Stuntwoman Did It For Real

Against her ex-husband over child support, natch, and it didn’t end for her any better than her career did. A bonus for my readers who remember the movie Back To The Future II! You’ll never watch the movie with innocent eyes again. In a good way, I mean. I think.

Cheryl Wheeler-Sanders: The Life of a Hollywood Stuntwoman

Cheryl Wheeler Sanders: The Life of a Hollywood Stuntwoman

14 April 2015

At the time of the incident, her name was Cheryl Wheeler-Dixon. Yeah, you know where this is going to end up.

In 1985, I made a transition from martial arts and kickboxing to a full time career as a stuntwoman. In 1982, I had moved from Pensacola, Florida to Los Angeles, California for several reasons. One, my sanctioning body, the WKA (World Karate Association) based out of Westminster, CA was working hard to promote me as a fighter. They were getting me matches on the west coast and it was better if I was geographically closer to the action. Secondly, Gerry Blanck, my long time sensei, coach and sparring partner moved out to Los Angeles after being contacted by an agent to try and break in to the movie business. He encouraged me to come out as well, pointing out that there were few women in martial art action films, and there was great opportunity. I loved Los Angeles and settled on the west side of town, teaching karate and working as a personal trainer at a popular health club in the Pacific Palisades called La Sante, while taking acting lessons at night and training daily.

Ladies: moving to Los Angeles to pursue a film career is worse than suicide for you. Your soul can survive suicide. It can’t survive Hollywood.

I met lots of entertainment industry people working out at La Sante, and quickly had an opportunity to read for a part in a film called The Nightstalker (1986), doing a big fight scene with the lead actor Charles Napier. I auditioned and got the part. I had a blast working on the film and met a handful of stuntmen on set who were crucial to the fight scene. At the end of the day, the stuntmen I worked with enthusiastically encouraged me to work in the stunt industry full time, reassuring me that my world title in kickboxing, along with my natural athletic talents, would help me succeed in the industry.

I decided to take the plunge and enter the stunt business full time! I found that I had a natural talent for the stunt industry and the ability to adapt to any job. Physical challenges stimulated me, and I found that I welcomed the stress and adrenaline rush. In 1986, I was cast to stunt double lead actress Brooke Shields in a big budget action film called Brenda Starr (1989). While the film didn’t do well at the box office, it gave me the opportunity to work with dozens of talented stunt people who remembered me and started calling me to work for them. From there, the opportunities never stopped…

At 5’9” tall and 125 pounds…

And a world title in kickboxing? Featherweight?

I got the opportunity to double most of the tall A-list actresses, from Kathleen Turner and Darryl Hannah to Sharon Stone. I went on to establish a career doubling leading ladies such as Sandra Bullock, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Garner, Rene Russo, Bridget Fonda, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ellen Barkin, Kelly Lynch, Kelly Preston, and more. I was at the top of my game, and had a reputation as an exceptional stuntwoman with talent behind the wheel of a car.

Compulsive name-dropping is a strong indicator of a fragile ego. Even in men.

In 1989, I was called to stunt double Darlene Vogel on Back to the Future Part II (1989). I was involved in a hoverboard sequence involving Michael J. Fox, Tom Wilson, and the “bad guys,” which included my actress Darlene Vogel. The job was a total blast! We spent our days chasing Michael J. Fox (and his stunt double) on piano wire supported hoverboards throughout this elaborate futuristic outdoor set.

Darlene Vogel’s stunt double was Lisa McCullough, not Cheryl.

The grand finale involved the bad guys (us) spinning out of control over a large pond, and crashing through a giant courthouse window. The grand finale was filmed separately and much time and planning had gone into the preparation of the stunt. There were four of us crashing through the window, and a cherry picker had pulled us back from the impact point approximately 50 or 60 feet. We were picked up at the hip, and our overhead wires were attached to a single arbor. When the cherry picker released us, we all swung towards the giant window with two white pillars on either side of it.

After two test runs proved deadly, Lisa exercised her contract’s escape clause for safety concerns. Cheryl “Eager-To-Please-Another-Celebrity” Wheeler-Dixon stepped up!

