Movie Stunt Double
Born in October of 1925, Edith Connelly developed an abiding love of horses early in life, and this brought her into the sport of rodeo. She learned trick riding from Buck Abbott in the early 1940s, joined the RCA in 1945 and performed in the arena until 1972. Among the era’s trick riding performers, she was particularly well known for her perfection of the hippodrome stand.
Connelly also worked as a secretary during much of her career in rodeo, serving the Golden State Rodeo Company, the Mesquite Championship Rodeo, the Girl’s Rodeo Association (the forerunner of today’s Women’s Professional Rodeo Association), and venues ranging from the Salinas Rodeo to Madison Square Garden. She helped start the Pro Rodeo Judging System and was one of the designers of the “Day Sheet,” which is still used today in its original form.
Outside the rodeo arena, Edith Connelly was a well-known stunt woman. She doubled for stars like Betty Hutton, Dorothy Malone and Irene Dunn, and appeared in films such as Annie Get Your Gun and Westward The Women. In later years, she also participated in many civic and charitable programs, including Special Olympics, Friends of Rodeo and Meals on Wheels. Edith Happy Connelly passed away in 1999.