Paula Moody

In the late 80’s a fellow Stuntwoman, Paula Moody, broke her back in an equestrian accident, went through numerous surgeries and could never work as a Stuntwoman again.


Janet Lee Orcutt

Janet Lee Orcutt, born in Indiana, was a natural stuntwoman! She loved swimming and high driving and took home many metals. She came out to Hollywood, to make her mark as a working stuntwoman and began her training with the Bob Yerkes and the first Kahana Stunt School. Her first film was Frightmare aka Body Snatcher in 1983. She went on to work in such films as Vendetta, Cold Steele, Critters II, Basic Instinct, Rocketeer, Army of Darkness and Star Trek Nemesis.

At one time, Janet was a power lifter, but leaned down so that she could double thinner actresses. She loved doing high falls and her dog, Bentley, a Basset hound that went everywhere with her. Her last show was on Stuntmasters, where Janet was going to do a 200ft jump out of a hot-air balloon in Ireland. The jump was not successful. Janet survived but had a C6-C7 cervical injury that rendered her a quadriplegic.

She has been greatly missed in the stunt community and is remembered for her contagious laugh and love for high falls.


Alisa Christensen

Alisa was burned in an accident when her sleeping bag caught on fire during a camping trip. She suffered 3rd and 4th degree burns and has endured numerous operations to save her limbs.


Maria Doest

Maria Doest came from Houston Texas in 1983. She had been teaching martial arts for 10 years and women’s self-defense for 7 years. Maria held a 5th degree black belt in Okinawan Karate and had three Karate schools. Her passion was always the martial arts and the safety of women, children and people who were disabled.
Maria felt by becoming a stunt coordinator some day, she could change how women were depicted in film. Her first break came from Coordinator Don Pike.

Maria was working towards her dream when in her 12th year as a Stuntwoman, both her stunt career and martial arts career were over, and her three schools had to be closed.

On July 2, 1996, on the set of “Beautician and the Beast”, Maria was sprayed with fire retardant and then fire gel was layered on top. This was done three times for three scenes.
Maria suffered nerve damage and lunge damage. She still suffers today with nausea 24/7 from the chemical exposure, and also has reactive airway disease. She still has to take a medication for people who receive chemotherapy, and finally after 11 ½ years received 100% disability.

Maria is still fighting for the willful decision in her workers compensation case.

Maria says, “I feel extremely lucky to have had the support of the members of the Stuntwomen’s Association of Motion Pictures and the Pacific Association of Martial Artists. I would have been lost without their support. I am glad that SAG now has a Stunt Safety Department after what happened to me.

The monetary help I received from the Stuntwomen’s Foundation, and all the stunt people who were kind enough to help with donations will always be a blessing to me and I will be forever grateful. Thank you.”


Svetla Krasteva – Foley

Svetla was born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria in 1961. She attended the Sports School there and specialized in Gymnastics and became part of her country’s Olympic team specializing in floor and beam. Afterwards she joined the Bulgarian National Acrobatic team and excelled in trio acrobatics (hand balancing). This led to many
years of work in various circuses around the world including Circus Midrano, Brazil Jack, Circus Vargas, and Ringling Brothers. It was Ringling that brought her to the U.S., where she was part of a Bulgarian troupe.

She left the circus in 1991 and was soon invited to Los Angeles by Bob Yerkes to work in the motion picture business as a Stuntwoman. For eleven years she worked in numerous films, TV shows, and commercials where her diminutive 4’10”, 90 lbs. size allowed her to stunt double many child actors and was a member of United Stuntwomen’s Association.

Svetla was also a world-class tandem surfer, displaying her incredible athleticism on the waves at Malibu, Santa Cruz, in Australia, and in France where she and her surf partner Danny always finished in the top three (usually in first) places representing Malibu Boardriders. They placed a close second to the local team in the last Tandem World Championships held in Australia in 1999. United Stuntwomen’s Association now gives a yearly award, at the “Call to the Wall” National Surfing Competition hosted by Malibu Boasrdriders, named “The Svetla Award. This award is given to the Tandem woman surfer showing Grace, Dignity and Sportsmanship in the ocean.

Unfortunately, Svetla was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2000 and underwent the usual surgeries and treatments to save her life. She continued to work on a few films as her condition did not inhibit her abilities until she was in Australia working on the feature live action film “Peter Pan”. That adventure was cut short when her tumor returned with a vengeance in the fall of 2002. She returned to her home in Culver City, California in November of that year and was cared for by her loving
husband, mother, sister, and close friends until her peaceful death in her own bed on Sunday, February 9, 2003. She will be missed by many.


 Denise Lynne Roberts

Denise entered the stunt business in 1989 at the age of 28, and enjoyed a busy career until she was diagnosed with Adrenal Cancer in 1996. She was given 6 months to live, but true to her stubborn character, she held on bravely for seven years, surviving 33 surgeries, 3 rounds of chemotherapy and one round of radiation. Her stunt sister, Spice Williams directed her toward alternative healing methods, which Denise claimed made a world of difference in her ability to ‘give the good strong fight’. Her strong will was an inspiration to many all over the world.

Her friends sent prayer chain emails out which reached thousands. Many strangers, who were also battling life threatening diseases, wrote to her thanking her for sharing her story and promoting courage, faith, and loving acceptance of God’s will. Upon her departure from the stunt business Denise spent her final years writing her book and counseling terminally ill children.

Denise spent her last two years in Dallas, near her close friends and family, where she passed away March 22, 2003

Denise always repeated these encouraging words:
“When God closes a door, He opens another.”


Maria Kelly

Maria, a native of California, was the youngest of seven children and was raised by her father after her mother passed away when Maria was only an infant.

After her father also died when she was 14, Maria began a modeling career at 15 and in to extra work at 17.

When Maria was 25 she was working as an extra on the T.V. show “Nightrider”. It was then, watching the stunts on that show, that she decided she wanted to do stunts. She called her uncle, Robert Hoy, long time stunt man/actor, who put Maria in touch with legendary stunt man Paul Stader, who was well known for training and making stunt performers.

Maria continued to work on hundreds of Features, T.V. Shows, Commercials and print work, until 2004. Maria was diagnosed with a rare tumor, which caused major heart problems before it could be removed. In its wake Maria suffers from multiple heart related problems, can no longer work as a Stuntwoman, and in 2007 the Stuntwomen’s Foundation was honored to give her financial assistance.


Denise Gallo


Brianna Womick

Brianna’s first day on a movie set was working as an extra on “Bratz”. She saw that her skills of award winning dancing, shooting guns, fights and riding horses could help her go after a stunt career. She trained and met industry people the next five years, then landed her first stunt job on an Indy film, “All Cheerleaders Die” in 2012. Brianna got several jobs after that and felt blessed to learn from some amazing stunt men and women.

In February 2014, just as she was deciding which way her life and career would take her, Brianna was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer. She underwent many tests, treatments and several surgeries, and thankfully was tested Cancer free by February 2015.

Brianna thanks her friends, family, stunt community and Stuntwomen’s Foundation on her journey to recovery.

“Anna Mercedes Morris & Annie Ellis reached out to me on behalf of the Stuntwomen’s Foundation, and the beautiful and talented women on the board really stepped up in an unbelievable way! The generosity of the Stunt community and this Foundation means the world to me. I’m determined to have a long future with amazing women like you all in my life, who I respect so much.”