As we traveled towards the window, we started listing to the left. I was on the far left to begin with, so when we started listing to the left, I realized that I was going to hit the left pillar. Cabled, with no control and nowhere to go, I simply brought my knees and feet up and tried to soften the blow of the pillar when I hit it. As I slammed into the pillar, stopping all my forward momentum, I hoped and prayed that the special effects man with his finger on the release button saw what happened to me!

Unfortunately, all 4 of us were on the same release button, and as the other stunt people swung into the giant, candy-glass paned window, the special effects man didn’t see that I had hit the pillar and released all of us at the same time. Unfortunately, I was dangling next to the pillar outside, 20 feet above the concrete! As I dropped, my life flashed before my eyes. I just knew I was too high up to survive the fall…

They put this scene in the movie. Here’s the clip:

…and here’s a still image I pulled from it.

She’s on the left and was not supposed to hit that pillar. Bouncing off it meant she missed the airbag and hit the concrete from 20 feet up.

Miraculously, I woke up, still on the set and strapped to a board that immobilized my neck, back and legs. The talented on-set paramedics had revived me. I suffered a severe concussion and broke several bones in my face and right arm. My facial plate and brow bone were broken, as well as my right hand and wrist. The canvas flying harness custom made for Michael J. Fox saved me from breaking my back and/or hips. I was hospitalized for several weeks, and over the course of a year, endured four reconstructive surgeries to my face and arm. The following year I endured one more surgery to my jaw, an excruciating 8 hour surgery that ended with me having my jaw wired shut for 6 long weeks.

In 1991, at the end of all my surgeries and hospital visits, I was a mental, physical and emotional wreck. Months of drugs and pain killers, along with surgical anesthesia and other meds, had sapped my strength and wrecked my immune system. I was fatigued, sickly and tired all the time. Although I had started working again in the stunt industry, I was not in top form or anywhere near my pre-accident strong self!

With her career having hit a brick… floor, Cheryl fell back on the old-fashioned way to make a living: marrying up! To millionaire entrepreneur Robert Lindsey Duncan who, despite being very successful as a man, settled for her sloppy thirds with predictable results.

Genesis Founder Sues Stuntwoman, Nutrition Spokesperson Cheryl Sanders for Defamation

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160627005674/en/Genesis-Founder-Sues-Stuntwoman-Nutrition-Spokesperson-Cheryl

27 June 2016

AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Robert Lindsey Duncan, the founder of nutrition supplement companies Genesis Today, Inc. and Genesis Pure, Inc., recently filed a wide ranging civil lawsuit against celebrity spokesperson and stuntwoman Cheryl Sanders (a/k/a Cheryl Wheeler, Cheryl Duncan and Cheryl Dixon.)

As if being a washed-up Hollywood B-lister wasn’t enough of a red flag, that stuntwoman bride was a veteran of the EX Games! Cheryl’s twat has handled more traffic than the subway.

The lawsuit, filed in Texas state court by the Silva Law Firm, alleges among other counts that Sanders breached contracts and defamed Duncan by writing a malicious and disparaging letter about him and distributing it to the board members of two, well-respected and large supplement companies as well as employees and others.

The letter caused irreparable damage to Duncan’s reputation and negatively impacted the companies. The lawsuit alleges that Sanders was attempting to extort money from Duncan and states that Sanders made up the accusations because she was upset for personal reasons with Duncan, her former husband. Sanders later retracted her statement.

The lawsuit also alleges that Sanders willfully interfered with the board of Genesis Today by not only sending the letter but also visiting the company offices, verbally assaulting a secretary, threatening to disrupt board meetings and making abusive threats against Duncan.

God only knows how Cheryl expected Mr. Duncan to pay child support for the children from her previous marriages while she libels him in the press.

According to her LinkedIn profile, Sanders is a film producer with Traditionz Film, LLC in Los Angeles, co-owner of Genesis Today, Inc. and Genesis Pure, Inc., and a professional stuntwoman/actress. Sanders’ current husband Robert Reed Sanders of Lubbock, TX is also named in the lawsuit.

Husband Number Four? Maybe Wheeler was her original name. Sorry if I lose count.

The lawsuit further alleges that Sanders attempted to extort $1.5 million from Duncan via a nullified promissory note and on yet another occasion threatened to falsely allege that Duncan owed taxes to the IRS if he didn’t pay both defendants $8,000.

