Yakima Canutt (November 29, 1896 - May 24, 1986) was an American actor and stuntman in Hollywood movies of the 1920s through the 1950s.
Born Enos Edward Canutt in the rough ranchlands near Colfax, Washington, many people think that "Yak" Canutt moved as a young man to Yakima, Washington and that the town provided his nickname but, he never did live there. As a young man, he gained fame as a very successful rodeo rider. He met actor Tom Mix at a rodeo in Los Angeles, and was persuaded to work as a cowboy in films.
He met and married Kitty Wilks at the 1916 Pendleton Round-Up in Pendleton, Oregon, in which she was the All-Around Champion Cowgirl. They divorced in 1919.
He had some success as an actor, primarily playing "heavies," or villains, but he was more successful as a stuntman and stunt coordinator. He staged some memorable action scenes in film, including the chariot race segment in the 1959 film Ben-Hur.
For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Yakima Canutt has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1500 Vine Street. In 1967, he was given an Honorary Academy Award for achievements as a stunt man and for developing safety devices to protect stunt men everywhere. He was inducted into the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (Hall of Fame).
His sons Joe Canutt and Tap Canutt also worked as stuntmen. His autobiography "Stuntman" was published in 1979.
He died at the age of 89 in North Hollywood, California.