Knievel, who died aged 69 in 2007, was by various accounts a hard-drinking, abusive lout, reports Montville, who quotes promoter Bob Arum as saying: "He was a creation of network television. It was totally non-purposeful...totally crap. That was what he was."
Knievel had summoned Hamilton to his Hollywood motel because he had been told the movie in which Hamilton was due to star would be a critical portrayal of him.
He ordered the actor to read the script at gunpoint and when he did, Knievel was satisfied to hear that it was an unbiased look at his life.