Carl Pitti
Actor, stuntman and Hollywood Western tutor Carl Pitti, whose six decades in Hollywood included appearances in such movies as " High Plains Drifter " and TV shows " Bonanza, " " Gunsmoke " and " Little House on the Prairie, " has died. He was 86.

Mr. Pitti, who retired to his 10-acre Hemet ranch in 1981, died Aug. 9 at Hemet Valley Medical Center, relatives said.

He was well-known for coaching such screen legends as Joan Crawford and Barbara Stanwyck.

Mr. Pitti was born in Des Moines, Iowa, where his parents were appearing in Buffalo Bill ' s Wild West Show. It was his father who drove close friend Will Rogers to the airport Aug. 15, 1935, for his ill-fated flight to Alaska with pilot Wiley Post. The plane crashed, killing both men.

Carl Pitti played Burt Lancaster ' s orderly in " Hallelujah Trail, " appeared with George Hamilton in " Zorro, the Gay Blade, " doubled for Bob Hope in " Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number! " and taught Glenn Ford how to shoot in " The Fastest Gun Alive. "

Mr. Pitti acted or doubled in dozens of films, and tutored Robert Taylor, Joel McCrea, Rock Hudson, Deborah Kerr and Stewart Granger.

He was Michael Landon ' s coach, friend and stand-in on the NBC television series " Little House on the Prairie, " said daughter Karla Johnston.

" Michael Landon was very special in Dad ' s life, " Johnston said. " They were all like a family on that series, and when he retired, Michael gave him a huge going-away party. "

He was named to the Hollywood Stuntmen ' s Hall of Fame in 1984.

Mr. Pitti is survived by his wife of 61 years, Mickey; three daughters, Diana Riley of Simi Valley, Karla Johnston of Hemet and Paula of Lancaster; son Jimmie Jones of Hemet; four grandchildren; and a brother, Paul of Culver City.
Published by San Diego Union-Tribune on Aug. 18, 2003.
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