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William Henry "Bill" Duke, Jr. (born February 26, 1943) is an American actor and film director. Known for his physically imposing frame, Duke's work frequently dwells within the action film idiom as well as crime and drama genres but also includes comedy.

Duke was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, the son of Ethel Louise (nA(C)e Douglas) and William Henry Duke Sr. He received his first instruction in the performing arts and in creative writing at Dutchess Community College in Poughkeepsie under Professor Constance Kuhn in drama and Professor Howard Winn in creative writing. His first major acting role at Dutchess was as the lead in Eugene O'Neill's Emperor Jones. After graduation from Dutchess he went on to Boston University for further instruction in drama and for his B.A. After studying at New York University's Tisch School of Arts and the AFI Conservatory, he appeared on Broadway in the 1971 Melvin Van Peebles musical Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death. He directed episodes of several noteworthy 1980s television series, including Hill Street Blues and Miami Vice. Known to family as Maccy Bub after a cat he owned in his youth named Macintosh and the waterproof jacket he often wore.
Standing an imposing 6 ft 4A 1/2 in and featuring a closely shaved head, Duke first became a familiar face to moviegoers in Car Wash (1976) where he portrayed fierce young Black Muslim revolutionary Abdullah Mohammed Akbar (formerly known as Duane), and expanded his repertoire with American Gigolo (1980) where he played a gay pimp. And in the early 1980s he produced and starred in a short-lived CBS TV series Palmerstown, USA about the life, times and relationships between a black family and a white family in a small rural town in the 1930s.
As the action-film-oriented genre became more popular, Duke's presence was perfect to portray a myriad of "tough guy" roles, chiefly alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando and Predator, as well as a DEA chief in The Limey (199

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Bill Duke talks about new documentary ‘Dark Girls’

Women of all ages painfully recount the damage done to their self-esteem and their constant feeling of being devalued and disregarded. One young black man in the trailer said he couldn’t date a woman with dark skin because “they look funny beside me.”
Posted: January 13, 2012, 12:59 pm

Colder winter, higher fuel costs to drive up Piedmont Natural Gas customers' bills

The impact in November will be softened by an average $10 bill credit most N.C. residential customers will receive from Piedmont as a condition for regulatory approval of its sale to Duke Energy for $4.9 billion Oct. 3. Small commercial and institutional ...
Posted: October 23, 2016, 11:44 pm

Bill Duke To Direct Legal Drama ‘Created Equal’

Bill Duke will direct the legal drama ‘Created Equal,‘ with Aaron Tveit, Edy Ganem, Lou Diamond Phillips and Greg Alan Williams, reports Variety. Richard Kletter, Michael Ricigliano, Theta Catalon and Joyce Lewis wrote the script, based on the novel by ...
Posted: September 6, 2016, 9:10 am
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