The Remarkable Life of John Weld - The Timeline John was born in Birmingham, Alabama on February 25, 1905 After his father died, his mother married Robert Curtis Lewis and moved the family to Birmingham, Alabama. The Essence of heroism lies in seeking out risks you do not have to take. - Dostoyevsky His mother sent him to Castle Heights Military Academy in Lebanon, TN when he was 14 years old. After graduating, John attended Alabama Polytechnic Institute, now known as Auburn University. John Weld I have done all I can to get you started up life's ladder, it is now up to you to make your own way. - Letter from John's mother With $100 in his pocket, John left school and moved to Kansas City where he worked for the Irving-Pitt Company. Hollywoodland John begins a cross county road trip to Hollywood. One minute we were purposeless idlers, and next we had a resolution and direction - John Weld After making rounds to all the studios, looking for work as an extra, John finally landed a job in the Fox Film Corp. production, Folly of Vanity. John Weld 19 years old. John Weld dive location. John Weld dive. On-set, John seized the opportunity to step in as a stunt diver. John Weld reflecting on his life as a stuntman. Stunt work. Stunt jumping rooftop to rooftop. Stunt on airplane. Stunt on train. In feature films I doubled for women as well as men. - John Weld Actors John Weld stunt doubled for. Lazybones In 1925, John donned a wig and a dress as a double for Zasu Pitts in the film, Lazybones. Take care of the wig. It's the only on we've got. - Direction given to John right before his jump for Lazybones. Clark Gable Soon after, John confided in his good friend Clark Gable that he did not want to stay in stunt work. While attending a party at the home of Marion Davies, William Randolph Hearst's mistress, John met famed columnist, Louella Parsons. John made his way to Europe to cover Charles Linbergh's flight across the Atlantic for the Universal News Service. That, the fabulous 'twenties', was an era of literary high jinks and wonderful nonsense and the paris edition of the New York Herald-Tribune was its chronicler. - John Weld While in Paris, John met a number of well-known and upcoming wirters and artists. John Weld 27 years old. So you're going to write for the movies. I understand that's quite profitable. - James Joyce John's books, Gun Girl and Stuntman are published in 1932. After his return to Hollywood, John's life as a studio contract writer was short-lived. John Weld describing his friend Pancho Barnes. Gigi 1932 At the sight of Gigi something went kerplunk in my psyche. I was startled by her beauty...her voice had the purity of a viola. - John Weld John Weld 1933 John finds himself in New York once again, this time reporting for The American while conducting research at the New York Public Library for a novel he intended to write about The Donner Party. In the spring of 1935 he made his way back to California; his first stop, to see Gigi Parrish. After only a month in San Francisco, John received word from Gigi that she and her husband were separating. He immediately made his way to be with her. In Phoenix Arizona, John and Gigi finally tied the knot. Katy and I were in New York on the publication day of 'Don't You Cry for Me'. We found ourselves in a new, exciting, almost paradisical world. - John Weld Don't You Cry for Me articles. Don't You Cry for me articles. For $4,500, John and Katy bought a little fixer-upper in Laguna Beach, which became lovingly known as Pelican Perch. John and Katy worked day and night to create their dream home. John and Katy's home. To support the war effort, John began working for the Consolidated-Vultee's public relations office and became editor of the company's newsletter, The Consolidated News. After the war, John and Katy founded the Laguna Beach Post which covered local unews until 1967. Wanting to see the world beyond Laguna Beach, John and Katy decided to take a trip around the world aboard freighters. Tragically, four crewmen lost their lives. In true stuntman form, he raced back into the sinking ship and barely escaped with his life. During the moments that John thought he might not make it, he reflected on his life with Katy. John and Katy Katy and John continued traveling and created multiple, award-winning documentaries. In 1998, John wrote his last book, September Song: An Intimate Biographhy of Walter Huston. John and Katy pictured here with their friend, Hollywood legend, John Huston near the end of his life. I've learned that in speaking, the wisest way is to tell the truth, whereas in writing one has the poetic license to embellish facts to make a good story. - John Weld John and Katy Timeline End