Duke Kahanamoku

Active - 1925 - 1955  |   Born - Aug 24, 1890   |   Died - Jan 22, 1968   |   Genres - Adventure

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Biography by Hans J. Wollstein

The winner of the 100-meter freestyle swimming event at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, Hawaiian star athlete Duke Kahanamoku repeated that feat at the games at Antwerp, Belgium, six years later, finishing second to Johnny Weissmuller at the 1924 Paris Olympics. Kahanamoku attempted to cash in on his fame by appearing in such Hollywood potboilers as Lord Jim (1926) and the Mascot serial The Isle of Sunken Gold (1927), but screen producers saw him mostly as an exotic villain or the odd South Seas Island native and true stardom eluded him. Better known perhaps for his surfing ability, Kahanamoku continued to make screen appearances through John Ford's Mister Roberts (1955), in which he once again played a Native chief. His death in 1968 was attributed to a heart attack.

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