Kenton Duty

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Kenton Duty
Kenton Duty 2010.jpg
Kenton Duty in 2010
Jeffrey Kenton Duty

(1995-05-12) May 12, 1995 (age 26)
  • Actor
  • singer
  • dancer
Years active2004–present
Height6 ft 4 in (193 cm)

Jeffrey Kenton Duty (born May 12, 1995) is an American actor, singer, and dancer. He is best known for his recurring role as "Young Jacob" on the final season of the ABC primetime drama, Lost, and for his co-starring role as the flamboyant European exchange student, Gunther Hessenheffer on the Disney Channel comedy series, Shake It Up and Matt Prylek in the anti-bullying movie, Contest.

Early life[edit]

Duty was born on May 12, 1995 and raised in Plano, Texas. He attended Carlisle Elementary School. He has two younger siblings, twin sisters, Jessica and Rebecca, born in 1999.[1][2][3][4] Duty first began studying acting at the age of 9, when his parents suggested he attend a musical theatre workshop to help him feel comfortable in front of an audience for school presentations.[5][6] It was at the summer workshop that he discovered he had a love for musical theatre, and it was there that he would also meet the casting director who would ask him to audition for his first play, A Christmas Carol.[5][6]


In 2004, Duty began his acting career in Dallas, Texas at the age of 9, playing "Young Scrooge" in the Dallas Theater Center's musical stage production of A Christmas Carol.[2][6][7] He appeared on-stage again the following year with a principal role in the Denton Community Theatre production of Ragtime.[2][4][6][8] Duty began auditioning for roles in Los Angeles after he was discovered at a showcase performance at the Young Actors Studio in Dallas, Texas by Hollywood talent agent, Cindy Osbrink and she invited him to come to California to audition for pilot season.[2][6][8] He has appeared in numerous national commercials for McDonald's, Wal-Mart, Pizza Hut, and Mattel.[9][10]

In 2007, after several appearances in comedy sketches on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Duty landed his first featured role as Michael in the Lifetime television movie, Christmas in Paradise.[1][2][8] Over the next two years, he appeared in guest-starring roles on Cold Case and The Jay Leno Show, as well as a co-starring role in the popular web series Ctrl.[1][2][4][8]

In 2009, Duty landed his first feature film role in the suspense thriller, 2:13, as well as feature film roles in the horror film, Forget Me Not, the comedy film, Crazy on the Outside. In February 2010, he played a supporting role in the film, My Name Is Khan directed by Karan Johar and starring superstar Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol.[2][4][6][8] In the spring of 2010, Duty gained popular notoriety in the role of "Young Jacob" on the hit TV series Lost, although no one, including Duty himself, knew who his character was until nearly the final episode of the series.[2][6][7][8] He was billed simply as "Teenage Boy."[8]

In the fall of 2010, Duty landed a co-starring role on the Disney Channel original series Shake It Up! as the flamboyant dancer/fashion designer, Gunther Hessenheffer alongside Caroline Sunshine as his twin sister, Tinka.[11][12][13][14][15] The glitzy brother/sister duo of Gunther and Tinka is said to be inspired by Ryan and Sharpay Evans of Disney's High School Musical franchise.[15][16][17] While finding some aspects of the show formulaic, People Magazine critic, Tom Gliatto expressed appreciation for the comedic twosome's work on the series, writing: "Shake It Up doesn't shake up the kidcom formula, but it has something more than the usual shiny-sparkly cuteness... The best performances are from Caroline Sunshine and Kenton Duty as an overbearing brother-and-sister act from abroad named Tinka and Gunther. They're like High School Musical's Sharpay split in two and speaking in an unplaceable accent."[18]

On June 4, 2012, it was announced that Duty would no longer be a regular on Shake It Up, but would possibly return in a recurring capacity much like co-star Caroline Sunshine during the first season, though, he did not return at all. Not long after his departure from Shake It Up, Duty began work on the films Contest, Silver Bells and the short, Murphy.

