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In 1955, Red West was the driver for Presley and band members Scotty Moore, Bill Black, and later D.J. Fontana when they toured the U.S. South performing live concerts as the "Blue Moon Boys."
Red West (born 1936 in Memphis, Tennessee) is an American actor, film stuntman and songwriter.
Born Robert Eugene West, he was a close high school friend of rock and roll singer Elvis Presley. An excellent athlete and former U.S. Marine, West played football for his high school and junior college teams and was a boxer in the Golden Glove championships.
In 1960, following Presley's discharge from the United States Army, Red West went to work for the singer as a bodyguard and became known as one of the media-dubbed Memphis Mafia. When Presley was making films in the 1960s in Hollywood, Red West appeared in small roles in sixteen of the star's films.
During this time, West became good friends with actor Nick Adams and his physical abilities got him hired on as a stuntman on Adams' television series, The Rebel. From there, West went on to do more stunt work in film as well as developing a career as an actor in a number of motion pictures and on television. In addition, West was a talented songwriter who wrote songs that not only Elvis Presley recorded but also were recorded by teen idols Ricky Nelson, Pat Boone and Johnny Rivers.
In 1976, Red West was involved in a series of heavy-handed incidents in Las Vegas with aggressive fans that got out of hand and drew growing criticism by the media. As a result, Red West and two other bodyguards were fired by Vernon Presley. West continued his career in film and in 1977 collaborated with the other two former Presley bodyguards and a professional writer on a book about their time working for Elvis Presley titled "Elvis: What Happened" (ISBN 0345272153).
Today, Red West continues to work in motion pictures, his most recent role in the 2006 film, Glory Road.
In 1961, Red West married one of Presley's secretaries. Their son John Boyd West is a Hollywood actor.
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