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Claude Akins

Claude Akins

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Also Known As: Claude A. Akins Died: January 27, 1994
Born: May 25, 1926 Cause of Death: cancer
Birth Place: Nelson, Georgia, USA Profession: actor, salesman

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Husky, masculine character player of stage, film and TV, adept at playing good (and bad) ol' southern boys, ambiguous lawmen and menacing villains. Akins began his film career as a heavy, beginning with his feature debut, "From Here to Eternity" (1953). He continued this trend to varying degrees in major productions like "The Caine Mutiny" (1954), "The Defiant Ones" (1958) and "Inherit the Wind" (1960). Akins also fared well portraying rednecks and assorted varmints in numerous Westerns (Howard Hawks' "Rio Bravo" 1959, "Commanche Station" 1960).TV tended to view the strapping actor in a more admirable light. Akins' first TV pilot was a starring vehicle called "Sam Hill" about an itinerant blacksmith of legendary strength who strode the Old West armed only with a knife and a hammer. Directed by Robert Altman, this unsold pilot was broadcast as a memorable installment of "Bonanza" (NBC, 1961). Akins continued to appear on the small screen in TV-movies, guest shots, and more busted pilots before starring as a sympathetic gypsy trucker in "Movin' On" (1974-76), a likeable series set on the roads of America. For better or worse, Akins may be best remembered for his broad portrayal of the amusingly...

Husky, masculine character player of stage, film and TV, adept at playing good (and bad) ol' southern boys, ambiguous lawmen and menacing villains. Akins began his film career as a heavy, beginning with his feature debut, "From Here to Eternity" (1953). He continued this trend to varying degrees in major productions like "The Caine Mutiny" (1954), "The Defiant Ones" (1958) and "Inherit the Wind" (1960). Akins also fared well portraying rednecks and assorted varmints in numerous Westerns (Howard Hawks' "Rio Bravo" 1959, "Commanche Station" 1960).

TV tended to view the strapping actor in a more admirable light. Akins' first TV pilot was a starring vehicle called "Sam Hill" about an itinerant blacksmith of legendary strength who strode the Old West armed only with a knife and a hammer. Directed by Robert Altman, this unsold pilot was broadcast as a memorable installment of "Bonanza" (NBC, 1961). Akins continued to appear on the small screen in TV-movies, guest shots, and more busted pilots before starring as a sympathetic gypsy trucker in "Movin' On" (1974-76), a likeable series set on the roads of America. For better or worse, Akins may be best remembered for his broad portrayal of the amusingly larcenous Sheriff Elroy P. Lobo on the trucking adventure series "B.J. and the Bear" (NBC, 1979-81), its spin-off "The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo" (NBC, 1979-80) and "Lobo" (NBC, 1980-81), The last was a relatively somber revamp of the preceding slapstick "Misadventures...", moved from Orly County Georgia to the mean streets of Atlanta. The down home charm of Akins' voice remained familiar to radio and TV audiences of the late 80s and 90s due to his work as a spokesman for Aamco transmissions. He also continued to appear on TV and in the occasional film. 1992 marked the end of Akins' career in front of the camera: His final TV guest shot was as a ghost of a bumbling Western bank robber on a Joe Dante-directed episode of "Eerie, Indiana"; his last TV-movie found him playing Teddy Roosevelt in the syndicated miniseries "Sherlock Holmes: Incident at Victoria Falls"; and his farewell to features was with a supporting role in "Falling From Grace", the feature directorial debut of musician-actor John Mellencamp.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Seasons of the Heart (1998) William Clay
2.
 Where Evil Lives (1995) Jack Devlin
3.
 Falling From Grace (1992) Speck Parks
4.
5.
 Monster in the Closet (1987) Sheriff Ketchum
7.
 Curse, The (1987) Nathan Hayes
8.
 Manhunt For Claude Dallas (1986) Bill Pogue
9.
 Baron and the Kid, The (1984) Darlin' Harley Medford
10.
 Ebony, Ivory and Jade (1979) Joe Blair
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Bedford, Indiana
1944:
Served as master sergeant in US Army Signal Corps
:
Worked as salesman in Indiana
:
Made stage debut with Barter Theatre, Abingdon Virginia where he appeared in "The Hasty Heart", "The Heiress" and "The Show Off"
1951:
Broadway debut as a salesman in "The Rose Tatoo" (also toured with show 1951-52)
:
Performed for several seasons with touring companies and in dinner theater; worked in Chicago, Houston, Jacksonville and L,A.
1951:
TV debut, "Suspense"
1953:
Film debut, "From Here to Eternity"
1961:
Starred in "Sam Hill", a memorable busted Western pilot, directed by Robert Altman and broadcast as an episode of "Bonanza" on NBC
:
TV series debut, "Movin' On"
:
Appeared as a regular, Sheriff Elroy P. Lobo, on the trucking adventure series "B.J. And the Bear"
:
Starred in the spinoff, "The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo"
:
Starred in "Lobo", a somewhat darker urban crime drama spinoff from "The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo"
:
Worked as a TV and radio spokesman for Aamco transmissions
1992:
Final TV movie credit, playing Teddy Roosevelt in the syndicated miniseries, "Sherlock Holmes: Incident at Victoria Falls"
1992:
Final TV guest shot, as the ghost of a Western bank robber on "Eerie, Indiana", directed by Joe Dante
1992:
Final feature credit, "Falling From Grace", the directing bow of John Mellencamp
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Northwestern University: Evanston , Illinois -

Notes

Served as a host of numerous golf tournaments including the Claude Akins/Julius Boros Kansas City Shine Classic in 1978.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Therese Marie Fairfield. Registered nurse. Married August 30, 1952; survived him.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Ernest Marion Akins. Police officer.
mother:
Anna Maude Akins.
son:
Claude Marion Akins Jr. Resides in Baltimore MD; survived him.
daughter:
Wendy Marie Doneger. Resides in Fairfield, CT; survived him.
daughter:
Michelle Marion Johnson. Resides in Idylwild, CA; survived him.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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