Langley stuntman and former world kickboxing champ remembered

Tony Morelli accomplished a lot in his 58 years.

He held the world cruiserweight kickboxing title from 1980 to ’83.

He was an accomplished stunt performer and coordinator, a 25-year member of Stunts Canada whose many credits include First Blood, The X-Files, Scary Movie 4, the Final Destination films, The 6th Day, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Flash Season 1, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and Reindeer Games, just to name a few.

A world class stuntman and stunt coordinator, Tony was one of the founders of the stunt business in Vancouver and was one of the first members of Stunts Canada.

But if you ask his family and friends, Tony’s greatest accomplishment was being a loving father and husband and a devoted friend.

Tony passed away unexpectedly on April 19, leaving behind his high school sweetheart and wife Julie, and three grown children: Jewell, Samantha, and Anthony, as well as his brother Randy and sister Vicky.

Brad Loree was Tony’s friend for more than 40 years. Loree was Tony’s sparring partner during his martial arts days and helped teach at Tony’s karate school in Langley.

“We were best friends,” Loree said. “He was like a second brother. He was an exemplary friend and the most loving, devoted husband and father. And he was one of the least judgemental people I’ve ever known. Tony wasn’t the type of guy who would wallow over things he didn’t have control over.”

kickboxer
Former world kickboxing champion Tony Morelli showed his athleticism in the early 1980s.

Tony was born May 16, 1956 in Lytton, and at the age of three moved with his family to Langley where he would spend most of his life.

Following his successful career in martial arts, in which he became the first Canadian to ever capture a world kickboxing title, Tony shifted to the movie business, and in the early ’80s started doing stand-in stunt work in the movies.

He was actually working on set on Thursday, April 16 and passed away at his home three days later.

April 19 also happened to be the day that Tony won his world kickboxing championship in 1980.

Tony met Julie in high school and they married in 1981.

Julie said her husband was “amazing.”

“He loved and adored his family,” she said. “There hadn’t been a day that went by where he hadn’t said, ‘I love you.’ He was everything to us: an amazing husband and father. There is so much to say, that it’s so hard to put it into a little capsule. He was very close to his family and everybody is very devastated.”

A Tony Morelli Memorial Fund has been started by Stunts Canada. Donations will help his family financially in the immediate future.

Visit the page by clicking here.

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