Bill Duke

Bill Duke

Highest Rated: 93% High Flying Bird (2019)

Lowest Rated: 0% Cover (2007)

Birthday: Feb 26, 1943

Birthplace: Not Available

Although many would likely recognize Bill Duke from his roles in such high-profile releases as Predator, Menace II Society, and Red Dragon, perhaps only a few connect the face in front of the camera with the name of the man who also directed such features as A Rage in Harlem and Hoodlum. A native of Poughkeepsie, NY, and the first in his family to graduate from college, the actor/director studied speech and drama at Boston University before earning his M.F.A. from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Subsequently penning off-Broadway plays and launching a film career with roles in Car Wash (1976) and American Gigolo (1979), Duke's early breakthrough came with a featured role in the critically acclaimed Alex Haley miniseries Palmerstown U.S.A. in 1980. Deciding to refine his skills behind the camera, the burgeoning actor later studied at the American Film Institute, where his student project The Hero earned him a solid reputation as a director to watch. In the years that followed, Duke earned a reputation as an efficient and effective television director as he took the helm for episodes of Hill Street Blues, Fame, Miami Vice, Spenser: For Hire, and Matlock. He soon moved into feature territory with the PBS drama The Killing Floor (which screened at the 1985 Cannes Film Festival and earned the Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival). In 1989, Duke's adaptation of A Raisin in the Sun showed that, although his directing had thus far been limited to the small screen, he also had the potential to launch a lucrative career in theatrical features. After acting in such features as Commando (1985), Predator (1987), and Bird on a Wire (1990), Duke's first theatrical feature, A Rage in Harlem, was released in 1991. An effective crime drama featuring a gangster's moll, a trunk load of gold, and a slew of unsavory heavies, the film was unfairly interpreted by audiences to be a rip-off of the popular 1989 comedy Harlem Nights. For the dark crime thriller Deep Cover, Duke teamed with future collaborator Laurence Fishburne for the first time, and after lightening things up a bit with The Cemetery Club (1993), Duke earned a direct hit at the box office with the popular sequel Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit the same year. The remainder of the '90s found the actor/director evenly dividing his duties on both sides of the camera, and, in 1997, he re-teamed with Fishburne for the throwback gangster drama Hoodlum. With all of his directorial duties, Duke found little time to accept onscreen roles, though performances in Payback and Fever in 1999 reminded audiences that he was still a compelling screen presence. Duke returned to the small screen the following year to direct an episode of City of Angels and the Nero Wolfe mystery The Golden Spiders, and remained in television to shoot episodes of Fastlane and Robbery Homicide Division. In 2003, Duke directed the moving, made-for-TV drama Deacons for Defense. As roles in Red Dragon (2002) and National Security (2003) continued to fuel his feature career, Duke was also seen on the small screen in episodes of Fastlane and the Out of Sight (1998) spin-off Karen Sisco.

Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Hollow Point Actor 2019
93% High Flying Bird Actor 2019
91% Mandy Caruthers 2018
No Score Yet Created Equal Director 2017
No Score Yet Restored Me Officer Brantley 2016
No Score Yet Bad Country Nokes 2014
90% A Fuller Life Actor 2014
64% Iceberg Slim: Portrait Of A Pimp Actor 2013
No Score Yet Battledogs President Donald Sheridan 2013
No Score Yet Dark Girls Director Executive Producer Screenwriter Producer 2012
19% The Big Bang Drummer 2011
41% Henry's Crime Frank $0.2M 2011
31% Not Easily Broken Director Producer $10.6M 2009
42% The Go-Getter Liquor Supply 2008
No Score Yet Prince Among Slaves Director 2008
0% Cover Director 2007
No Score Yet Yellow Miles Emory 2007
No Score Yet Deepak Chopra: Seven Laws of Spiritual Success Actor 2007
57% X-Men: The Last Stand Bolivar Trask $234.4M 2006
No Score Yet Payback: Straight Up Det. Hicks 2006
No Score Yet The Pact Executive Producer 2006
16% Get Rich or Die Tryin' Levar $30.9M 2005
No Score Yet Miracle's Boys Director 2005
1% Twisted Actor $25.1M 2004
11% National Security Lt. Washington $35.8M 2003
No Score Yet Paper Chasers Actor 2003
No Score Yet Deacons for Defense Director 2003
68% Red Dragon Police Chief $93M 2002
31% Never Again Earl $0.2M 2002
No Score Yet Book of Love: The Definitive Reason Why Men Are Dogs Actor 2002
32% Exit Wounds Hinges 2001
No Score Yet Susan's Plan Det. Scott 2000
No Score Yet Who Killed Atlanta's Children? (Echo of Murder) Chirumenga Jenga 2000
93% The Limey Head DEA Agent 1999
0% Foolish Studio Producer 1999
54% Payback Det. Hicks 1999
No Score Yet Always Outnumbered Blackbird Wills 1998
43% Hoodlum Executive Producer Director 1997
No Score Yet Biography: Nat King Cole - Loved in Return Narrator 1997
7% Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit Mr. Johnson Director 1993
84% Menace II Society Detective 1993
No Score Yet Moadon Beit Hakvarot (The Cemetery Club) Director 1993
57% The Cemetery Club Director 1993
86% Deep Cover Director 1992
No Score Yet Street of No Return Lieutenant Borel 1991
65% A Rage in Harlem Actor Director 1991
32% Bird on a Wire Albert Diggs 1990
No Score Yet A Raisin in the Sun Director 1989
No Score Yet Meeting Director 1989
14% Action Jackson Capt. Armbruster 1988
50% No Man's Land Malcolm 1987
81% Predator Mac 1987
No Score Yet Under Cover Director 1987
No Score Yet Dallas: The Early Years Seth Foster 1986
No Score Yet Johnnie Mae Gibson: FBI Director 1986
70% Commando Cooke 1985
No Score Yet The Killing Floor Actor Director 1985
68% American Gigolo Leon 1980
87% Car Wash Duane 1976


95% Black Lightning
Agent Odell 2020
No Score Yet Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Gen. Margolis 2011
No Score Yet Dr. Phil
Guest 2009
No Score Yet Cold Case
Grover Boone 2008
54% The Boondocks
Voice 2007
95% Battlestar Galactica
Phelan 2006
85% Lost
Warden Harris 2006
95% Karen Sisco
Amos Andrews 2004
44% Fastlane
Director Parrish Parish 2003
No Score Yet Strong Medicine
Director 2002
20% City of Angels
Director 2000
57% Legacy
Director 1998
No Score Yet New York Undercover
Director 1994
No Score Yet Miami Vice
Director 1988
No Score Yet Knots Landing
Director 1987
No Score Yet Matlock
Director 1986
No Score Yet Cagney & Lacey
Director 1984
No Score Yet Hill Street Blues
Director 1984
No Score Yet Dallas
Director 1983
No Score Yet Starsky & Hutch
Dryden 1978
No Score Yet Kojak
Silk 1976


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