The son of a Poughkeepsie garment manufacturer, Richard Denning majored in foreign trade and accounting at Woodbury College with the intent of taking over his father's business. Coming to Hollywood after winning a minor-league radio talent contest, Denning was signed to a Paramount stock-player contract in 1937. He made his debut in Hold Em Navy. Handsome and virile, Denning wasn't given much of an opportunity to display anything beyond his physical attributes in his first film appearances. He continued as a competent if colorless leading man into the postwar years where one of his best known roles was the human lead in The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954). Denning was seen to better advantage on television as the star of the popular comedy/mystery series Mr. and Mrs. North (1952-54); he later played the title roles in the weekly The Flying Doctor (1959) and Michael Shayne, Private Detective (1960). He also co-starred on radio with Lucille Ball in My Favorite Husband, the late-1940s precursor to I Love Lucy While living in semi-retirement in Hawaii with his wife, actress Evelyn Ankers, Denning made sporadic appearances as the governor of that state on the long-running TV police drama Hawaii 5-0. Richard Denning has spent the last three decades serving as a lay minister in the Lutheran church.