|Born||Howard Green Duff
November 24, 1913
Charleston (now Bremerton),
|Died||July 8, 1990
Santa Barbara, California, USA
|Cause of death||Heart attack|
|Spouse(s)||Ida Lupino (1951–1984; divorced)
Judy Jenkinson Duff
|Children||Bridget Duff (b. 1952)|
Duff was born in Charleston, now part of Bremerton, Washington. He graduated in 1932 from Roosevelt High School in Seattle, where he began acting in school plays after he was cut from the school basketball team. Thereafter, he worked locally in the theater in Seattle until he entered the military during World War II. He was assigned to the United States Army Air Force's radio service. After the war his career improved, and he quickly procured his first film role as an inmate in Brute Force. His other film roles include The Naked City (1948), All My Sons (1948), Calamity Jane and Sam Bass (1949), Panic in the City (1968), In Search of America (1971), A Wedding (1978) and No Way Out (1987).
Duff appeared in a number of films with his first wife, actress/director Ida Lupino. One of his 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 to 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.
From January 1957 to September 1958, he appeared with his then-wife, Ida Lupino, in their CBS sitcom, Mr. Adams and Eve, which revolved around the private lives of two fictitious film stars named Howard Adams and Eve Drake. He played the young Samuel Langhorne Clemens, in his early life in the West as a satirical and crusading journalist, in the TV series Bonanza ("Enter Mark Twain," season 1, episode 5, 1959). In 1960, he played the male main character in The Twilight Zone episode "A World of Difference" as Arthur Curtis/Jerry Raigan. From October 1960 through April 1961, Duff played Willie Dante, owner of the fictional San Francisco nightclub, Dante's Inferno, in the NBC adventure/drama series Dante.
In 1964, Duff guest-starred as Harold Baker in the episode Prodigy of NBC's medical drama about psychiatry, The Eleventh Hour, starring Jack Ging and Ralph Bellamy. He was then cast as Joe Stillman in the 1965 episode "Mountains to Climb" of the NBC education drama series, Mr. Novak, starring James Franciscus.
In 1977, he guest-starred in the Rockford Files episode, "There's One in Every Port"; and in 1990, The Golden Girls's "The Mangiacavallo Curse Makes a Lousy Wedding Present". In the 1980s, he appeared on NBC's Flamingo Road; and Knots Landing and Dallas, the latter both on CBS.
Duff had a tempestuous relationship with actress Ava Gardner in the late 1940s. In 1951, he married Ida Lupino. After he was listed in Red Channels as a communist subversive in 1950, he lost his radio work and might have forfeited his entire career had it not been for his marriage. They had a daughter, Bridget Duff (born April 23, 1952). They separated in 1966 and divorced in 1984. He subsequently married Judy Jenkinson.
- Brute Force (1947)
- The Naked City (1948)
- Illegal Entry (1949)
- Red Canyon (1949)
- Johnny Stool Pigeon (1949)
- Shakedown (1950)
- Woman in Hiding (1950), co-starring with Lupino
- Steel Town (1952)
- Spaceways (1953)
- Jennifer (1953), co-starring with Lupino
- Private Hell 36 (1954), co-starring with Lupino
- Women's Prison (1955), starring Lupino
- While the City Sleeps (1956), with Lupino
- Blackjack Ketchum,Desperado (1956)
- Le sette folgori di Assur (War Gods of Babylon) (1962)
- Boys' Night Out (1962)
- Panic in the City (1968)
- A Little Game (1971, made for TV)
- Snatched (1973)
- The Late Show (1977)
- A Wedding (1978)
- Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
- Oh, God! Book II (1980)
- The Wild Women of Chastity Gulch (1982, made for TV)
- Monster in the Closet (1986)
- No Way Out (1987)
- Too Much Sun (1990)
- "Actor Howard Duff, Radio's Sam Spade, Dies at 72", Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 10, 1990
- Maltin, Leonard - TV Movies 1981-82 Edition, New American Library, 1980
- Buxton, Frank and Owens, Bill - The Big Broadcast - 1920-1950, The Viking Press, 1972
- Dunning, John - Tune in Yesterday, Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1976
- Brooks, Tim and Marsh, Earl - The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows 1946-Present, Ballantine, 1979
- Panic in the City (1968) IMDB
- Howard Duff at the Internet Movie Database
- Howard Duff Collection at UCLA
- Howard Duff at Find a Grave