When Windsorite Nick Marra first met a young hockey player named Bob Probert at a preseason game at Windsor Arena back in the mid 1980’s, he had no idea that Probert was destined to become a NHL legend.
When Marra read the game program and saw that the two shared Windsor as a home town, he decided to introduce himself to Probert. The pair hit it off pretty quickly and were soon hanging out at Probert’s family home in Windsor.
“I actually made his first two fight tapes for him,” said Marra, who now lives in Woodland Hills, California about 32 km north of Los Angeles.
The two stayed friends for years even after Marra moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in Hollywood as a sculptor and designer on Hollywood films such as Jurassic Park, Man of Steel, Star Trek and many more.
In this case it was about capturing the essence of Bob on the ice, there’s a certain menace that he has on the ice, that he didn’t really have off the ice– Nick Marra, Hollywood sculptor and designer
The last time Marra saw Probert was at a hockey game between Probert’s Chicago Black Hawks and the LA Kings in the mid 1990’s.
“When Probert took the ice it was electric, you knew something was going to happen,” said Marra.
“It could be a hit, a fight, that last game he got a break away and scored a goal. He had a way of taking over a game sometimes.”
Probert passed away in 2010 from a heart attack and it wasn’t until years later that Marra got the idea to make the bronze bust to commemorate his friend.
“I was thinking of a way to give back to the Probert family and maybe create a limited run of these busts that could be auctioned off for one of the charities that Bob was involved with.”
Marra said that he would like to get in touch with the Probert’s widow Dani, to see if something can be arranged.
Marra said that in his line of sculpting for Hollywood, there are artists that specialize in animals and aliens, but his personal forte has always been capturing the essence of people.
“In this case it was about capturing the essence of Bob on the ice, there’s a certain menace that he has on the ice, that he didn’t really have off the ice”.
Marra said that what he liked most about his time with Probert was that he always stayed humble.
“No matter how famous he became, Bob never changed.”