Denver Pyle was an American actor who had a net worth of $5 million. Denver Pyle was born December 25, 1920 in Bethune, Colorado. He is perhaps best known as the character Briscoe Darling, Jr. on several episodes of The Andy Griffith Show and as Uncle Jesse in The Dukes of Hazzard (1979-85).
Denver Pyle made a career of playing drawling, somewhat slow Southern types. After a short-lived pursuit of a career as a drummer, he drifted from job to job, doing everything from working the oil fields in Oklahoma to shrimp boats in Texas. In 1940, he moved to Los Angeles and briefly found employment as an NBC page, which was disrupted by World War II when Pyle enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Wounded in the battle of Guadalcanal, he received a medical discharge in 1943 and went to work for an aircraft plant in Los Angeles as a riveter. His first taste of acting came when he landed a role in an amateur theater production and was spotted by a talent scout. He subsequently trained with such renowned teachers as Maria Ouspenskaya and Michael Chekhov and made his film debut in The Guilt of Janet Ames (1947). Pyle went on to appear in hundreds of film and TV parts, bringing a touch of western authenticity to many of his roles, sometimes playing only a minor villain or sidekick in the early 1950s and receiving no billing. Prematurely white-haired (a family trait), he became a familiar face on episodes of Gunsmoke (1955) and Bonanza (1959) and also developed a close association with actor John Wayne, appearing in many of Wayne’s later films. Pyle’s more important movie roles came late in his career. One of his most memorable was in Bonnie and Clyde (1967) as Texas Ranger Frank Hamer, the handcuffed hostage of the duo, who spits in Bonnie’s (Faye Dunaway) face after she coyly poses with him for a camera shot.
He settled easily into hillbilly/mountain men types in his later years and became a household name/face for his crotchety presence in The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams (1977), and especially for his role in The Dukes of Hazzard (1979). Denver Dell Pyle died of lung cancer at age 77.
|Date of Birth:
|May 11, 1920 – Dec 25, 1997 (77 years old)
|6 ft (1.85 m)
|Actor, Television Director, Drummer, Sailor, Voice Actor
|United States of America