Dan Duryea

Dan Duryea


Dan Duryea
TV: North side of the 6100 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Born Jan. 23, 1907 in White Plains, NY
Died June 7, 1968 in Los Angeles, CA

Dan Duryea was a veteran character actor whose sneering, cold-blooded villainy set the style for Hollywood bad guys of the 1940s.

Duryea's career included more than 150 roles on stage, in motion pictures and on television.

He first gained fame in 1940 as the sniveling coward Leo Hubbard in Lillian Hellman's Broadway play "The Little Foxes."

Moving to Hollywood to repeat the role on screen, he soon became one of the film industry's most memorable menaces.

Duryea slew good guys with a sneer and belted heroines black and blue in such 1940s films as "Woman in the Window" and "Scarlet Street." Inexplicably, his female audiences loved every minute of it.

"My fan mail goes up every time I tee off on a girl," he told an interviewer. "Women seem to go for my kind of villain. I asked a psychologist friend why and he said he didn't know why, they just did."

Duryea said he personally had nothing against his image as an ogre — "It's been groceries on my table for a long time" — but he worried how it might affect his sons, Richard and Paul.

The man who didn't want his boys to remember him as "the guy who took pot shots at Gary Cooper" led a Cub Scout pack and opened his home to his sons' friends.

Later in his career, Duryea gave up hard-core villainy in favor of more varied character roles. He played a worldly soldier of fortune in the television series "China Smith" and a tired adventurer in the movie "Flight of the Phoenix."

He also played the part of Eddie Jacks, a wandering confidence man, in the television series "Peyton Place."

Duryea was born in White Plains, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University.

He died at age 61 in Los Angeles.

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