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Robert W. Tessier (June 2, 1934 – October 11, 1990) was an American actor and stuntman who was best known for playing heavy, menacing characters in films and on television.

Robert Tessier
Born(1934-06-02)June 2, 1934
DiedOctober 11, 1990(1990-10-11) (aged 56)
OccupationActor, Stuntman


Early lifeEdit

Born in Lowell, Massachusetts of Algonquian descent, Tessier served as a paratrooper in the Korean War earning both a Silver Star and Purple Heart.

Performing careerEdit

Tessier was an accomplished motorcycle rider doing stunts in the circus. These skills helped him secure his first film role in The Born Losers directed by Tom Laughlin.

With his shaven head, size and threatening appearance, Tessier went on to play a series of villainous roles on both TV and in film. He later formed a stunt troupe called Stunts Unlimited with director Hal Needham.

Tessier starred as the menacing convict "Connie Shokner" in the 1974 comedy-drama The Longest Yard with Burt Reynolds (whom he counted as one of his friends) and as Kevin in The Deep. He also played a bare knuckle fighter in the Charles Bronson film Hard Times.

In his spare time, Tessier was an accomplished cabinet maker often making pieces for his co-stars.


Tessier died of cancer in 1990.[1]




External linksEdit

  • Robert Tessier on IMDb
  • Robert Tessier at the TCM Movie Database
  • "Robert Tessier". Find a Grave. Retrieved 2008-02-05.