Louie Nicholas Elias
Louie Nicholas Elias, Jr. was born on November 21, 1933, and raised in Burbank, CA with the shadow of the movie sets forming the backdrop of his childhood, to a dad whose jobs shifted between a Hollywood caterer and a bookie, and a mom who wasn't your warm and fuzzy type, "Action Louie" learned quick and fast how to survive the streets. His charisma got him out of many scrapes, but where charm failed he earned a reputation as a kid not to mess with, and in one shape or another that formed the story line of his life.
When beauty queen Carol Lilly stood up Louie for a date, she unknowingly sparked the cornerstone of his existence: don't back down. They eloped to Las Vegas on Halloween night in 1955. Five children later their home bustled with vibrancy and cacophony. Their marriage spiked between love, loyalty and glamour and the betrayal of human foibles. By 1975 they separated, found their way back together in 1983, separated again but never divorced. Their love and devotion to their family remains a central theme of their lives.
Born a natural athlete, Louie excelled in sports. At UCLA he played for the Bruins at the Rose Bowl under esteemed coach Red Sanders.
He briefly joined the ROTC to avoid the draft, did reserve camp and hated it. Most assuredly, he never liked people yelling orders at him.
After college, he played professional football until knee injuries got him cut.
He returned to Hollywood, beginning as an extra, and worked into a bit part actor. His first stunt job on Spartacus earned him his first stunt injury when Kirk Douglas drowned him in a soup cauldron and gave him a cut to his chin and a scar for life. Up until the millennium with over 150 film and TV credits to his name, Action Louie leapt from the tower of F-Troop, fought his way out of The Wild Bunch, raced into the Vanishing Point, and took the fall for all those chiseled men of the screen. He wrote screenplays, and later became a commercial actor. He loved the action.
Louie died on December 13, 2017 but leaves his legacy through the life he led.
Live a life of passion. Be fearless. Question authority. Fight for what you believe in no matter the odds. Love your family. Don't stop moving.
Memorial donations may be made to the Motion Picture Television Fund.
Published by Ventura County Star on Jan. 11, 2018.