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Kenneth Duncan

(1902-1972) Born Kenneth Duncan MacLachlan in Chatham, Ontario and usually credited as Kenne (pronounced "Kenny") Duncan, he was a prolific screen heavy and supporting player, credited with 225 films including 157 westerns and 22 serials!

Duncan worked as a professional jockey before hitting Hollywood in the late Twenties. He quickly carved out a niche for himself playing the lead henchman or villain's right-hand-man. He worked for most of the B-picture studios, but is best remembered for his association with Republic Pictures from 1937-1950 when he appeared in about 120 productions. He was his most prolific July 1943-July 1946, when he was under contract to Republic and they had an interest in using him as much as possible.

He worked on some of the most famous serials of the late Thirties and early Fourties, including Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars (1938) and The Adventures of Captain Marvel (1941), but makes his strongest impression in The Spider's Web (1938) and The Spider Returns (1941), where he put his sinister voice to work for the good guys this time, as the exotic Sikh warrior Ram Singh. Though it may have been common at the time, the humor of a Canadian playing an Indian was not lost on the cast.

In the Fifties, as serial and western film production slowed, Duncan took his sharpshooting act on the road and his thug act to TV. He began in 1950 by plaguing The Lone Ranger and The Cisco Kid, worked steadily for the next decade, and made his last TV appearance on Rawhide in 1960. In the Fifties he also fell in with movie schlockmeister Ed Wood Jr. and his circle of Hollywood misfits. Duncan's last film appearance would be Wood's The Sinister Urge (1961).

In 1972, Kenne Duncan died of a barbituate overdose, his death judged a suicide following ill health.

Kenneth Duncan Links
Excellent tribute at
Wikipedia entry for Kenne Duncan