Throwback Thursday: Yakima Canutt and the Pendleton Roundup - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Throwback Thursday: Yakima Canutt and the Pendleton Roundup

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 PENDLETON, OR - For this week's Throwback Thursday, reporter Rex Carlin headed down to the world-famous Pendleton Roundup, which is happening this weekend. While he was there, he learned about a legend in Pendleton Roundup circles and a five-time all-around champion at the roundup: Yakima Canutt.

But Canutt's legacy stretches far beyond the rodeo arena.

Canutt won the all-around title in 1917, 1919, 1920, 1923, and 1928...but his fame spread beyond rodeo circles when he got involved in the early days of the Hollywood film-making industry as an actor, director, stuntman...he did a little bit of everything.

His first movie appearance was in the 1919 silent film Lightning Bryce. 

Over the years, Yakima Canutt made a big impact on Hollywood.

"He basically is spoken of as the father of stunt men," said Randy Thomas with the Pendleton Roundup. "He matched up with John Wayne and they invented fighting techniques for the westerns, as a matter of fact, John Wayne says, 'I copied my speech and my walk and my drawl all after Yakima Canutt because I wanted to be a cowboy actor and he was the real deal.'"

But his name isn't actually Yakima...it's Enos. And he's not even from Yakima. He was born and raised on a ranch outside of Colfax.

He actually got the nickname at the 1914 roundup when a newspaper caption misidentified him.

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