Not many men have gone toe-to-toe with Buck Rogers, Michael Knight, Steve McQueen, David Carradine, Clint Eastwood, The A-Team and Hunter! John Quade did. Sometimes on more than one occasion! A character actor of the highest regard he would often be tormenting the biggest heroes of the big and small screen. With a career spanning 25 years there were not many people who did not share a scene with him at some point in their career. A true Hero of Cult!
John Quade (birth name John William Saunders) was born in Kansas City, Kansas, where he attended Perry Rural High School in Perry, Kansas before later transferring to Highland Park High School in Topeka on September 7, 1954.
While at Highland Park, Quade palyed as a football tackle and also participated in basketball and track. He was a member of the Stamp, Radio, and Chess/Checkers clubs. He graduated from Highland Park in May 1956 and went onto attend Washburn University.
He worked in the aerospace industry before he entered acting. According to his widow, Quade built parts that are still on the moon.
In the mid-1960s he formed a partnership with rock and roller Zane Ashton (aka Bill Aken) in the production company “Progressive Sounds Of America.” Their partnership is closely documented in the biography of Bill Aken, (Carry Your Own Guitar) published by Xlibris Corporation in January 2014. Most of their productions were done at Richie Podolor’s American Recording including those with The Roosters, Fenwyck, Big Joe Long, and United Artist’s country songstress Kathy Dee. Ashton was the adopted son of classical guitarist Francisco Mayorga and his actress wife Lupe, who initially helped open music business doors for the two partners. After a rapid rise from a one-room office in Maywood, California to a highrise suite of offices in Hollywood, they sold the company to the Pat Quinlan Agency in 1968, but the two remained friends for decades.
The same year Quade made his first TV appearance in The Wild, Wild West. Many roles followed including The High Chaparral, Mannix, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Bearcats!, Hammer, Bad Company, and Ironside.
In 1973 Quade appeared in Papillon alongside Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman. He also appeared in The Sting, Chopper One, The Swinging Cheerleaders, Kung Fu, The Rockford Files, Police Story, Kojak, The Last Hard Men, The Outlaw Josey Wales, and Roots.
In 1977 appearances were made in Starsky and Hutch, The Bionic Woman, Charlie’s Angels, and Police Woman.
In 1978 Quade took of arguably his most famous role as biker Cholla – leader of The Black Widows in Every Which Way But Lose opposite Clint Eastwood. He reprised the role for the 1980 sequel Every Which Way You Can.
Other roles of note include Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Galactica 1980, CHiPS, The Dukes of Hazzard, Quincer M.E., Knightrider, The Fall Guy, Manimal, Hill Street Blues, The A-Team, La Bamba, Hunter, The Highwayman, Baywatch, Lucky Luke and his last role as Martin in The Return to Lonesome Dove.
Quade was an outspoken opponent of the U.S. government and believed it had become drastically different from the founding fathers’ intent. He gave numerous lectures on the New World Order of the current government. In short, he was opposed to Section 2 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, Social Security numbers, and driver’s licenses. He was often referred to as an “actor, aerospace engineer, and Christian activist”. He was a supporter of the Allodial Title belief in common law.
Sadly Quade passed away on 9th August 2009 following a heart attack.