Despite having left Hollywood decades ago, David Stollery says people still recall his acting years.
“I appreciate that they remember me, mostly from ‘The Adventures of Spin and Marty’ in the 50s,” said 78-year-old Stollery, referring to the short western serial set at a summer boys’ camp which aired during Disney’s original “Mickey Mouse Club” show on ABC.
Stollery played Marty, a pompous rich kid who befriends the camp’s most popular kid, Spin, played by Tim Considine. The young actors didn’t shy away from danger on “Spin and Marty.”
“Tim and I did our own riding stunts. We were taught how to ride bareback, to stay on a horse when it reared up, and to rope a calf. We never gave it another thought that we might get injured because it was just part of the job.”
Stollery appeared in dozens of movies and TV shows by the time he was 18 when he suddenly quit the business.
“I started working when I was 6 years old, became well-known, and was making good money,” he said. “I asked myself if this was what I wanted to do with my life and the answer was ‘No!’”
He studied automotive design at college and worked for General Motors in the 60s, then Toyota. Today, his Santa Ana company Industrial Design Research, Inc. designs lifeguard observation towers and has sold over 700 of the modern fiberglass towers around the U.S. and internationally (see www.surveyorlifeguardtowers.com).
That dedication to work was instilled in Stollery by his parents and it’s a philosophy he has maintained throughout his career whether working for Disney, GM, Toyota, or himself.
“You listen to people, learn from them, and work to improve yourself or the product you’re making,” he says. “That’s the way I do business.”