Bob Bondurant, the mentor to actors in the 1950s, has died

The gravel is hard to get out of here. Bob Bondurant, the renowned racer who also took on the role of mentor to budding actors while training them on the track at Hollywood Raceway…

The gravel is hard to get out of here.

Bob Bondurant, the renowned racer who also took on the role of mentor to budding actors while training them on the track at Hollywood Raceway during the 1950s, died at his Thousand Oaks home Wednesday night. He was 88.

Mr. Bondurant and his four-man team trained the young actors like Sam Wanamaker, the British native best known for his portrayal of John McIntyre in the Charlie Chaplin film “The Circus,” and Edith Evans, later best known for her role as nurse Dorcas Bell in Alfred Hitchcock’s adaptation of the stage play “The 39 Steps.” When the actors graduated from Hollywood Raceway to the Hollywood Marathon, Mr. Bondurant took out a contract for the next year with Universal Pictures to coach them on the film set.

After retiring from racing in 1986, Mr. Bondurant returned to Hollywood Raceway as an instructor. He coached 90 people in that role, but often was also asked to evaluate the drive of children or old people who were working with him on the track as equals.

He is survived by his wife, Charlene; two sons, Michael and Jonathan; a sister, Judith Baggerly; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. A funeral service will be held at a private location. A celebration of Mr. Bondurant’s life and racing career will be held at a later date.

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