Denver Pyle - Rotten Tomatoes

Denver Pyle

Highest Rated:   100% Home from the Hill (1960)
Lowest Rated:   20% Bandolero (1968)
Birthday:  
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

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
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
82% 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
20% Bandolero
  • Carter
1968
No Score Yet 5 Card Stud
  • Sig Evers
1968
89% Bonnie and Clyde
  • Frank Hamer
1967
No Score Yet Welcome to Hard Times (Killer on a Horse)
  • Alfie
1967
No Score Yet Gunpoint
  • Cap Hold
1966
74% The Great Race
  • Sheriff
1965
No Score Yet Shenandoah
  • Pastor Bjoerling
1965
No Score Yet The Rounders
  • Bull
1965
70% 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
50% The Alamo
  • Gambler
1960
100% Home from the Hill
  • Marshall Bradley
1960
No Score Yet Good Day for a Hanging
  • Moore
1959
100% The Horse Soldiers
  • Jagger Jo
1959
No Score Yet China Doll
  • Col. Wiley
1958
No Score Yet The Party Crashers
  • Mr. Bickford
1958
100% 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 Run for Cover (Colorado)
  • Harvey
1955
No Score Yet Rage at Dawn
  • Clint Reno
1955
No Score Yet Top Gun
  • Hank Spencer
1955
97% 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

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet The Dukes of Hazzard
1979-1985
  • Uncle Jesse Duke
  • 1985
  • 1984
  • 1979
No Score Yet The Twilight Zone
1959-1964
  • Stu Tillman
  • 1964

Quotes from Denver Pyle's Characters

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