We bet you did not know that Thomas Skeoch born June 12, 1909 in Carluke, Lanarkshire, Scotland went on to be Tom Steele a stuntman and actor in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. He is best remembered for appearing in serials, especially those produced by Republic Pictures. and such serials as “Undersea Kingdom” and “Mysterious Doctor Satan” in both of which he played mechanical robots. He was a very skilled horseman, and played polo competitively as a young man and also worked for a time in a steel mill, which was the source of his professional name Tom "Steele." acting and doubling for such stars as Allan Lane and Clayton Moore.
At the start of the Depression he relocated to Hollywood to become an actor, and made his film debut in 1930 in the Western The Lone Star Ranger. But soon Steele, relying on his skill as a horseman (he had played polo professionally with the San Mateo Redcoats), changed to stunts for better money and regular work. Despite this he can be seen playing many bit parts throughout his career, mostly as "heavies" or minor henchmen, whose main role was to be part of a fight scene. His visible but non-speaking role as a prison guard in 1947's Brute Force is a good example of this.
During the 1930s Steele worked frequently at Universal with a group of fellow stuntmen who called themselves "The Cousins." None were related, but they all pitched in to help each other out with their gags and refine the art of stuntwork. Steele, in fact, is credited with the idea of wearing stunt pads, which he first fashioned from old football padding. The Cousins also included Dave Sharpe, Carey Loftin, Eddie Parker, Ken Terrell, Bud Wolfe, Louis Tomei and Loren Riebe. Steele and Sharpe were still working together well into the 1970s on such films as Blazing Saddles (Steele is the townsman who falls out of his chair at the sight of Sheriff Bart, and Sharpe is the man flipped and dragged through the mud by the villains).