Who is Kitty O Neil? Everything About Hollywood’s Most Prominent Stunt Drivers!

Have you ever been to the movies and seen a heart-stopping car chase? Or watched on in awe as an action hero races away from their pursuer? Chances are, it was Kitty O’Neil that pulled off those risky stunt driver moves. For decades, she has been Hollywood’s go-to stunt driver; thrilling viewers with her impressive driving skills and providing much of the thrills for many action scenes over the years. Now, we’re taking an in-depth look into who this incredible woman is – her inspiring story and achievements will leave you absolutely mesmerized! So buckle up & get ready to explore the amazing life (and death defying acts) of Kitty O’Neil!

Who is Kitty O Neil? Everything About Hollywood’s Most Prominent Stunt Drivers!

Introducing Kitty O Neil – A Quick Overview

Kitty O’Neil was a talented stuntwoman and speed racer, who overcame her deafness to achieve incredible feats of athleticism and bravery. Born in 1946 in Corpus Christi, Texas, O’Neil was deaf from birth but never let that hold her back. She began her career in the fashion industry, working as a model and then a clothing designer, before discovering her true calling as a stunt performer and race car driver. O’Neil went on to set numerous speed records and even appeared in Hollywood movies and TV shows. Her legacy continues to inspire the next generation of stunt performers, athletes, and trailblazers.

Attribute Information
Full Name Kitty O’Neil
Birthdate March 24, 1946
Birthplace Corpus Christi, Texas, USA
Occupation Stuntwoman, Speed Racer, and Daredevil
Achievements – Holder of multiple speed records
– Performed stunts in movies and TV
Notable Stunts – The “Cannonball Run” (record-breaking)
– Stunt doubling for various actresses
– High-speed car and motorcycle jumps
Deafness Profoundly deaf since childhood
Awards – Named one of the top 10 stuntwomen
in the world by “The Guinness Book
of World Records”
– Received a “Women in Film Crystal
Award” for outstanding stunt work
Death November 2, 2018

Early Life and Childhood

Kitty O’Neil was born on March 24, 1946, in Corpus Christi, Texas. From an early age, she faced adversity as she was born profoundly deaf, a condition attributed to her mother contracting rubella during pregnancy. Despite her hearing impairment, Kitty’s parents encouraged her to lead a full and active life. She quickly adapted to her circumstances, becoming proficient in lip reading and using sign language.

Growing up in a supportive family environment, Kitty developed a love for sports, particularly swimming and diving. Her passion for thrill-seeking activities would serve as the foundation for her future career in Hollywood stunts.

Kitty o’Neil Became Deaf

Unfortunately, her life took a challenging turn when she was just four months old. At that young age, she fell ill with a high fever, which led to complications. The fever ultimately caused severe damage to her auditory nerves, resulting in profound hearing loss.

This sudden and unexpected loss of hearing at such a young age was undoubtedly a significant challenge for Kitty and her family. However, she was not one to let her disability define her or hold her back. Despite her deafness, she went on to live a remarkable life, becoming a celebrated stuntwoman, setting land-speed records, and making a lasting impact in the entertainment industry.

Kitty’s determination and fearless spirit enabled her to overcome the obstacles posed by her deafness and achieve remarkable success in her chosen fields. Her story serves as an inspiration to many, showing that with unwavering determination and passion, one can overcome even the most significant challenges life throws their way.

Becoming a Stuntwoman

Kitty’s journey into the world of stunt work began when she moved to Southern California in the 1960s. Her athletic prowess and fearlessness caught the attention of Hal Needham, a renowned stunt coordinator in Hollywood. Needham recognized Kitty’s potential and encouraged her to pursue a career in stunt work.

Kitty embraced the opportunity, and her career took off like a rocket. Her first major stunt job was as Lynda Carter’s stunt double on the popular TV series “Wonder Woman” in the 1970s. This role catapulted her into the spotlight, and she quickly became one of the most sought-after stuntwomen in Hollywood.