After a brief stint in the musical group Invasion, Duty moved on to developing his solo music career. In May 2013, he released the lyric video for his first single, titled "Teenage Summer Nights."[19]

Personal life[edit]

In 2010 Duty lived in Los Angeles with his parents and two younger twin sisters.[1][2][3] Duty loves animals and dreamed of becoming a veterinarian before beginning his acting career.[2][5] He has had a pet guinea pig named "Peanut", and has a horse named "Prince" that he keeps on his grandmother's property in Texas.[6][20][21][22] Duty's hobbies include baking, cooking, spending time with his friends, and horseback riding.[6][20][23] He also enjoys singing, playing guitar and songwriting.[9][20][24] Before beginning work on the TV series Shake It Up!, Duty played guitar and sang in the band KGMC Gigmasters with Braeden Lemasters and fellow Lost co-star Dylan Minnette.[25] Having no dance experience prior to his role on Shake It Up, Duty began taking private lessons in his free time to develop his dance skills.[22]

When he isn't working, Duty involves himself with charitable causes including the Disney's Friends for Change initiative, which benefits environmental charities through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, the Starlight Children's Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the quality of life for children with chronic and life-threatening medical conditions, UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital, which is dedicated to researching and treating pediatric diseases, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the quality of life for those living with cystic fibrosis, and St. Jude Children's Hospital, which is dedicated to providing treatment to children with cancer and other catastrophic illnesses.[22][26][27] He is also involved with the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN). FAAN is a non-profit organization that provides information, programs and resources about food allergies and anaphylaxis.[28]

In addition to his charity work, Duty has been an outspoken voice against school bullying.[27][29] In May 2011, he was named one of Dream Magazine's "Top 16 Under 16" and, when asked about the problem of bullying and cyber-bullying, Duty told the magazine - "You know, I have been bullied. It is always an awkward and difficult situation to be in. A couple of things to try when being bullied is to avoid the bully as much as possible, try using humor against the bully, have a sense of confidence... Hold your head up and look everyone in the eyes."[22][30]



Year Title Role Notes
2009 2:13 Young Russell
Forget Me Not Young Chad
2010 Crazy on the Outside Ethan Papadopolous
My Name Is Khan Reese Garrick
2012 Amazing Love: The Story of Hosea Steve
Zendaya: Behind the Scenes Himself Documentary
2013 Contest Matt Prylek
Silver Bells Jason Dalt
2014 One Direction: Clevver's Ultimate Fan Guide Himself
The Adventures of Mickey Matson and the Pirate's Code Max
2015 Crowning Jules[31] Kevin
2016 Little Savages Todd
A Housekeeper's Revenge Matthew
2017 Crowning Jules Kevin
TBA The Nameless Gold Mask
A Life Connected Morgan Woodruff


Year Title Role Notes
2006–2007 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Various roles 4 episodes
2007 Christmas in Paradise Michael Marino Television movie
2008 3-Minute Game Show Himself - Contestant 1 episode
Cold Case Chuck Pierce '69
2009 Ctrl Young Ben Web series; recurring role; 10 episodes
The Jay Leno Show Various roles 2 episodes
2010 Lost Teenage Boy (Young Jacob) 4 episodes
Jimmy Kimmel Live! Young Jacob 1 episode
2011 Last Man Standing Victor Blake
2010–2012 Shake It Up! Gunther Hessenheffer Main role (seasons 12); 36 episodes
2015 Fresh Off the Boat Kevin 1 episode
Astrid Clover Chambray
Filthy Preppy Teens Jorgen
2016 The Encounter
2017–2018 Hilton Head Island Derek Trisk Recurring role
2019 Aware I'm Rare Christian 1 episode


Year Single Album
2011 "Monster Mash"
(With Adam Irigoyen and Davis Cleveland)
Spooky Buddies Soundtrack
2012 "Roam"
(With Caroline Sunshine, Adam Irigoyen and Davis Cleveland)
Treasure Buddies Soundtrack
"Show Ya How"
(With Adam Irigoyen)
Shake It Up: Live 2 Dance
2013 "Teenage Summer Nights"
2014 "Dare To Love"
(With Mandy Rain)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2011 Young Artist Awards Outstanding Young Ensemble in a TV Series
(shared with Bella Thorne, Zendaya, Davis Cleveland, Roshon Fegan, Adam Irigoyen and Caroline Sunshine)
Shake It Up Nominated [32]
2012 [33]


