Debbie Evans is considered one of Hollywood’s top stunt women. The writing was on the wall from the age of six when she started riding motorcycles in her hometown of Lakewood, California. By the age of nine she started competing in the sport of motorcycle trials. Her father, David Evans competed in motorcycle observed trials and she grew up attending motorcycle competitions and learned her riding and trials skills from her father. He is an icon himself, having been featured in the seminal motorcycle documentary movie, “On Any Sunday.”
She began competing in trials and enduro events, usually as the only female in the competition. By 1976, she became the first woman to reach the rank of expert, successfully competing against the men. In 1978 at the age of 19, she accepted an invitation to compete in the grueling Scottish Six Days Trial, at the suggestion of Bill Emmison of UK importation firm BERM Specialties and with support from Gordon Farley Motorcycles England.
Although some enthusiasts thought that the trial may be too difficult for Evans, she proved her skill by not only finishing the event, but finishing in a respectable fourth place against male competitors in the 175cc division. She was considered the best female observed trials rider in the United States, earning factory-backed sponsorship from Yamaha.
Also in 1978, Debbie tied for second overall in the CBS Stunt Competition, which launched her career as she was the only female competitor in attendance. She impressively won first place in the car race, beating out all of the top male stunt drivers. Her entertainment roots would grow deeper with thrilling halftime shows at various stadium events. She became known for a deceptively difficult trick- she would balance her motorcycle with no kickstand or bracing of any kind and perform a headstand on the seat.
“DEBBIE EVANS TRICK TRIALIST~ Debbie Evans, the teenageCalifornia girl who rides on the Yamaha American Trials team, was recently in Europe and took the opportunity to visit French dealers in the mountain region on Haut Savoie where she was to practice her other favorite sport, skiing. Debbie’s sense of balance is so acute that she can even do a headstand on the seat of her trials bike as she balances it upright… without a stand or any means of support. Earlier this year, she proved to trials enthusiasts all over Europe that she is equally as good a trials rider as she is a balance artist by making her debut in the toughest trial of them all, the Scottish Six Days. Her performance impressed both spectators and fellow riders alike… Debbie completed the six days and placed better than any other female rider has ever done.”
Not one to shy away from the challenge of a male-dominated field, Debbie Evans accepted the offer to do a motorcycle jump over a 30-foot ravine for the movie ‘Deathsport.’ This job would be the beginning of a stunt career that would span decades, and garner her accolades and awards for future work to come. She was a pioneer for women in stunt work, doing everything from cannon rolls to car hits (which only men were allowed to do at one time). She has even set the world record for long and high jumps for an air ramp.
Debbie Evans has been the stunt double in many famous franchises throughout the years, from Trinity in The Matrix: Reloaded, through Terminator 2: Judgement Day, and even as recently as Fate of the Furious in the Fast and Furious movie franchise. Even now well into her 60s, she continues to blow minds.