Dick Durock was an American actor best known for his role as the swamp creature Swamp Thing in the eponymous 1982 film and its sequels. He was born on August 7, 1937 in Royal Oak, Michigan. At one time he was a member of the United States Marine Corps. He began his onscreen career as a stunt performer in the 1960s.
Durock’s first major acting role was in the 1982 film “Swamp Thing,” directed by Wes Craven. In this film, Durock played the title character, a scientist who is transformed into a swamp creature after a laboratory accident. The role was physically demanding, as Durock had to perform many of his own stunts and wear a heavy costume for the majority of the film.
Despite his extensive acting career, Durock remained humble and dedicated to his craft. He was well-liked by his colleagues, and was known for his sense of humor and his positive attitude:
I was very fortunate, being 6′ 5″. There was a time I throw a standing backflip off the ground. I was blessed with some modicum of agility. It’s an art. The idea is to do it and not get hurt, but to make it look like you’ve been wiped out. Anybody can hit the ground. The idea is that if you have to get up and do it again, you do it the same way. It’s acting with your body. (on the art of performing stunts)
Sadly, Durock passed away from pancreatic cancer at his home in Oak Park, California on September 17th 2009 at the age of 72 years old. Despite his relatively short career as a leading actor, he left a lasting impact on the world of film and television, and is remembered as one of the great character actors of his generation. In a statement, Durock’s friend and fellow actor Louis Jourdan said, “Dick was a warm and wonderful man, and a truly talented actor. He will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him.”
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