Arthur Duncan

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Arthur Duncan
Artur Duncan v Kidričevem 1962.jpg
Duncan in 1962
Born (1933-09-25) September 25, 1933 (age 86)
OccupationTap dancer, entertainer

Arthur Duncan (born September 25, 1933) is an American tap dancer, known for his stint as a performer on The Lawrence Welk Show from 1964 to 1982, which made him the first African-American regular on a variety television program.[1]

Born in Pasadena, California,[2] Duncan entered show business at age 13, when he was a member of a dance quartet that performed at McKinley Junior High School in Pasadena, California.[3]

He later entered Pasadena City College to study pharmacy,[2] but left to pursue a career in show business, touring with The Jimmie Rodgers Show and performing on Betty White's 1954 daytime television talk show.[4] After several years of appearances in Europe, Duncan was discovered by Lawrence Welk's personal manager Sam Lutz, and after appearing as a guest on the show, Lawrence Welk offered Duncan a permanent spot as a member of his "musical family."

The 1989 film Tap featured Duncan in a cameo appearance with other famous tap dancers.[5]

In 2004 Duncan was honored at the annual "Tap Extravaganza" in New York City.[1]

In 2017, Duncan appeared on the series premiere episode of the reality talent series Little Big Shots: Forever Young, where he performed a dance and reunited with actress Betty White.[6]

In 2018, Duncan made an appearance on The Talk as part of a surprise for co-host Sheryl Underwood who performed a tap dance routine with Savion Glover as part of the show's New Year's Evolution. Underwood said Duncan was her inspiration for tap dancing. Duncan gave Underwood flowers to congratulate her return to tap dancing.[7]


  1. ^ a b Seibert, Brian (2004-05-30). "DANCE: THIS WEEK; All the Tap Dancers in New York". The New York Times. Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. Archived from the original on 11 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-09.
  2. ^ a b "Arthur Duncan [biography]". Performing Arts Encyclopedia. Library of Congress. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
  3. ^ "Arthur Duncan, dancer on Welk show, will be here". Columbus Daily Telegram. Columbus, Nebraska. 1965-07-23. Retrieved 2013-07-16.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Holden, Stephen (1988-07-06). "The Pop Life". The New York Times. Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. Retrieved 2007-11-09.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "The Talk - Sheryl Underwood Tap Dances with Famed Performer Savion Glover; Meets Idol Arthur Duncan". YouTube. Retrieved February 2, 2018.

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