What Duel's Mystery Truck Driver Looks Like

Steven Spielberg‘s early horror film Duel featured the world’s scariest truck driver, and here’s what he actually looked like behind the scenes. When one is driving on the highway, or even sometimes just a busy regular road, there are few things as intimidating as being close to a semi-truck. They’re enormous, powerful vehicles, and while chances are the person driving them is just looking to do their job, if the driver decided to turn their large vehicle against another motorist or a pedestrian, the truck is definitely going to win that fight.

Add to the inherent intimidation factor of a semi-truck the ever-present concept of “road rage,” and what results could be a recipe for disaster. Many people have a hard time controlling their temper behind the wheel, and instances of angry drivers plowing into other vehicles they feel wronged them aren’t unheard of. The chances of such a confrontation might be slim, but they’re not zero, and that makes for a truly terrifying prospect.

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While more than one horror movie has made use of a sinister driver to menace its protagonist, perhaps none have done it better than Duel, a white-knuckle suspense piece pitting a traveling salesman against the trucker from Hell. This driver is never seen during the film, but we do know who played him, and it’s someone with quite the impressive resume.

What Duel’s Mystery Truck Driver Looks Like

Carey Loftin

The man behind Duel‘s unhinged faceless truck driver villain was Carey Loftin, one of the most decorated stunt performers in the history of Hollywood. Particularly renowned for his skills as a stunt driver, Loftin’s career spanned an astounding six decades, beginning in 1937, the early days of motion pictures.

Besides playing the truck driver in Duel, who does appear onscreen a few times despite his face being hidden, Loftin also served as Duel‘s stunt coordinator, and did all the stunt driving for the truck. A former U.S. Marine, it sure seems like Loftin was a pretty tough guy, to say the least.


It also sounds like Loftin had a sense of humor about himself, thanks to a legendary exchange he had with Steven Spielberg on the Duel set.

At one point, Loftin asked Spielberg what the driver’s motivation was for relentlessly tormenting Dennis Weaver’s David Mann character. Spielberg, still in the infancy of his directorial career, simply told Loftin “You’re a dirty, rotten, no-good son of a bitch.” Hilariously, Loftin is said to have responded with “Kid, you hired the right man.” Some of Loftin’s other notable stunt credits include The French Connection, Vanishing Point, Bullitt, Days of Thunder, and Stephen King‘s one and only directorial effort, Maximum Overdrive.


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Related TopicsAbout The AuthorMichael Kennedy (3811 Articles Published)

Michael Kennedy is an avid movie and TV fan that’s been working for Screen Rant in various capacities since 2014. In that time, Michael has written over 2000 articles for the site, first working solely as a news writer, then later as a senior writer and associate news editor.

Most recently, Michael helped launch Screen Rant’s new horror section, and is now the lead staff writer when it comes to all things frightening. A FL native, Michael is passionate about pop culture, and earned an AS degree in film production in 2012. He also loves both Marvel and DC movies, and wishes every superhero fan could just get along.

When not writing, Michael enjoys going to concerts, taking in live professional wrestling, and debating pop culture.

A long-term member of the Screen Rant family, Michael looks forward to continuing on creating new content for the site for many more years to come.

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