According to the lawsuit, in April of this year, both defendants tortuously interfered with an existing contract by stealing a new Audi Q-5 automobile owned by Duncan. The lawsuit further states that Duncan filed a claim for un-authorized use of a motor vehicle (UUMV-class C felony.)

A harbinger of how this story ended. It appears that Sanders was more Alpha Fux than Beta Bux, if you know what I mean.

The lawsuit alleges breach of contract, defamation, breach of fiduciary duty, civil theft, conversion, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The plaintiff seeks damages in excess of $200,000.

Cheryl and Sanders at a distance.

…And a close-up. Yikes! Her career and skull weren’t the only parts of Cheryl to hit a Wall.

Sanders is good-looking enough that I suspect Cheryl looked up a former movie-industry lover after her meal-ticket divorce was secure. He has strong cheekbones & jaw so probably an athlete from youth, and is aging well so probably no drug use. Although I wouldn’t bet on that in a movie-industry context.

And now, our feature presentation:

Cheryl Sanders & Robert Reed Sanders: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

By Jessica McBride, 16 February 2020

Cheryl Sanders is a former Hollywood stuntwoman who was killed along with her husband Robert “Reed” Sanders by her former weight loss guru husband, who opened fire in his driveway during a bizarre shootout in Ohio.

The VICTIM’S driveway! Holy smokes, the stuntwoman did it for real!

Lindsey Duncan and his wife Molly say they were ambushed at gunpoint by Cheryl and Reed outside their Yellow Springs, Ohio home, and they maintain the shooting deaths were self defense. According to the Dayton Daily News, Lindsey Duncan shot and killed both Cheryl and Reed Sanders in the driveway of his “multi-million dollar luxury home.” He was described by the newspaper as the founder of a “health/weight-loss company.”

Both Cheryl Sanders and Lindsey Duncan have had brushes with celebrity; he as a weight loss founder who has appeared on television, and she as a former stuntwoman for well-known Hollywood stars. No charges have been filed in the deaths, which remain under investigation.

Calls made to 911 dispatch by the Duncans shed some light on the deaths.

“I shot them, they came up to our window and had a gun pointed at my wife’s head,” Lindsey told 911 dispatchers, according to the Dayton Daily News.

“Someone is shooting at my husband,” Molly Duncan told 911 dispatch.

In a press conference, the Greene County Sheriff said the deaths did appear to be an ambush, according to Xenia Gazette. He said that Cheryl and Reed had “counterfeit temporary tags” on the car they were driving and that Robert Reed Sanders displayed a gun. Witnesses heard shouting and then gunshots, he said, but it was not clear who fired first.

The sheriff said that Robert Sanders threatened to kill Molly Duncan, so Lindsey had to defend himself. Lindsey too was armed and had a concealed weapon permit.

He added that Cheryl and Reed had erected a camera system to a nearby stump, broadcasting a live feed to a cell phone inside their vehicle.

Actors gonna act, even when it’s not an act anymore.

The Daily News reported that the deaths have been listed as justifiable homicides. Both Cheryl and Reed died from multiple gunshot wounds, the newspaper reported.

Nice Shootin’, Tex! Looks like pretending to be a villain for the camera doesn’t translate into real-life skills. She didn’t just lose the gunfight, either; she lost her life to a banker in her own ambush.

What happened that day, he said, was that he and his wife went to a coffee shop like they did almost every morning. Then they went to get eggs, kale and toast, and then they went home “like we do every day.”

When they pulled up to their gate, there was an Amazon package by a pillar. He told his wife, get the Amazon package and I’ll get the mail. She got out of her car and got the package and he got the mail “just like every other day and then all of a sudden hell began. All I really remember is a 6-4 or 6-5 man, who was probably 230 pounds with a camo mask. A full camo mask and hoodie. Ran to my wife’s driver’s side with a gun, and held it it about 10 inches from her head.” He broke down emotionally.

A badly staged ambush. If you’re going to kill then use a rifle at a distance. If you’re going to kidnap then do it one at a time. What did Sanders do, put a gun to wifey’s literal head and MISS?

