Fund set up for prolific 'Game of Thrones' and Marvel stuntman Brian 'Sonny' Nickels who died at 54

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Brian 'Sonny' Nickels (Credit: Simone Nickels)

A GoFundMe page for renowned stunt performer and stunt coordinator Brian 'Sonny' Nickels, who died at the age of 54, has been set up to help his young family.

Brian died suddenly last month following a cardiac arrest at his home in West London, leaving behind his wife Simone and his two children, Sienna and Rocco, aged seven and three.

He had been a prolific stuntman since the late 90s, making one of his first appearances on screen in Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies in 1997.

Nickels went on to make dozens of appearances on TV shows including Life on Mars, Band of Brothers, and latterly on Top Boy, Peaky Blinders, Killing Eve and Game of Thrones, appearing in several episodes of the hit HBO show's first season.

Brian 'Sonny' Nickels with his family, daughter Sienna, son Rocco and wife Simone (Credit: Simone Nickels)

His film work was equally prolific, working as a stunt performer in Marvel movies including Avengers: Age of Ultron, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The First Avenger and Guardians of the Galaxy.

Following that first appearance in the Bond series, he went on to perform in Skyfall and Spectre, as well as the Bourne films, fighting Matt Damon in the final movie, Jason Bourne in 2016.

He also worked on Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Hobbs & Shaw, Kingsman: The Golden Circle and the final two Harry Potter movies, and had in the last year moved up into the world of stunt coordinating.

A talented professional boxer, he retired at 25 to fulfil his dream of becoming a stuntman after getting his big break from legendary former heavyweight boxer turned stunt coordinator Frederick 'Nosher' Powell.

His wife Simone, who also worked as his assistant, PA and as a stunt department coordinator, told Yahoo Movies UK: “He was one of the hardest working men ever. Ever.

“And he lived to make other people happy. It's all he wanted to do. He didn't take any day for granted. Every day he had, he lived it to the fullest. But he was also very charitable. He would never save or keep money. He'd just do whatever he could to help people.”

His charitable nature stemmed from his own personal tragedy – losing his 15-year-old son to cancer in 2009, after which he worked tirelessly to raise thousands of pounds for UCL's teenage cancer unit, arranging charity boxing events and visits.

He also fought for recognition for stunt performers, campaigning for better awareness of the work stunt performers do with the British Stunt Register.

“You read what people have said about him [since he passed away]. They've said 'It was a pleasure to see his name on the call sheet, because you knew you were going to have the best day at work',” Simone adds.

“I got an email from [Bourne director Paul Greengrass], saying what an amazing man Brian was, it was incredible. He said that it was an honour and a privilege to work with him, which says it all.” (Nickels also worked with Greengrass on United 93 and Captain Phillips).

Now friends have set up a GoFundMe page, with the hope of raising money to help with financial expenses following his death.

At the time of writing, it has raised more than £16,000.

“He suffered the greatest loss of his life, his son, but all he wanted to do after that is make people smile. He realised how precious life was,” Simone adds. “He lived for that.”

You can check out the fundraising page here...