Hank Worden

Active - 1936 - 1990  |   Born - Jan 1, 1901   |   Died - Dec 6, 1992   |   Genres - Western, Comedy, Action, Drama

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Bald, lanky, laconic American actor Hank Worden made his screen debut in The Plainsman (1936), and began playing simpleminded rustics at least as early as the 1941 El Brendel two-reel comedy Love at First Fright. A member in good standing of director John Ford's unofficial stock company, Worden appeared in such Ford classics as Fort Apache (1948) and Wagonmaster (1950). The quintessential Worden-Ford collaboration was The Searchers (1955) wherein Worden portrayed the near-moronic Mose Harper, who spoke in primitive, epigrammatic half-sentences and who seemed gleefully obsessed with the notion of unexpected death. Never a "normal" actor by any means, Worden continued playing characters who spoke as if they'd been kicked by a horse in childhood into the '80s; his last appearance was a recurring role in the quirky David Lynch TV serial Twin Peaks. In real life, Hank Worden was far from addled and had a razor-sharp memory, as proven in his many appearances at Western fan conventions and in an interview program about living in the modern desert, filmed just before Worden's death for cable TV's Discovery Channel.

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