“I thought it was a bad nightmare. I didn’t know what to do. Whatever happened after that, it was instinct… I was just operating after pure instinct…. she (Molly Duncan) was in the middle of two separate gun battles of bullets flying by her head…not one time but two separate times, and her being alive today, I’ll never be able to explain that. And it wasn’t one or two shots, it seemed like 100 shots.” He said that he couldn’t say more so as not to compromise the investigation.

Separate gun battles? While the perps surely deserved their dirt naps, the incident’s play-by-play is not matching up. Cheryl’s behavior isn’t mentioned at all in the publicly-released account even though she was killed during it.

His wife, her voice breaking, said, “I’m extremely thankful to be alive, and I’m thankful my husband is alive. He’s my absolute hero. Thank God he knew how to respond and stayed calm and knew exactly what to do. And God was on our side that day, no question. God orchestrated everything perfectly so we would survive. I’m a mother, and I still get to see my kids grow up. I’m thankful, and that’s it.” She also praised the Greene County Sheriff’s Department.

The couple’s friend and business partner tried to cast doubt on the story.

“I’m still reeling from it,” Adrian King told WLOS-TV. “I can’t even conceive that they would do something like that even if they were desperate.”

I can’t even conceive that a woman would try to murder her second ex-husband for not forking over her fair share of his money after being told all her adult life that she’s a world-class martial artist. *eye roll* I suspect the problem with the trust fund was that Cheryl got locked out of it. “The girls are adults now, they can handle their own money.” “I WILL SCORCH YOUR EARTH!”

Aha! Segue!

https://www.daytondailynews.com/news/crime–law/couple-describe-deadly-shooting-ambush-all-sudden-hell-began/MbgcZnBmB7U3ka7Skz3ASL/

On Friday, Adrian King, a former business partner of Reed Sanders, said money was at the root of the dispute between Duncan and Cheryl Sanders, who was a former Hollywood stunt actor.

“Supposedly, both Cheryl and Lindsey had to sign off on any money that was taken out of the (college) fund for the girls,” said King, 81, of North Carolina. “But part of the trust was that Lindsey could withhold funds if the girls didn’t go to a school that he approved of, and that’s what they were fighting over.”

Oops, I was wrong.

King said with both girls currently in college, and without access to the educational trust fund, “Reed and Cheryl had been put in a financial crunch.” He said the couple had filed a lawsuit over access to the money, but the issue had not been resolved.

OR WAS I? Hah!

King said he is a former business partner of Reed Sanders and is a lay minister who performed Reed and Cheryl’s wedding ceremony. He called himself Reed Sanders’ “closest confidant.”

Hmm, Sander’s “closest confidant” is a “former” business partner… but the name is too common for my search skills to follow.

End segue.

King told the television station that he believed Cheryl and Reed were traveling to Ohio to “settle a dispute over a trust fund for Cheryl and Lindsey’s two adult daughters.” He described tensions as difficult between Cheryl and her ex after their divorce and said the Sanders were “a Christian couple who had acting careers in Hollywood.”

Reporters asked the Duncan’s lawyer about that claim. The lawyer said he wasn’t “familiar with those facts” about a claim that they were trying to talk to the couple about an educational trust fund. At that point, Lindsey interjected, telling reporters: “With two weapons? With multiple clips that were loaded? Ski mask. Yep. The details of the investigation will all come up.”

Excellent point! It’s generally a mistake for a man to hold a press conference about his ex-wife’s murderous conduct in the immediate aftermath but Lindsey might have had experience at working a crowd. Even so, he kept his lawyer handy. Good boy.

However, the couples had a troubled history.

Oh, really.

Cheryl Sanders and Lindsey Duncan divorced in 2009. Court records show Lindsey once sued Cheryl and Reed for “defamation, slander, libel and other accusations,” the Dayton Daily News reported.

Dayton 247 Now reported that Lindsey claimed Cheryl sent a “malicious” letter about him.

The newspaper added that the sheriff revealed that Lindsey had reported to police that he was worried Cheryl would hire someone to kill him five years ago.

Timing is consistent with that defamation lawsuit. I guess we know who won it, whatever the official verdict had been.

Millionaires, don’t stick your dick in crazy. But if you do, make like Lindsay: cut her off, show no mercy and keep your powder dry.

 

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