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 Dan Duryea

Dan Duryea

Birth
White Plains, Westchester County, New York, USA
Death 8 Jun 1968 (aged 61)
Hollywood, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Morning Light, Lot 7347, Space 3
Memorial ID 3084 · View Source
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Actor. He was known for playing villains and for his unique laugh. Born in White Plains, New York, he graduated with an English degree from Cornell University in 1928, having been president of the college drama society. He then got a job as a space salesman with an advertising agency, but, after several years, the strenuous pace of the profession triggered a heart attack. He spent almost a year in bed rest and was faced with the task of finding a less stressful occupation. He turned to acting and never looked back. He gained experience by working in summer stock before landing a bit-part on Broadway in 1935. Four years later, he played the role of Leo in "The Little Foxes". It was this role that shot him to stardom. After playing the part for the entire Broadway run and the national tour, Samuel Goldwyn bought the film rights to the play and Duryea was taken to Hollywood to portray his role on the Silver Screen. It was the start of a long career in which he was usually the villain in films that ranged from film noir to Westerns. He appeared in films such as: "The Pride of the Yankees," "Mrs. Parkington," "Scarlet Street" and "Lady on a Train." He also played the heavy in a lot of Westerns opposite such stars as Jimmy Stewart, Gary Cooper and Audie Murphy. These included the films "Along Came Jones," "Winchester '73," "Night Passage," and "Ride Clear of Diablo." In the 1950s he added television to his career with guest appearances on such shows as "Wagon Train," "Bonanza," and "G.E. True Theater," a performance that earned him an Emmy nomination. He even had his own TV show, "The Adventures of China Smith." His true personality and home-life were the exact opposite of the one that he created on film. He married Helen Bryan in 1932 and they had two sons, Richard and Peter. Duryea was soft-spoken and a dedicated family man who went out of his way to correct his professional image in his private activities. He and his family led a quiet life. He was devoted to gardening, boating and various community activities which included the PTA and acting as commander of a boy scout troop. When his sons were young, Duryea did not allow them to see his films, explaining, "I don't want them to get any wrong ideas." His wife died of cancer just before their 35th wedding anniversary. He only survived her by a year and a half, dying of cancer a few months after an unsuccessful operation.

Bio by: BingandNelsonFan


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 16 Jun 1998
  • Find A Grave Memorial 3084
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Dan Duryea (23 Jan 1907–8 Jun 1968), Find A Grave Memorial no. 3084, citing Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills), Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .