved from the floods.

GRANT PAGE IN ACTION: Cherished memories saved from the floods.

"I'm still finding paperwork out in the forest (backyard) out there. There is so much stuff that I can't repeat such as videos of interviews and recordings, things I'll never get back.

"I went to bed on the night of the flood and by the time I got up it was waist deep downstairs. It was a case of trying to find all the things you can remember that you cannot do without.

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"It's 50 years of life and I spent the rest of the flood trying to rescue some bit of my life. During the search you do see a lot of your life float away.

"I've got enough to remind me of where I was but the moment you realise it's gone, it's gone for good."

AMAZING CAREER : Grant Page set on fire during a stunt for filming.

AMAZING CAREER : Grant Page set on fire during a stunt for filming.

Mr Page has memories of his involvement in more than 200 productions including crashing cars, being set on fire, flying from clifftops and falling from buildings. He counts animal scenes as the most difficult to perform due to the unpredictability of nature.

He said a particular Danger Freaks stunt involving fighting a leopard in Africa was one of the worst he remembers.

"I had gone there to fight a crocodile but it was the wrong time and instead they used a leopard that had been caught a few months before. They said the leopard is ready for a try out, but no-one told the leopard that," he laughed.

"I had to run underneath this tree with the leopard in it and as you'd expect of a recently wild animal he jumped on my flippin' back."

Grant ended up with several scratches and a badly chewed suit.

CLOSE CALL: Mr Page during the stunt involving the leopard.

CLOSE CALL: Mr Page during the stunt involving the leopard.

He had another near-death experience in Hong Kong while filming 'Kung Fu Killers', when a martial artist nearly threw him off a 480 metre cliff by accident.

"He was meant to belt me in the guts, I'd crumble, then he'd run me to the edge of the cliff and throw a dummy off for the scene," he said.

"As he was running towards the cliff edge with me on his shoulder I could feel his momentum and that he wasn't going to stop.

"I suddenly shouted, grabbed him by the hair and grabbed the fence. I went over the side and dropped against the face of the cliff onto a ledge about one storey down. There was another 1500 feet to go."

CARNAGE: Mr Page driving and crashing cars during the shooting of Mad Max.

CARNAGE: Mr Page driving and crashing cars during the shooting of Mad Max.

Mr Page said one of his most memorable and well-known stunts was driving for Vincent Gil as 'the Nightrider' in Mad Max.

"Vince was playing the Nightrider, but he didn't drive. So we had the car with two single seats, Lulu Pinkus sitting on one side, Vince the other and I was between them," he said

"Vince had his hands on the top of the steering wheel, I was holding the bottom and had my feet on the pedals. It was high speed but I did all the driving with only my nose above the dashboard."

He also made a guest appearance and created the stunts for the music video of 'M.O.R' by English rock band Blur.

Mr Page and his sons are disguised as band members committing a bank robbery for the video.

RUNS IN THE FAMILY: Grant Page with son and fellow stuntman, Gulliver.

RUNS IN THE FAMILY: Grant Page with son and fellow stuntman, Gulliver.

This story Memories of Mad Max stuntman's life on the edge swept away in floods first appeared on Port Macquarie News.