Record-Breaking Achievements

Kitty O’Neil’s career was defined by her relentless pursuit of challenges and record-breaking achievements. She set several world records that solidified her status as a bona fide daredevil. Here are some of her most remarkable accomplishments:

  1. Speed Records: Kitty was an accomplished speed skater and driver. In 1976, she set the women’s land speed record, driving a rocket-powered vehicle at an astounding 512.710 miles per hour in the Alvord Desert of Oregon. This feat not only earned her a place in the record books but also made her the fastest woman on Earth.
  2. Water Skiing Stunt: In 1977, Kitty O’Neil performed an incredible water skiing stunt that involved being towed behind a powerboat while on fire. Her courage and precision in executing this dangerous feat left audiences and colleagues in awe.
  3. High Falls: Kitty was known for her fearless high falls, which involved leaping from great heights and landing safely. She performed high falls in movies and television shows, and her precision and skill were unmatched.
  4. Car Stunts: O’Neil became a fixture in car chase scenes, performing breathtaking stunts in movies like “Smokey and the Bandit II” and “The Blues Brothers.” Her ability to handle vehicles with precision and grace made her a valuable asset in the world of Hollywood stunts.

The Movies That Defined Kitty’s Career

While Kitty O’Neil may not have been a household name like some of her contemporaries, her contributions to cinema were significant. She appeared in numerous films and TV shows, leaving her mark with each daring stunt. Some of the movies that showcased her incredible talents include:

  1. The Bionic Woman (TV Series, 1976-1978): Kitty performed stunts for Lindsay Wagner in this iconic sci-fi series. Her work brought a sense of realism and excitement to the show’s action sequences.
  2. Airport ’77 (1977): Kitty took on the role of a stuntwoman for this disaster film, adding intensity to the harrowing plane crash scenes.
  3. The Blues Brothers (1980): While not a stunt-heavy film, Kitty O’Neil made a memorable cameo as a rocket car driver, showcasing her incredible skills one more time.

Overcoming Challenges

Despite her incredible achievements, Kitty O’Neil faced numerous challenges in her career. Being deaf presented unique obstacles, but she never allowed it to hold her back. She relied on her other senses and her innate determination to excel in her chosen field.

Additionally, the world of stunt work was not always welcoming to women in the 1970s, but Kitty’s talent and fearlessness broke down barriers and paved the way for future generations of female stunt performers.

Inspiring Others

Kitty O’Neil’s impact extended beyond her remarkable career in Hollywood. She served as an inspiration to countless individuals, especially those with disabilities, demonstrating that with determination and courage, one can achieve the seemingly impossible.

Her life story was a testament to the power of perseverance, and she actively engaged in motivational speaking to share her experiences and encourage others to pursue their dreams. Below is a video on fun facts about her-

Kitty O'neil Fun Facts Revealed!

The Mysterious Passing:

On November 2, 2018, the world received the shocking news of Kitty O’Neil’s death. She was 72 years old at the time. The circumstances surrounding her passing raised numerous questions and sparked curiosity among her fans and the media. Despite her hearing impairment, Kitty had always been a fighter and survivor, which made her sudden death all the more perplexing.

To date, there has been limited official information regarding the cause of Kitty O’Neil’s death. This lack of transparency has led to numerous speculations and rumors within the entertainment industry and among her admirers. Some have suggested that her hearing loss might have played a role in her demise, while others have speculated about potential health issues.

Legacy and Honors

Kitty O’Neil’s legacy in the world of stunt work is undeniable. She received numerous accolades and honors throughout her career, including induction into the Stuntwoman’s Hall of Fame. Her remarkable life was even the subject of a made-for-TV movie, “Silent Victory: The Kitty O’Neil Story,” where she was portrayed by actress Stockard Channing.

FAQ on Kitty O’Neil:

1. Who was Kitty O’Neil’s husband?

Kitty O’Neil was married to her husband, Duffy Hambleton. They were married until her husband’s passing.

