Bass, a graduate of Morningside High School in Inglewood, California, was an enthusiast of the martial arts. As a teenager, he became a judo champion, meeting Gene LeBell who introduced him to the stunt industry in Hollywood.
Bass served in the military, initially as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division and then in Special Forces to become a special forces instructor. He resumed competing in judo and attained the rank of third degree black belt.
Bass made a career in movies and television in a variety of genres working with Burt Reynolds, Sylvester Stallone, and John Wayne. He taught martial arts and weapons handling to Geena Davis, Michael Douglas, Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Susan Sarandon, and Kathleen Turner. Bass appeared in TV commercials and TV series such as Fantasy Island, MacGyver, Mission: Impossible, Star Trek: The Original Series, The A-Team, and The Twilight Zone.
Bass also championed safer working conditions for the stunt industry, especially after his then fiancee and Melanie Griffith's best friend, Heidi von Beltz was forever paralyzed performing a stunt in 1980 for Cannonball Run.
At the time of his death, Bobby Bass was married to Norma Collins. He had two children from his first marriage, and four grandchildren therefrom. He had four step-children (including actress Bo Derek), and six grandchildren therefrom. He suffered from Parkinson's disease until his death in Los Angeles.
|1973||The Don Is Dead||Hijacker||Uncredited|
|1976||Bound for Glory||Head Goon at Migrant Camp|
|1980||The Ninth Configuration||Driver|
|1980||Tom Horn||Corbett's Bodyguard|
|1980||The Hunter||Matthew Branch|
|1983||Star 80||1st Hood|
|1985||To Live and Die in L.A.||FBI Agent #1|
|1987||The Squeeze||Poker Player|
|1990||Heart Condition||Armed Man|
|1933||Excessive Force||Limo Driver|
|1994||Pentathlon||Bartender / Patron|
|1995||Jade||Assistant District Attorney|
|1996||My Fellow Americans||NSA Hitman #1|
|1997||Grosse Pointe Blank||Assassin #1|
- "Bobby Bass". stungplayers.com. Archived from the original on 2007-10-24. Retrieved 2007-11-14.
- Freese, Gene Scott (2014). Hollywood Stunt Performers, 1910s-1970s: A Biographical Dictionary (2nd ed.). Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 18. ISBN 9781476614700.
- O'Neill, Terry (1987). "Lethal Weapon Terry O'Neill interviews Mel Gibson". Fighting Arts International. No. 44. England. p. 12. OCLC 500109467. Archived from the original on 2003-01-02. Retrieved 2018-11-09.
- "Bobby Bass". variety.com. 12 November 2001. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
- "First Peek". melaniegriffith.com. Archived from the original on 26 June 2001.