Stunt teams are often the unsung heroes of action films. They’re the faceless names making the A-list actors we know and love look badass. They make us believe the high-flying and death-defying choreography can be pulled off. The art is not recognized enough by Hollywood. One stuntwoman who has worked in more than 70 film and television projects since the ‘80s was killed Wednesday at 59-years-old... after a shootout that involved her allegedly aiming fire at her ex.
Cheryl Sanders and her husband Robert Reed Sanders were both killed this week during a shootout in Yellow Springs, Ohio, according to the Dayton Daily News. Sanders’ ex-husband Lindsay Duncan is connected to the deaths, per WHIO, as the Sanders were allegedly armed with guns when they ambushed Duncan and his wife in the driveway of their million-dollar residence. The report has listed the incident as “justifiable homicide."
According to a friend of the couple, the shootout was over the matter of having access to their children’s college fund. Lindsay Duncan and Cheryl Sanders have two daughters of college age. They married in 1999, divorced back in 2009 and records indicate their relationship remained “sour," per WHIO. Lindsay is the founder and CEO of the health and fitness brand, Genesis Today. He sued Cheryl and Robert Sanders back in 2016 for alleged defamation, slander, and libel among other accusations of his brand.
The stuntwoman was a stunt double for the likes of Brooke Shields, Sharon Stone, Rene Russo, and Kathleen Turner, to name a few. Often credited as Cheryl Wheeler Duncan, the late stuntwoman started off as an expert in martial arts and kickboxing before she pursued work in Hollywood in 1987. Her first movie was Fatal Beauty starring Whoopi Goldberg and Sam Elliott. She moved on to more projects such as in Bird on a Wire, Die Hard 2 and stunt work for the Lethal Weapon movies.
However, when she worked on Back to the Future Part II she had a major stunt incident. She was a double for one of the members of the teen gang going after Marty McFly in the hoverboard sequence when the young time traveler is in "2015." During the stunt where the gang falls through the window of the clock tower, Cheryl fell 20 feet, shattering bones in her face, right arm, and hand.
The accident came after a series of moving parts during the scene shifted around, such as the type of glass or rocket on the back of Biff’s hoverboard. The first stuntwoman actually bowed out of taking part in the scene and Cheryl Sanders stepped in. After the major fall, she still did work in movies such as Batman & Robin, The Mask, Charlie’s Angels, and Thor. Her latest project was in 2015’s Dark Places starring Charlize Theron.
Greene County investigators are still exploring further into the shootout.