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Claude Akins ACTOR


Claude Akins was born on May 25 in the year 1926. He was an American actor who appeared in almost 100 films and over 180 television episodes. He is best known for his burliness and masculinity, which lent well for his most common roles as villains, as well as both good and bad southern men. There is some argument between fans as to which of his roles is his most widely known, but the people that knew him personally all agree that underneath all of his villainous and other false-character roles, he was truly one of the kindest and most grounded people that anyone could meet.

His fondness for acting began in high school, as he worked in speech and drama. He later attended Northwestern University and joined acting stock companies in order to carry out his dream of becoming an actor. Eventually, he landed a spot on Broadway, performing in “The Rose Tattoo”. Akins first role off of Broadway was on the television show “Dragnet” in 1951. Two years later he finally made it to the movies with his debut in “From Here to Eternity” (1953), although his character, Dhom, was not credited. He followed this film up with roles such as: Vance Morgan in “Bitter Creek” (1954), Horrible in “The Caine Mutiny” (1954), Fat Michaels in “Shield for Murder” (1954), and the Chief Executer’s Aide in “The Adventures of Hajji Baba” (1954). The year of 1954 was a good one for Akins, for he appeared in many films, which consequently got him on his feet and running. 1956 was an even better year though, for the actor appeared in even a larger number of films, not limited to “Battle Stations”, “The Proud and the Profane”, and “The Sharkfighters”.

Akins played in some more recognizable films also, like “The Defiant Ones” (1958), “Inherit the Wind” (1960), “Merrill’s Marauders” (1962), and “The Killers” (1964). In addition, he skillfully depicted pests and rednecks in a number of westerners such as “Rio Bravo” (1959) and “Commanche Station” (1960). While in movies he tended to be less likeable characters, on TV he was shown in a better light. In 1961, the showBonanza” took in Akins and he became a very unforgettable part of it. Other shows he appeared in include “Adventures of Superman”, “The Twilight Zone”, “The Untouchables”, and many more. He additionally held roles in multiple western series’ “Frontier”, “Crusader”, “My Friend Flicka”, “The Oregon Trail”, “Wagon Train” to name a few.

In the 1970’s, Akins performed in a number of supernatural made-for-TV movies, playing a driven cop in both “The Night Stalker” (1972) and “The Norliss Tapes” (1973). He was absolutely unidentifiable beneath his gorilla makeup in the final installment of the original “Ape” movies in “Battle for the Planet of the Apes” (1973), where he played Aldo.

Akins was primarily in small screen movie productions and TV show guest spots, but he landed a two year role as a Gypsy trucker in “Movin’ On” (1974-76), a well liked series set on the roads of America. However, the actor just might be most known for his involvement as the entertaining Sheriff Elroy P. Lobo on the adventurous “B.J. and the Bear” (1979-81), its spin-off series “The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo” (1979-80), and “Lobo” (1980-81), all of which were aired on the NBC network.

Following his outbreak role of Lobo, Akins was seen in only a handful of features. He guest-starred in the television series “Murder, She Wrote” in 1984, “Hunter” in 1989, and “In the Heat of the Night” in 1991. His last year of being in front of the camera was 1992. In that year he had his last guest spot on a television show, that of a ghost of a bank robber in “Eerie Indiana”. He also appeared in his final made for TV movie in the syndicated miniseries “Sherlock Holmes: Incident at Victoria Falls”, in which he played Teddy Roosevelt. Finally, Akins ended his career with a supporting role in the directorial debut of musician-actor John Mellencamp’s “Falling from Grace”.

Two years after completing his dream of being an actor, Akins died of cancer. His official date of death was January 27, 1994. He passed in Altadena, California. While he never won any prizes or recognition for his involvement in the dramatic arts, he did die with an award for being the Outstanding Indian/Native American of the Year at the American Indian Exposition, proving that while many believe he was a talented actor, he was moreover a good person.


