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Howard Duff
Born Howard Green Duff
November 24, 1913(1913-11-24)
Charleston, Washington, U.S.
Died July 8, 1990 (aged 76)
Santa Barbara, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1947–1990
Spouse(s) Ida Lupino (1951–1984)
Judy Jenkinson Duff

Howard Green Duff (November 24, 1913 – July 8, 1990) was an American actor of film, television, stage, and radio.

Duff was born in Charleston, Washington,[1] now a part of Bremerton. He graduated from Roosevelt High School in Seattle in 1932 where he began acting in school plays only after he was cut from the basketball team. His first film role was as an inmate in Brute Force. His other early movies include The Naked City (1948), All My Sons (1948), Panic in the City (1968), In Search of America (1971), A Wedding (1978) and No Way Out (1987).

He appeared in a number of films with his first wife, actress/director Ida Lupino. One of Duff's later performances was as Dustin Hoffman's attorney in the Academy Award-winning Kramer vs. Kramer (1979).

On radio, Duff played Dashiell Hammett's private eye Sam Spade from 1946-1950, starring in The Adventures of Sam Spade on three different networks - ABC, CBS and NBC. In 1951 Steve Dunne took over the role of Sam Spade. Duff also appeared in an episode of Climax! entitled Escape From Fear in 1955.

On television, Duff appeared with his then wife Ida Lupino in the CBS comedy Mr. Adams and Eve from January 1957 through September 1958, in which they played husband and wife film stars named Howard Adams and Eve Drake. From October 1960 through April 1961, Duff played Willie Dante, owner of the San Francisco nightclub, Dante's Inferno, in the NBC adventure/drama series Dante. In 1964, Duff guest starred as Harold Baker on the episode "Prodigy" of NBC's medical drama about psychiatry The Eleventh Hour starring Jack Ging and Ralph Bellamy.

From September 1966 through January 1969, Duff portrayed Detective Sergeant Sam Stone in the ABC police drama Felony Squad with costar Dennis Cole. In the 1980s, he appeared on dramas such as NBC's Flamingo Road and Knots Landing, and Dallas, both on CBS.

Personal life

Duff had a tempestuous relationship with Ava Gardner in the late 1940s. He married Ida Lupino in 1951,[1]. They had a daughter, Bridget Duff (born April 23, 1952). They separated in 1966 and divorced in 1984. He later married Judy Jenkinson.

Duff died at age 76 of a heart attack, on July 8, 1990 in Santa Barbara, California. He was survived by his daughter, his nieces, his second wife and granddaughter.


  1. ^ a b "Actor Howard Duff, Radio's Sam Spade, Dies at 72", Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 10 July 1990

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