2. What was the cause of Kitty O’Neil’s death?

Kitty O’Neil passed away due to pneumonia in 2018. Her death was attributed to complications from her long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

3. Were there any movies made about Kitty O’Neil?

Yes, there was a TV movie titled “Silent Victory: The Kitty O’Neil Story,” which aired in 1979 and portrayed her life and achievements.

4. Is there a movie specifically named “Kitty O’Neil”?

No, there isn’t a movie with that exact title. However, “Silent Victory: The Kitty O’Neil Story” is a TV movie based on her life.

5. Did Kitty O’Neil have any family?

Yes, Kitty O’Neil had a husband, Duffy Hambleton, and a close-knit family who supported her throughout her life and career.

6. Are there any resources available about Kitty O’Neil in Hindi?

Information about Kitty O’Neil may be available in Hindi through translations and articles, but her story is more widely documented in English.

7. How did Kitty O’Neil become deaf?

Kitty O’Neil lost her hearing as a result of contracting measles when she was just a few months old. The illness led to her profound deafness.

8. When did Kitty O’Neil die?

Kitty O’Neil passed away on November 2, 2018.

9. Is there a Kitty O’Neil game?

There is no widely known video game or board game specifically dedicated to Kitty O’Neil.

10. How did Kitty O’Neil die?

Kitty O’Neil died due to complications from pneumonia, which were exacerbated by her Parkinson’s disease.

11. What is the reference to “Kitty O’Neil boss”?

It’s not clear what you mean by “Kitty O’Neil boss.” Please provide more context for a specific answer.

12. Did Kitty O’Neil write any books?

There is no widely known book authored by Kitty O’Neil. Her life story has been covered in various articles, documentaries, and the TV movie mentioned earlier.

13. Is there a Kitty O’Neil action figure?

There is no widely recognized Kitty O’Neil action figure.

14. Is there an obituary for Kitty O’Neil available online?

Yes, obituaries for Kitty O’Neil are available online on various websites.

15. Where can I find photos of Kitty O’Neil?

You can find photos of Kitty O’Neil through online image searches or in articles and documentaries about her life.

16. What is “Silent Victory: The Kitty O’Neil Story”?

“Silent Victory: The Kitty O’Neil Story” is a TV movie that aired in 1979, which tells the story of Kitty O’Neil’s life, her achievements, and challenges.

17. Did Kitty O’Neil have a car-related incident or crash?

There is no widely known incident or crash involving Kitty O’Neil and a car.

18. Did Kitty O’Neil have children (kids)?

There is no widely known information about Kitty O’Neil having children.

19. What was Kitty O’Neil’s net worth?

The exact net worth of Kitty O’Neil is not widely documented, but she earned a living through her career as a stuntwoman and as a speed record holder.

20. Are there any n*de scenes of Kitty O’Neil in the TV show “Boss”?

There is no widely known information or evidence of Kitty O’Neil appearing in n*de scenes in the TV show “Boss.”

21. Was Kitty O’Neil associated with the character Wonder Woman?

Kitty O’Neil was not associated with the character Wonder Woman. She was known for her achievements in the world of stunt work and speed records, not for portraying fictional characters.


Kitty O’Neil was not just a stuntwoman; she was a trailblazer, a record-breaker, and a true inspiration. Her remarkable career in Hollywood showcased her fearlessness, determination, and willingness to push the boundaries of what was possible. Kitty’s legacy lives on, serving as a reminder that one’s abilities are not defined by their disabilities, and that with unwavering determination, anyone can achieve greatness.

As we look back on the life of Kitty O’Neil, we are reminded of the incredible impact she had on the world of entertainment and the lasting inspiration she continues to provide to aspiring stunt performers and individuals facing challenges of their own. She will forever be remembered as one of Hollywood’s most prominent and fearless stunt drivers, a true icon of courage and perseverance.

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