posted by jtk at 11:09 AM
The Duke lived in Newport Beach when I was growing-up. I can remember running into him at the store & selling him tickets to Boy Scout events. You could always spot his station wagons that had the custom raised roofs. Even without his toup he was a big guy in real life. Even as I became an anti-war teen, still had respect for him.Another neighbor I remember was Andy Devine. Always liked trick-or-treating at his house.
Thats a great story! Was the Duke friendly? What was Andy Devine like? He seems like the friendly sort, like the characters he used to play so well. I thought I heard somewhere that he was well liked by his peers. I think he and Kay Francis were friends, and sometimes used to connect when he was in New York. I heard they didnt get along so well on the set of Man Wanted, though.
They were both very friendly. Newport Beach was a small beach community back then & we were all basically neighbors. The memory that stands out in my mind was their voices were just like in the movies.
Looking at that second picture makes me wish he had played a part as a comic book super hero, like the Flash or something. Stick a helmet with wings in his head and make him run à la John Wayne!I once saw a biography about him, and they eventually got to the part where he was pro-Vietnam. They showed a visit he payed to a university: he showed up in a tank, waving at the crowd of students who booed him! During the conference he slowly won their respect because he wouldn't let them get him upset. One of the students was so rude as to ask him if his hair was real. He said: "Yes, it's real. It's not mine, but it's real." After that everybody liked him.
Duke and Andy Devine must have been buddies. They did appear in a few films together. Were there any other famous actors that were Newport Beach neighbors of yours?
That would be funny, he would make an excellent super hero! He had the funniest walk/run, too. I remember getting a kick out of seeing the John Wayne walk/talk imitations(which icluded a bent elbow and slightly limp wrist) on tv in the 70's. For some reason I recall Rich Little and John Byner doing them, but I could be wrong.Id like to see that documentary sometime. Im sure many people at that time really hated him for his political views. I guess that they managed to respect him despite his politics says a lot about him. I heard that toward the end of his life, he may have had some regret regarding his "views" but I dont know for sure.
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