The Dude Who Jumped Off The CN Tower in 1979 by Adam Bunch

Dar Robinson spent the seventies earning a reputation as one of Hollywood's greatest stuntmen. He'd done stuff in Steve McQueen and Clint Eastwood films, jumping out of helicopters  onto airbags, driving over cliffs and then parachuting to safety, leaping from tall buildings. He set world records all over the place. But the most famous thing he ever did was to jump off the CN Tower.

He did it twice. The first time was with a parachute in 1979, when he was Christopher Plummer's stunt double in Highpoint (I'd link to the movie's Wikipedia page but there isn't one). And the very next year, he did it again as part of a documentary being made about him (hosted by Chuck Norris, thank you very much). This time Robinson was attached to a cable system he'd invented. And, unlike the bag of water they'd tested it with, he didn't get smashed to a pulp.

In fact, he'd go another six years before getting smashed to a pulp. He even got to be in Lethal Weapon first. But then, while doing a motorcycle stunt for Million Dollar Mystery (nominated for three worst supporting actors and a worst original song at the Razzies), he missed a turn on his motorcycle and went flying off a cliff. Lethal Weapon is dedicated to his memory.

Here's part of the documentary about the CN Tower jump. It's kind of totally crazy:


Adam Bunch is the Editor-in-Chief of the Little Red Umbrella and the creator of the Toronto Dreams Project. You can read his posts here, follow him on Twitter here, or email him at

This post originally appeared on the Toronto Dreams Project Historical Ephemera Blog, which tells stories about the history of Toronto. You can read more highlights from it here, or visit it yourself here.


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