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Claude Akins 1926-1994
 


Country : Nelson, GA
Profession : Actor
Date of birth : 1926-05-25
Date of death : 1994-01-27
Cause of Death : Cancer

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Claude Marion Akins (May 25, 1926 — January 27, 1994) was an American actor. He was born in Nelson, Georgia and grew up in Bedford, Indiana. He was a 1949 graduate of Northwestern University , where he studied theatre. and became a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. Powerful in appearance and voice, Akins could be counted on to play the clever (or less than clever) tough guy, on the side of good or bad, in movies and television. He is best remembered as Sheriff Lobo in the 1970s TV series B.J. and the Bear, and later The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo, a spin-off series, with Ben Cooper appearing as Waverly.

In movies, his first appearance was in From Here to Eternity in 1953. Akins portrayed prisoner Joe Berdett in the movie Rio Bravo (which also starred John Wayne, Ricky Nelson, Dean Martin and Angie Dickinson), Naval Lt. Commander Farber in Don't Give Up The Ship (starring Jerry Lewis), Sgt Kolowicz in Merrill's Marauders, Rockwell W. "Rocky" Rockman in The Devil's Brigade, the Reverend Jeremiah Brown in the 1960 movie Inherit the Wind, outlaw Ben Lane in Comanche Station that same year, Seely Jones in A Distant Trumpet (1964), and the gorilla leader Aldo in Battle for the Planet of the Apes, the last original Apes movie in 1973.

In television, Akins had an early appearance in Adventures of Superman (episode number 69, "Peril by Sea"), playing a villainous co-conspirator. He had numerous roles in Western series, including Frontier, Northwest Passage, Sheriff of Cochise, State Trooper, Wagon Train, Overland Trail, Laramie, The Big Valley, The Legend of Jesse James, Death Valley Days, Zane Grey Theater, The Rifleman Bonanza, and The Oregon Trail.

Akins was featured on the original CBS The Twilight Zone ("The Little People" and "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street"), City Detective, and The Untouchables. In 1960, he and Marty Ingels appeared as themselves in the episode "Amateur Night" in NBC's short-lived crime drama Dan Raven, starring Skip Homeier and set on the Sunset Strip of West Hollywood. Another early appearance was playing a cop in "Reward to Finder," on Alfred Hitchcock Presents from 1957. Akins played another television cop, good-natured Sheriff's Detective Sargent Phillip Dix, in the first season of the Perry Mason in "The Case of the Half-Wakened Wife" (Episode 1-26) that aired March 15, 1958.

Before his signature character Lobo, he appeared as trucker Sonny Pruett in NBC's Movin' On, from 1974 to 1976. He also appeared in TV commercials for PoliGrip and Aamco. He guest-starred on an episode of CBS's I Love Lucy, playing himself.

Akins found work in the late 1980s lending his inimitable voice talents to the work safety instructional video series Safety Shorts. In these videos Akins was able to expound the virtues of workplace safety to thousands of industrial employees, offering valuable lessons on the importance of Lockout/tagout procedures, personal protective equipment, and the ever popular MSDS documentation process. Akins also made a golfing video with Ron Masak titled Tom Kite and Friends.

Akins died of cancer in 1994.

 

TELEVISION
Murder, She Wrote Capt. Ethan Cragg (1984)
The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo Sheriff Elroy S. Lobo (1979-81)
B.J. and the Bear Sheriff Lobo (1979)
Movin' On Sonny Pruett (1974-76)
Laredo Cotton Buckmeister (1966-67)

FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Falling from Grace (21-Feb-1992)
The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw (3-Nov-1991)
The Curse (11-Sep-1987)
Monster in the Closet (30-Jan-1987)
Little Mo (5-Sep-1978)
Tentacles (17-Mar-1977)
Battle for the Planet of the Apes (15-Jun-1973)
The Norliss Tapes (21-Feb-1973)
Skyjacked (24-May-1972)
The Night Stalker (11-Jan-1972)
A Man Called Sledge (30-Oct-1970)
The Great Bank Robbery (10-Sep-1969)
The Devil's Brigade (15-May-1968)
Waterhole #3 (10-Oct-1967)
First to Fight (25-Jan-1967)
Return of the Seven (19-Oct-1966)
Ride Beyond Vengence (Jan-1966)
The Killers (07-Jul-1964)
A Distant Trumpet (27-May-1964)
Merrill's Marauders (16-Mar-1962)
Inherit the Wind (Jun-1960)
Comanche Station (Mar-1960)
Yellowstone Kelly (11-Nov-1959)
Don't Give Up the Ship (3-Jul-1959)
Porgy and Bess (24-Jun-1959)
Rio Bravo (18-Mar-1959)
Onionhead (1-Oct-1958)
The Defiant Ones (14-Aug-1958)
The Lonely Man (12-Aug-1957)
The Burning Hills (23-Aug-1956)
The Sharkfighters (1956)
Johnny Concho (1956)
The Sea Chase (4-Jun-1955)
Shield for Murder (27-Aug-1954)
The Caine Mutiny (24-Jun-1954)

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