1992              Falling from Grace 

1992              Eerie Indiana

1992              Sherlock Holmes: Incident at Victoria Falls

1991              In the Heat of the Night: An Eye for an Eye

1991              The Gambler Returns 

1989              Hunter: The Legion 

1987              The Curse 

1987              Monster in the Closet 

1984              Master Ninja I

1984              Murder, She Wrote: Deadly Lady

1984              Celebrity

1984              Legmen

1980              Lobo

1979              The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo 

1979              BJ and the Bear 

1977              Rhinemann Exchange

1977              Tentacles 

1977              Nashville 99 

1977              Yesterday's Child 

1974              Streets of San Francisco: A String of Puppets

1974              Movin' On 

1973              The Norliss Tapes 

1973              Battle for the Planet of the Apes

1972              Gunsmoke: The Predators

1972              Skyjacked 

1970              Flap

1970              A Man Called Sledge 

1969              The Great Bank Robbery 

1968              The Devil's Brigade 

1967              Gunsmoke: Ladies from St. Louis

1967              Waterhole #3

1967              First to Fight 

1966              Gunsmoke: Snap Decision

1966              Return of the Seven

1966              Incident at Phantom Hill

1966              Ride Beyond Vengeance

1965              Big Valley: Brawlers

1965              Gunsmoke: Bad Lady from Brookline

1965              Daniel Boone: The Place of 1000 Spirits

1964              The Killers 

1964              The Fugitive: Never Stop Running

1964              Gunsmoke: Innocence

1964              A Distant Trumpet

1963              The Untouchables: The Spoiler

1963              Black Gold

1962              Gunsmoke: He Learned About Women

1962              The Untouchables: The Monkey Wrench

1962              Twilight Zone: The Little People

1962              Bonanza: The Deserter Claude Akins

1962              Gunsmoke: The Way It Is

1962              Alfred Hitchcock Hour: Day of Reckoning

1962              Merrill's Marauders

1961              Bonanza: Sam Hill

1961              Route 66: Blue Murder

1961              Claudelle Inglish

1960              Bonanza: Desert Justice

1960              Bonanza: The Mill

1960             Comanche Station 

1960              Twilight Zone: The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street

1960             Inherit the Wind 

1959             Don't Give Up the Ship 

1959             Hound-Dog Man 

1959             Rio Bravo

1959             Porgy and Bess 

1959             Yellowstone Kelly 

1958             Onionhead

1958             The Defiant Ones

1957             The Lonely Man 

1957             Hot Summer Night

1957             The Kettles on Old Macdonald's Farm

1957             Joe Dakota 

1957             Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Reward to Finder

1956              The Sharkfighters 

1956              Johnny Concho

1956              The Burning Hills

1956              The Proud and the Profane 

1956              Battle Stations 

1956              Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Place of Shadows

1956              I Love Lucy: Desert Island

1955              Down Three Dark Streets

1955              The Sea Chase 

1955              Gunsmoke

1954              Shield for Murder 

1954              The Human Jungle 

1954              Down Three Dark Streets

1954              Bitter Creek 

1954              The Raid

1954              The Caine Mutiny 

1953              From Here to Eternity

1951              Dragnet

Matinee Classics - The Sea Chase starring John Wayne, Lana Turner, David Farrar, Lyle Bettger, Tab Hunter, James Arness, Richard Davalos, John Qualen, Paul Fix, Lowell Gilmore, Luis Van Rooten, Alan Hale Jr., Wilton Graff, Peter Whitney and Claude Akins
Matinee Classics - Rio Bravo starring John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Walter Brennan, Angie Dickinson, Ward Bond, John Russell, Estelita Rodriguez and Claude Akins
Matinee Classics - The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo starring Claude Akins
Matinee Classics - Claude Akins, stage, screen and television actor
Matinee Classics - A Man Called Sledge starring James Garner, Dennis Weaver, Claude Akins, John Marley, Laura Antonelli, Wade Preston, Ken Clark, Tony Young and Paola Barbara
Matinee Classics - A Man Called Sledge starring James Garner, Dennis Weaver, Claude Akins, John Marley, Laura Antonelli, Wade Preston, Ken Clark, Tony Young and Paola Barbara
Matinee Classics - Battle for the Planet of the Apes starring Roddy McDowall, Claude Akins, Natalie Trundy, Severn Darden, Lew Ayres, John Huston, Paul Williams, Austin Stoker, Noah Keen, Richard Eastham, France Nuyen, Paul Stevens, Heather Lowe, Bobby Porter and Michael Stearns
Matinee Classics - Concrete Cowboys starring Tom Selleck, Jerry Reed, Morgan Fairchild, Claude Akins, Gene Evans and Red West
Matinee Classics - Movin' On starring Claude Akins, Frank Converse and Rosie Grier
Matinee Classics - Movin' On starring Claude Akins, Frank Converse and Rosie Grier

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