Dust jacket of Stunt Girl, 1940
(Babylon Revisited)
Born: January 6, 1910

Died: July 4, 1995

Ione Reed was a movie actress and stunt woman, appearing in more than thirty movies between 1924 and 1945.  She was also a patient at Will Rogers Memorial Hospital.

Hollywood Stunt Performers, 1910s-1970s: A Biographical Dictionary, 2d ed., Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 2014, p. 232

By Gene Scott Freese

IONE REED (1910-1995)

Born in Hanford, California, early stuntwoman lone Reed was an excellent horseback rider and acrobat. She was a leading lady in b-westerns opposite stuntman Cliff Lyons before transitioning into sound era stunt work where she doubled Claire Trevor on Elinor Norton (1934), Mary Maguire on Mysterious Mr. Moto (1938), and Maureen O'Hara on Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939). Reed worked on major films like The Buccaneer (1938) and did all kinds of stunts with lions, bears, and elephants. She specialized in auto to train transfers and runaway buckboard stunts.

Reed attained some publicity for her profession when she advertised Camel cigarettes in print ads and was featured on the radio program Daredevils of Hollywood. Her Hollywood life was fictionalized in a 1940 novel she co-wrote with Rose Gordon entitled Stunt Girl, but she was soon out of the business due to a bad reaction to movie makeup. She became a safety engineer for the Lewyt Corporation. Reed died at the age of 85.

See: Gordon, Rose & Ione Reed, Stunt Girl, Hollywood: G.P. Putnam, 1940; "Stunt Girl Now Teaches Safery to War Workers." Manitowoc Herald, May 28, 1945: "Three Seconds from Death." Modern Mechanix, November 1938.

 External links:

  • A 12-minute radio drama in which stunt woman Ione Reid describes a 1929 stunt jumping off one train, and into the path of another.
  • Ione Reed's films at IMDB

Wooden plates painted by Ione Reed while a patient at Will Rogers
Courtesy of Marsha Mcdowell Morgan


Plattsburgh Daily Press, July 26, 1938