Tommy Lane, 'Shaft' Actor and Stuntman, Dead at 83

Tommy Lane, a former stuntman and actor whose credits included Shamus with Burt Reynolds and the legendary crime drama Shaft, died on Monday in Florida. Lane, who also starred in the James Bond movie Live and Let Die, was 83. Lane's scene in Shaft involved a fight with Richard Roundtree, who played the titular detective, and it ended with Lane's character falling out of a window to his death.

Lane died at Florida Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, his daughter, Kamala Lane, told The Hollywood Reporter. Lane died after a long struggle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. His survivors include his wife, Raquel Batias-Lane, seven children, a stepson, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Lane was born in Miami on Dec. 17, 1937. He made his acting debut in episodes of Flipper, which was filmed in Florida. His first movie was Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970), a crime movie directed and co-written by Ossie Davis. The following year, he starred in Shaft (1971) and had a role in the 1973 Reynolds movie Shamus.

In 1973, Lane had a memorable part in Live and Let Die, one of Roger Moore's biggest James Bond hits. He played a henchman who chased Bond off a speedboat. "Bond ripped off one of our boats. He's headed for the Irish Bayou. The man that gets him stays alive! Now, move you mothers," Lane's character said just before the chase, notes Variety.


Lane's other credits include Ganja & Hess (1973); Cliff Robertson's The Pilot (1980); Nicolas Roeg's Eureka (1983), starring Gene Hackman; and Virtual Weapon (1997). His final role was in Sweat (2007). He also appeared in episodes of Simon & Simon on television. Outside of acting, Lane was a jazz musician, playing trumpet and flugelhorn at New York's famous Blue Note Jazz Club during the 1980s.