Robert Tessier - Biography

Actor and stuntman Robert Tessier was born of Algonquian Indian descent on June 2, 1934 in Lowell, Massachusetts. He specialized in tough, menacing villains throughout American cinema of the 1970s and 1980s. Tessier had served time in the United States Armed Forces seeing action in Korea as a paratrooper and earning both a Silver Star and a Purple Heart, and in addition was an accomplished motorcycle rider and circus stunt performer.

His movie breakthrough came at age 33, in the low budget Tom Laughlin biker movie Le crédo de la violence (1967). With his menacing looks, Tessier was never short of on screen work, often turning up in several movies a year playing gang leaders, bikers and other murderous thugs. He appeared alongside 'Burt Reynolds' on three occasions in Plein la gueule (1974), La fureur du danger (1978) and L'équipée du Cannonball (1981). Alternately, he was equally busy on television appearing in popular series including Starsky et Hutch (1975), Magnum (1980), L'homme qui tombe à pic (1981) and L'agence tous risques (1983). Undoubtedly, Tessier's most well remembered role was that of grinning, head-butting street fighter Jim Henry in the Charles Bronson film Le bagarreur (1975).

Tessier formed "Stunts Unlimited" with fellow noted stunt performers Hal Needham, Glenn R. Wilder and Ronnie Rondell Jr.. Robert Tessier passed away aged 56 from cancer on October 11, 1990.