Duke York

Active - 1933 - 1952  |   Born - Jan 1, 1902   |   Died - Jan 24, 1952   |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Western, Musical, Action

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Billed as Duke York Jr. when he entered films in 1933, this muscular actor essayed such action-oriented roles as King Kala in Flash Gordon (1936). By the 1940s, York had found his particular niche as a second-string Lon Chaney Jr. He was a mainstay at Columbia's short-subject unit in the 1940s, playing the various hunchbacks, werewolves, goons, and Frankensteins who menaced such comedians as the Three Stooges, El Brendel, and Andy Clyde. One of his rare roles out of makeup was in the Stooges' 1943 comedy Higher Than a Kite, which revealed that York wasn't quite as adept at handling dialogue as he was at grunting and growling. Though Duke York committed suicide in 1952, he kept appearing in Columbia's two-reelers and Westerns through the magic of stock footage until the mid-'50s.

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