Actor/Director’s New Book Chronicles Growing up in Poughkeepsie
An accomplished actor and director has written a book about overcoming racism while growing up in the Hudson Valley.
Bill Duke may not be a household name, but his high profile roles have made his face instantly recognizable. The actor has appeared in some of the most iconic television shows of the 70's including Starsky and Hutch, Charlie's Angels, and Kojak. In the 80s, Duke moved on to major motion pictures, acting alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in both Predator and Commando.
Daily Press reports that Bill Duke has now written an autobiography chronicling not only his days as an actor and director but the years he spent growing up in Poughkeepsie. The book, "Bill Duke: My 40-Year Career on Screen and Behind the Camera," tells the story of Duke's childhood years during the 1940s and 1950s living in the Hudson Valley.
The 75-year-old actor reminisces about his love of acting and movies. Growing up in Poughkeepsie Duke saw very few people of color in starring roles. It wasn't until Sidney Poitier showed up on the silver screen when the young Hudson Valley man knew exactly what he wanted to do with his life.
The book also talks about how one of Duke's professors at Dutchess Community College changed his life forever. The actor eventually saved up enough money to leave DCC and start classes at Boston University. While in school Duke ran out of money for books and rent, so he had to move back to Poughkeepsie to go back to work. That's when his professor stepped in to make sure Duke kept his dream alive.
Dr. Hall was very strict, and no one liked him much, and I told him I was coming home to work. He said ‘No you’re not!’ and reached into his back pocket and pulled out an envelope containing a personal check for thousands of dollars — enough for me to finish at Boston!
"Bill Duke: My 40-Year Career on Screen and Behind the Camera" will be released on November 15.