  1. ^ a b c d "Kenton Duty Interview - 12/03/2010". The Joey & Elise Show. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Lost's Kenton Duty - Duty Calls". SciFiAndTvTalk. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  3. ^ a b "Kenton Duty Interview - 8/28/2010". Maximo TV. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  4. ^ a b c d "Plano teen guest stars in 'Cold Case'". Star Local News. Archived from the original on February 1, 2013. Retrieved September 12, 2011.
  5. ^ a b c "Kenton Duty Interview". Star Chat Magazine. Archived from the original on 2013-11-09. Retrieved 2011-01-10.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Kenton Duty Interview". Portrait Magazine. Archived from the original on 2012-09-07. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  7. ^ a b "Young Dallas performer finds niche in Disney sitcom". September 12, 2011. Archived from the original on March 30, 2012.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g "Kenton Duty Talks About His Part On 'Lost'". Media Blvd Magazine. Archived from the original on 2010-06-19. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  9. ^ a b "Kenton Duty is "Gunther"". Disney Channel Medianet. Archived from the original on 2012-06-14. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  10. ^ "Kenton Duty "Shake It Up"". Pop Tower. Archived from the original on 2010-06-03. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  11. ^ "Characters - Tinka & gubther - Shake It Up! - Disney Channel". Disney Channel Online. Disney. Archived from the original on 2010-11-08. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  12. ^ "'Shake It Up': Meet Gunther & Tinka". ClevverTV. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  13. ^ "Kenton Duty Interview: Disney Channel's 'Shake It Up'". ClevverTV. Archived from the original on 2010-12-15. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  14. ^ "1 to 1 with Caroline Sunshine & Kenton Duty". Fanlala. Archived from the original on 2011-07-10. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  15. ^ a b "When It Comes to Gay Characters, When Will the Teen Channels Grow Up?". Retrieved 2010-12-24.
  16. ^ "O.C. teen lands role in Disney Channel's new "Shake It Up" series". The Orange County Register. Archived from the original on 2010-11-07. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  17. ^ "Caroline Sunshine & Kenton Duty: Disney's New Ryan & Sharpay!". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  18. ^ "Picks and Pans: Shake It Up". People Magazine. December 20, 2010.
  19. ^ Kenton Duty, "Teenage Summer Nights" Lyric Video.
  20. ^ a b c "Kenton Duty from 'Shake It Up!'". Archived from the original on 2011-01-17. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  21. ^ "Kenton Duty Interview: "I didn't even know how to dance"". The Star Scoop. Retrieved 2010-12-12.
  22. ^ a b c d "Top 16 Under 16: Kenton Duty". Archived from the original on 2011-09-14. Retrieved 2011-09-26.
  23. ^ "Kenton Duty Celebrates Thanksgiving". Fanlala. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
  24. ^ "Interview with 'Shake It Up!' star Kenton Duty!'". Starry Constellation Magazine. Retrieved 2010-12-09.
  25. ^ "KGMC Gigmasters Band - 'Stand By Me'". Youtube. Retrieved 2010-11-13.
  26. ^ "Disney On Ice benefit for Starlight Children's Foundation". Wire Image. Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
  27. ^ a b "Get Ready To "Shake It Up" with Kenton Duty". Hollywood Teen 'Zine. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
  28. ^ "Kenton Duty's Connection to FAAN". FAAN Website. Archived from the original on 2012-06-04. Retrieved 2012-09-30.
  29. ^ "Thorne, Duty & Cleveland anti-bullying message". Retrieved 2011-09-10.
  30. ^ "Dream Magazine - May 2011 Cover". Archived from the original on 2012-06-17. Retrieved 2011-09-26.
  31. ^ "Video: Crowning Jules Trailer". Brian Harrington. Retrieved 2017-03-10.
  32. ^ "32nd Annual Young Artist Awards". Retrieved March 5, 2011.
  33. ^ "33rd Annual Young Artist Awards". Archived from the original on April 4, 2012. Retrieved March 31, 2012.

External links[edit]