Don Stroud

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Don Stroud
Don Stroud in trailer for "Coogan's Bluff" (1968)
Born Donald Lee Stroud
(1943-09-01) September 1, 1943 (age 71)
Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Occupation Actor and surfer
Years active 1967-present
Spouse(s) Teri Sullivan (1994-present)
Linda Hayes (1982-?; divorced)
Sally Ann Stroud (1973-?; divorced)

Donald Lee "Don" Stroud (born 1 September 1943) is an American actor and surfer who appeared in many films in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, and has starred in over 100 films and 175 television shows to date.

Early life[edit]

Stroud was born and grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii, the son of comedian and vaudevillien Clarence Stroud (of the Stroud Twins), and singer Ann Livermore (née McCormack), who toured the world with Frank Sinatra. Stroud's mother and stepfather owned and operated the popular "Embers Steak House" and nightclub where Ann performed nightly. Don thrived on the beach in Waikiki under the watchful eyes of such mentors as Blackout, Mud, Buckshot, Rabbit and Steamboat. Stroud learned much from these famous beach boys, and in 1960, at the age of 17, he placed fourth in the "Duke Kahanamoku World Surfing Championship" at Makaha, Hawaii. He also earned a black belt in the Hawaiian martial art of Kajukenbo Self Defense.[1]

Career[edit]

Stroud was surfing at Waikiki when he was discovered by actor Troy Donahue who was filming ABC's Hawaiian Eye and needed a stunt double for his surfing scenes. Don, at 18, 6'2" and 175 pounds, stepped up and was hired on the spot. He loved the gig so much, he decided to go to Hollywood to give acting a try. Upon arriving in Los Angeles, he landed a variety of jobs, including parking cars, bouncer and then manager of the world famous Whisky a Go Go nightclub on the Sunset Strip, where such greats as Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison of the Doors appeared. It was at the "Whisky" that actor Sidney Poitier turned Don on to his acting career. Stroud went on to become one of Hollywood's great heavies and character actors.

Stroud co-starred with Clint Eastwood in two films, Coogan's Bluff (1968) and Joe Kidd (1972). He also appeared in several episodes of CBS's Hawaii Five-O: season 3, ep. 9 "The Late John Louisiana" and in the Barry Sullivan NBC western series The Road West.

Stroud co-starred in Roger Corman’s film Von Richthofen and Brown (1971). Stroud played Roy Brown opposite John Phillip Law’s Baron von Richthofen. Corman used Lynn Garrison's Irish aviation facility, complete with replica World War One aircraft. Garrison taught Stroud the rudiments of flying so that he could manage to take off and land the aircraft, making some of the footage more realistic. On September 16, 1970, Stroud came closer to realism than he expected. During a low-level sequence flying a two-seat SV4C Stampe biplane across Lake Weston, a large bird flew through the propeller’s arc, striking Garrison in the face, knocking him unconscious. The aircraft flew into five powerlines, snap rolled and plunged into the lake inverted. Garrison and Stroud were rescued some time later. Stroud was wet but unhurt. Garrison required 60 stitches to close a head wound. He was flying the next day.

Don Stroud starred as real-life jewel thief Jack Murphy, in the movie Murph the Surf (1975). He also starred in the horror/thriller Death Weekend (1976) and had a supporting role in the cult horror film The Amityville Horror (1979). Stroud co-starred in The Buddy Holly Story (1978) as the late musician's drummer (in which he actually played the drums), and played a James Bond villain in the film Licence to Kill (1989). He played Captain Pat Chambers in the television series Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer, with Stacy Keach, with whom he co-starred in the film The Killer Inside Me (1975). Stroud starred in four television series, notably The New Gidget (1986) where he was a natural to play the "Kahuna", Nash Bridges (1996–2001), and Pensacola: Wings of Gold (1996–2000).

In 1973, he was paid $10,000 to appear as a nude centerfold in Playgirl Magazine's November issue.

Don's brother Duke Stroud is also an actor, memorable as the furious air-traffic controller in 1986's Top Gun. Duke also stages plays and teaches acting at Pasadena City College (Nick Nolte's alma mater).

According to the Internet Movie Database, Stroud's work includes an associate producer credit on the 2006 TV series Good Morning Hawaii and a role in the 2009 film Sutures. He also appeared in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained.

Stroud made a brief appearance in the new Hawaii Five-0 on October 10, 2011. In the second season's fourth episode, entitled "Mea Makamae", which means 'Treasure' in Hawaiian, Stroud played a bartender.

References[edit]

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