A big THANK YOU to Milton Bagby for being so kind to share this with us. Milton is the writer and director of "Shadow Waltz."
When we were shooting "Shadow Waltz" (which the marketing people would later rename "Rebel Love"), we were filming a scene at Tannehill State Park in Alabama in which Confederate horsemen cross a stream and Terry's character Hightower meets up with the cavalry officer played by Charlie Hill. While we were setting up for that sequence, a park employee working at a nearby grist mill had an emergency and had to leave. As the man drove past our crew, one of the horses got skittish and backed into the road just as the man sped by. The collision caused a horrendous wound on the horse's hind quarter.
There was pandemonium. I didn't see the accident, only heard the collision and then the screams of the spectators. By the time I could run over to the scene, I saw people lying in the road covered with blood. I thought they had been struck by the vehicle. The horse was rearing, out of control. The wound on the horse was deep and sprayed blood like a garden hose.
Into this nightmare stepped Terence Knox. He helped one of the horsemen grab the reins. Just then, the two men on the ground started to sit up--it turned out they had been knocked down by the horse and, thank goodness, were okay. The horse was a different matter. It was bleeding to death. I thought it was a goner.
Terry took charge. He suggested that they walk the horse off the road and down into the creek. The cold water helped cool the horse and seemed to have a calming effect. While one man held a compress against the wound to stem the bleeding, Terry held the reins, rubbed the horse's neck, and talked softly to it. It took over an hour to locate a large animal veterinarian who could come to the park. Terry stayed in the creek with that horse the whole time, and believe me, that water was cold. Later, the horse's owner credited Terry with saving the animal's life.
Of course, the cast and crew were pretty shook up, and we scrubbed the schedule for the rest of the day. Still, we had a movie to make, and the next day we went back to work.
We had a great time shooting that movie, and Terry was the key. He was always cutting up and clowning around, but ready to go to work when the camera was on. His cheerfulness and lack of any "star" attitude while working with a first-time director and an inexperienced crew kept us all moving, and for that I will always be grateful. But when I think about Terry now, what I really recall is the guy's character--not the one grandly played out in front of a camera over several weeks, but the one who stood quietly in a creek with a scared animal for two hours. In a bad situation, Terry had been a real hero. And for the life of me, I don't recall him ever mentioning the incident again.