The top 7 best female stunt riders

...and three times women riders were overlooked by Hollywood 

Sarah Lezito

We all love a great movie motorcycle stunt scene or chase, don’t we? And we all have even more respect when they’re done by women riders, because sadly, for years female stunt riders and performers were 'overlooked'.

Instead, many films used a practice known as ‘wigging’ – where male stunt performers would undertake stunts for female roles by wearing wigs and suchlike. Remember that famous scene in Bond flick Thunderball, whereby Spectre villainess Fiona Volpe rode a rocket-firing BSA but was actually stunt-doubled by a man in a wig (often referred to as GP star Bill Ivy but actually Johnny Walker)?

Well, times have finally changed, as these stunt stars below testify, although not wholly so…

1. Jenny Tinmouth 

Racer, mechanic, TT lap record holder and all-round good egg Jenny began doing movie stunt work in 2014 when she joined Wade Eastwood’s stunt team (Eastwood Action) for the Mission Impossible franchise. In Mission: Impossible 5 and 6 she was the motorcycle riding stunt double for star Rebecca Ferguson and has since worked on Mission Impossible 7, The Mummy as well as Black Widow.

2. Sarah Lezito 

Sometimes called ‘the best stuntwoman in the world’, French star Sarah has been riding since she was seven, has over two million fans on Facebook, can slide, drift and wheelie like virtually no one else and doubled for Scarlett Johansson in both Avengers 2 (on a Harley-Davidson LiveWire) and Black Widow (on a CCM). She also did the stunt riding on a Ducati Monster in The Girl in the Spider’s Web.

3. Debbie Evans 

One of the original and most successful women movie stunt riders of all. Californian Evans was born in 1958 and became a successful trials rider in the 1970s. From the 1980s onwards she became a full-time stunt rider, appearing in over 200 movies and TV shows, most famously doubled for Carrie-Ann Moss aboard a Ducati 998 in The Matrix Reloaded, as well as The Fast and Furious and doubling for now less than Pamela Anderson aboard a Triumph Tiger in Barb Wire. In 2003 she was inducted into the AMA Hall of Fame.

4. Jolene Van Vugt

A Canadian with Dutch ancestry, Van Vugt, born in 1980, became the first Women's Canadian Motocross National Champion, the first woman to backflip a full-sized dirt bike ramp to ramp, is the holder of multiple Guinness World Records and co-star of many motocross/stunt videos. 

She was also a regular in the Nitro Circus TV show. In movieland, her most famous outing is as the Batpod riding body double for Catwoman, played by Ann Hathaway, in The Dark Knight Rises. She also appeared more recently in Matrix Ressurrections.

5. Katie Eischen 

Less a motorcycle stunt rider, more, in her words, a ‘movie crash test dummy’, it was Eischen who body-doubled for pillion-riding Rachel Weisz in the motorcycle chase scene in The Bourne Legacy. 

Pillion riding? What’s the big deal? You might ask. Well, think about it. Few riders like going pillion, and fewer still on a Honda trail bike at speed behind legendary stunt rider Jean-Pierre Goy (doubling for star Jeremy Renner) all done in one take due to fading light. Katie, we salute you.

6. Kitty O’Neil 

Probably one of the most pioneering and successful female stunt performers and riders of all. Born in 1946 and deaf from the age of four, Kitty not only did stunts on The Blues Brothers and The Omen II, but she was also one of the doubles used by Linda Carter in the 1970s Wonder Woman TV show, famously riding a Kawasaki KE175 in one episode, and even had time to set a women’s world land speed record in 1977 – 512mph – which still stands. She died in 2018.

7. Maya Chesca Miles 

OK, Chesca’s probably not as celebrated or has appeared in as many iconic movie moments as some of the others here, but the UK model-turned-stuntwoman’s appearance in Fast & Furious 6 justifies her inclusion here. Hailing from Staines, Chesca began riding at 14, became a pro stunt rider in 2011 aged just 20 and developed a significant following on social media. She’s also a singer and songwriter.


Here are a few more that aren’t what they seem…

Charlie’s Angels, Full Throttle

You’d be forgiven for thinking the sequel to the all-female-action flick Charlie’s Angels, especially as a key action sequence sees our heroines, played by Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu and Drew Barrymore, enter a motocross race, would be a prime contender to be full of female stunt riders – but not so. At all. 

Instead, over 20 top male supercross racers were enlisted, including  Jeremy McGrath, Ricky Carmichael, and freestyle legend Mike Metzger, who had to perform his signature backflip wearing a chest protector modified with false ‘breasts’ in order to double for star Diaz. 

Knight and Day 

Katie Eischen must be cursing for her missed pillion ‘opportunity’. 2010’s Knight and Day saw movie star and motorcycle nut Tom Cruise chasing around Seville on a Ducati Hypermotard with Cameron Diaz on the back. Except, for a lot of the time, he wasn’t. Infamously, the Ducati was substituted for a disguised Aprilia SXV550 for some of the scenes while Cameron herself was body-doubled not by a stunt woman but by, well, a dummy. 

And even Lara Croft! 

Finally, and just to prove that ‘wigging’ is not completely ‘dead’ (well, it wasn’t in 2003), just over 20 years ago Angelina Jolie was putting together the action flick Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life when one action sequence demanded a motorcycle chase scene. Naturally, although ‘AJ’ can ride a bike, the risks required a stunt double, so who did they choose? Debbie Evans? No, they chose Brit Andy – for Andrew – Godbold, a bike stunt veteran of dozens of films including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Atonement, who also doubled for Angelina for the bike scenes in Salt and worked with Guy Martin in his recent recreation of the jump from The Great Escape.