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Dan Duryea: The Movies
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Dan Duryea was a rare actor who had the knack of creating an impressive array of characters from a limited range of emotions. He used this array in different combinations and frequencies to create heroes and villains from the same patterns. It was a matter of degree pertaining righteous behavior versus malicious cowardice. Sometimes, the touches were subtle; other times they were stark contrasts. That meant there were times when tags like hero and villain meant nothing. Duryea's unique style was highlighted in classic dramas, crime noirs, pulp westerns, soap opera romances and low budget independents from the 40's to the late 60's. "The Little Foxes" started a film career in 1941 that continued until 1967 with "The Bamboo Saucer," a Cold War science-fiction adventure. He also had a television resume that covered all of the dramatic, comedy and western genres of the 50's and 60's, including his own exotic adventure show in the 50's and a recurring role in a 60's prime time soap opera. Not a bad set of credits for someone who once described himself as "a bread and butter actor." The irony of Dan Duryea's career is the man who created a roster of scoundrels, connivers, murderers and thieves was actually a mild man who enjoyed a fulfilling home life and a marriage that lasted thirty six years and produced two sons. He shied away from the Hollywood social scene, choosing to enjoy his hobbies, which were building boats and racing yachts on Lake Arrowhead.
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