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Claude Akins
Born Claude Marion Akins
May 25, 1926
Nelson, Georgia, U.S.
Died January 27, 1994 (aged 67)
Altadena, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1953–1994

Claude Marion Akins (May 25, 1926 – January 27, 1994) was an American actor with a long career on stage, screen and television.

Contents

Life and career

He was born in Nelson, Georgia, and grew up in Bedford, Indiana. He was a 1949 graduate of Northwestern University , where he studied theatre.[1] and became a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. Powerful in appearance and voice, Akins could be counted on to play the clever (or less than clever) tough guy, on the side of good or bad, in movies and television. He is best remembered as Sheriff Lobo in the 1970s TV series B.J. and the Bear, and later The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo, a spin-off series, with Ben Cooper appearing as Waverly.

In movies, his first appearance was in From Here to Eternity in 1953. Akins portrayed prisoner Joe Berdett in the movie Rio Bravo (which also starred John Wayne, Ricky Nelson, Dean Martin and Angie Dickinson), Naval Lt. Commander Farber in Don't Give Up The Ship (starring Jerry Lewis), Sgt Kolowicz in Merrill's Marauders, Rockwell W. "Rocky" Rockman in The Devil's Brigade, the Reverend Jeremiah Brown in the 1960 movie Inherit the Wind, outlaw Ben Lane in Comanche Station that same year, Seely Jones in A Distant Trumpet (1964), and the gorilla leader Aldo in Battle for the Planet of the Apes, the last original Apes movie in 1973.

In television, Akins had an early appearance in Adventures of Superman (episode number 69, "Peril by Sea"), playing a villainous co-conspirator. He had numerous roles in Western series, including Frontier, Crusader, My Friend Flicka (three times), Boots and Saddles, Northwest Passage, Sheriff of Cochise, State Trooper, Wagon Train (4 times), Overland Trail, Laramie (4 times), The Big Valley, The Legend of Jesse James, Death Valley Days, Zane Grey Theater (4 times), The Rifleman (3 times), Gunsmoke (10 times), Bonanza (4 times), and The Oregon Trail.

Akins was featured on the original CBS The Twilight Zone ("The Little People" and "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street"), City Detective, Meet McGraw with Frank Lovejoy, The Untouchables. In 1960, he and Marty Ingels appeared as themselves in the episode "Amateur Night" in NBC's short-lived crime drama Dan Raven, starring Skip Homeier and set on the Sunset Strip of West Hollywood. Other early appearances were as playing a cop on Alfred Hitchcock Presents in "Place of Shadows" (1956) and "Reward to Finder" (1957). Akins played another television cop, good-natured Sheriff's Detective Phillip Dix, in the first season of the Perry Mason in "The Case of the Half-Wakened Wife" (Episode 1-26) that aired March 15, 1958.

Before his signature character Lobo, he appeared as trucker Sonny Pruett in NBC's Movin' On, from 1974 to 1976. He also appeared in TV commercials for PoliGrip Rollins Truck Leasing and Aamco. He guest-starred on an episode of CBS's I Love Lucy, playing himself.

Akins found work in the late 1980s lending his inimitable voice talents to the work safety instructional video series Safety Shorts. In these videos Akins was able to expound the virtues of workplace safety to thousands of industrial employees, offering lessons on the importance of Lockout/tagout procedures, personal protective equipment, and the MSDS documentation process. Akins also made a golfing video with Ron Masak titled Tom Kite and Friends.

Akins died of cancer in 1994.

Film credits

References

  1. ^ Northwestern University Archives. Retrieved January 16, 2008

External links


Simple English

Claude Akins
Born Claude Marion Akins
May 25, 1926
Nelson, Georgia
Died January 27, 1994
Altadena, California
Years active 1956-1994

Claude Marion Akins was an American actor (born May 25, 1926, in Nelson, Georgia - died January 27, 1994, in Altadena, California). With his big body and deep voice, Akins usually played the clever (or less than clever) tough guy, on the side of good or bad, in movies and television. He is famous as Sheriff Lobo in the 1970s TV series B.J. and the Bear, and later The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo, a spinoff series.

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