Denver Pyle

Denver Pyle

Highest Rated: 100% Shenandoah (1965)

Lowest Rated: 0% Something Big (1971)

Birthday: May 11, 1920

Birthplace: Bethune, Colorado, USA

Had he been born a decade earlier, American actor Denver Pyle might well have joined the ranks of western-movie comedy sidekicks. Instead, Pyle, a Colorado farm boy, opted for studying law, working his way through school by playing drums in a dance band. Suddenly one day, Pyle became disenchanted with law and returned to his family farm, with nary an idea what he wanted to do with his life. Working in the oil fields of Oklahoma, he moved on to the shrimp boats of Galveston, Texas. A short stint as a page at NBC radio studios in 1940 didn't immediately lead to a showbiz career, as it has for so many others; instead, Pyle was inspired to perform by a mute oilfield coworker who was able to convey his thought with body language. Studying under such masters as Michael Chekhov and Maria Ouspenskaya, Pyle was able to achieve small movie and TV roles. He worked frequently on the western series of Roy Rogers and Gene Autry; not yet bearded and grizzled, Pyle was often seen as deputies, farmers and cattle rustlers. When his hair turned prematurely grey in his early '30s, Pyle graduated to banker, sheriff and judge roles in theatrical westerns -- though never of the comic variety. He also was a regular on two TV series, Code 3 (1956) and Tammy (1966). But his real breakthrough role didn't happen until 1967, when Pyle was cast as the taciturn sheriff in Bonnie and Clyde who is kidnapped and humilated by the robbers -- and then shows up at the end of the film to supervise the bloody machine-gun deaths of B&C. This virtually nonspeaking role won worldwide fame for Pyle, as well as verbal and physical assalts from the LA hippie community who regarded Bonnie and Clyde as folk heroes! From this point forward, Denver Pyle's billing, roles and salary were vastly improved -- and his screen image was softened and humanized by a full, bushy beard. Returning to TV, Pyle played the star's father on The Doris Day Show (1968-73); was Mad Jack, the costar/narrator of Life and Times of Grizzly Adams (1978-80); and best of all, spent six years (1979-85) as Uncle Jesse Duke on The Dukes of Hazzard. Looking stockier but otherwise unchanged, Denver Pyle was briefly seen in the 1994 hit Maverick, playing an elegantly dishonest cardshark who jauntily doffs his hat as he's dumped off of a riverboat. Pyle died of lung cancer at Burbank's Providence St. Joseph Medical Center at age 77.

Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet The Last of Mrs. Lincoln Actor 2002
No Score Yet Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion! Jesse Duke 1997
No Score Yet Father and Scout Rosebrock 1994
66% Maverick Old Gambler 1994
No Score Yet Return to Mayberry Briscoe Darling 1986
No Score Yet Hog Wild Actor 1980
No Score Yet Legend of the Northwest Actor 1978
No Score Yet Guardian of the Wilderness Galen Clark 1977
No Score Yet Welcome to L.A. Carl Barber 1976
67% Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson McLaughlin 1976
No Score Yet Hawmps! Col. Seymour Hawkins 1976
No Score Yet The Last of Mrs. Lincoln Actor 1976
No Score Yet Winterhawk Arkansas 1975
76% Escape to Witch Mountain Uncle Bene 1975
No Score Yet The Adventures of Frontier Fremont Old Mountain Man 1975
No Score Yet Murder or Mercy? Actor 1974
No Score Yet Sidekicks Drunk 1974
No Score Yet The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams Actor 1974
No Score Yet Cahill U.S. Marshal Denver 1973
No Score Yet The Legend of Hillbilly John Grandpappy John 1973
No Score Yet Hitched Actor 1971
0% Something Big Junior Frisbee 1971
20% Bandolero Carter 1968
No Score Yet 5 Card Stud Sig Evers 1968
87% Bonnie and Clyde Frank Hamer 1967
No Score Yet Welcome to Hard Times (Killer on a Horse) Alfie 1967
No Score Yet Incident at Phantom Hill 1st Hunter 1966
No Score Yet Gunpoint Cap Hold 1966
74% The Great Race Sheriff 1965
100% Shenandoah Pastor Bjoerling 1965
No Score Yet The Rounders Bull 1965
57% Cheyenne Autumn Sen. Henry 1964
No Score Yet Mail Order Bride Preacher Pope 1964
No Score Yet Terrified Sheriff 1963
93% The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Amos Carruthers 1962
80% Geronimo Sen. Conrad 1962
52% The Alamo Gambler 1960
90% Home from the Hill Marshall Bradley 1960
No Score Yet Good Day for a Hanging Moore 1959
91% The Horse Soldiers Jagger Jo 1959
No Score Yet China Doll Col. Wiley 1958
No Score Yet The Party Crashers Mr. Bickford 1958
90% The Left Handed Gun Ollinger 1958
No Score Yet Fort Massacre Collins 1958
No Score Yet The Lonely Man Sheriff 1957
No Score Yet Gun Duel in Durango Ranger Captain 1957
No Score Yet Please Murder Me Lt. Bradley 1957
60% Jet Pilot Mr. Simpson 1957
No Score Yet 7th Cavalry Dixon 1956
No Score Yet I Killed Wild Bill Hickok Jim Bailey 1956
No Score Yet The Naked Hills Bert Killian 1956
No Score Yet Ten Wanted Men Dave Weed 1955
100% To Hell and Back Thompson 1955
No Score Yet Rage at Dawn Clint Reno 1955
No Score Yet Top Gun Hank Spencer 1955
No Score Yet Run for Cover (Colorado) Harvey 1955
93% Johnny Guitar Posse Member 1954
No Score Yet Ride Clear of Diablo Rev. Moorehead 1954
No Score Yet Goldtown Ghost Riders Bernie Malloy 1953
100% The Lusty Men Niko 1952
No Score Yet Hills of Utah Bowie French 1951
No Score Yet Oklahoma Annie Skip 1951
No Score Yet Dynamite Pass Whip 1950
No Score Yet The Flying Saucer Turner 1950
No Score Yet Too Late for Tears Youth 1949
No Score Yet The Man from Colorado Easy Jarrett 1949
No Score Yet Rim of the Canyon Cash Collins 1949
No Score Yet Hellfire Rex 1949
No Score Yet Where the North Begins Henchman Jim 'Rocky' Rockwell 1947


No Score Yet Dallas
Blackie 1990
No Score Yet Murder, She Wrote
Eben 1988
No Score Yet Dukes of Hazzard
Director Jeremiah Duke Uncle Jesse Duke Director 1985
No Score Yet The Dukes of Hazzard
Uncle Jesse Duke 1985
No Score Yet The Streets of San Francisco
Carl 1973
No Score Yet Gunsmoke
Guest Chummer Willie Rand Pa Ginnis Mather Larker Black Jack Haggen Nash Mike Cyrus Claudius Shinn Judge 1973
No Score Yet The Waltons
No Score Yet Bonanza
Price Buchanan Theodore Warden Marcus Caldwell Sheriff Sheriff Ed Claude 1972
No Score Yet The High Chaparral
General 1967
No Score Yet The Andy Griffith Show
Guest Briscoe Darling 1966
No Score Yet Perry Mason
Emery Fillmore Sidemark Stuart Quincy Frank Honer Robert Crane 1966
82% The Twilight Zone
Stu Tillman 1964
No Score Yet The Dick Van Dyke Show
Uncle George 1964
No Score Yet Rawhide
Daddy Quade 1963
No Score Yet Maverick
Jerry O'Brien 1961
No Score Yet The Adventures of Superman
Ernie Hatch 1954


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