Born on November 24, 1913, in Bremerton, Washington, actor Howard Duff grew up in Seattle and played basketball while in high school. He joined the Seattle Repertory Theater after graduating from high school and appeared in a wide range of productions until the beginning of World War II. During the war, he was assigned to the Armed Forces Radio Service, and following the end of the war, he joined the Actor's Laboratory in Los Angeles. His lucky break came in 1946, when he was cast as Sam Spade in The Adventures of Sam Spade, which aired on ABC, CBS, and NBC radio at various times. The popularity of the radio show helped Duff transition to films in 1947. He made his film debut in Universal's noir thriller Brute Force (1947; with Burt Lancaster and Yvonne De Carlo). He followed up his well-received performance in his first film with another fine performance in The Naked City (1948; with Barry Fitzgerald) in a starring role. Universal then extended Duff a long-term contract, and eventually he gave up his radio gig to focus on films.

Although Duff was romantically linked to many actresses, including Yvonne De Carlo and Ava Gardner, he didn't marry until he was nearly 40 years old. He met actress Ida Lupino while they were costarring in Universal's film noir thriller Woman in Hiding (1950; with Stephen McNally), and the couple wed in 1951, following Lupino's divorce from her second husband, Collier Young.

Ida Lupino and Howard Duff

With wife Ida Lupino and daughter Bridget in 1952

The couple welcomed the birth of daughter Bridget in 1952, but their relationship proved volatile. Duff and Lupino separated several times during their marriage, notably in 1954 and 1960, and their final split came in 1973. However, the couple did not divorce until 1983. During their marriage, Duff and Lupino worked together often, particularly after Duff's contract with Universal ended in 1952, in such films as Private Hell 36 (1954; with Steve Cochran and Dorothy Malone) and While the City Sleeps (1956; with Dana Andrews and Sally Forrest). The couple also co-starred on the 1957-1958 CBS television comedy series Mr. Adams and Eve, which they also produced. Interestingly, Lupino's second husband, Collier Young, wrote the majority of the scripts for this series.

the films of howard duff

All My Sons (1948)

Howard Duff

Duff as George Deever in Universal-International's drama All My Sons in his third film appearance

Illegal Entry (1949)

Howard Duff

From Universal-International's crime drama Illegal Entry

Johnny Stool Pigeon (1949)

Dan Duryea and Howard Duff

From Universal-International's film noir thriller Johnny Stool Pigeon with Dan Duryea. This film was directed by William Castle

The Lady from Texas (1951)

Howard Duff, Craig Stevens, Barbara Knudson, and Ed Begley

From Universal-International's western The Lady from Texas with Craig Stevens, Barbara Knudson, and Ed Begley

Models, Inc (1952)

John Howard, Howard Duff, and Coleen GrayHoward Duff

LEFT: With John Howard and Coleen Gray in the low-budget noir Models, Inc.. RIGHT: Duff as Lennie Stone

Steel Town (1952)

John Lund, Ann Sheridan, and Howard Duff

With John Lund and Ann Sheridan in the Universal-International drama Steel Town

Spaceways (1953)

Eva Bartok and Howard Duff

From Hammer's sci-fi flick Spaceways with Eva Bartok

Private Hell 36 (1954)

Howard Duff and Dorothy Malone

From the independent crime thriller Private Hell 36 with Dorothy Malone. This film was co-written by Duff's then-wife, Ida Lupino

The Yellow Mountain (1954)

Howard Duff and Lex Barker

With Lex Barker in the Universal-International western The Yellow Mountain

Women's Prison (1955)

Ida Lupino and Howard Duff

From the Columbia noirish drama Women's Prison with Ida Lupino

The Broken Star (1956)

Bill Williams and Howard Duff

From the western The Broken Star, released by United Artists. Also pictured is Bill Williams

Dante (1960-1961 NBC TV Series)

Lori Nelson and Howard Duff

From Duff's NBC TV series Dante in a 1961 episode titled Dial D for Dante. Also pictured is Lori Nelson

Boys' Night Out (1962)

James Garner, Howard Morris, Tony Randall, and Howard DuffHoward Duff and Kim Novak

LEFT: From the MGM middle-age panic comedy Boys' Night Out with James Garner, Howard Morris, and Tony Randall. RIGHT: With Kim Novak

Felony Squad (1966-1969 ABC TV Series)

Dennis Cole, Howard Duff, and Ben Alexander

Duff with series co-stars Dennis Cole and Ben Alexander in the ABC crime drama Felony Squad

Batman (1966-1968 ABC TV Series)

Ida Lupino and Howard Duff

With Ida Lupino in a 1968 episode of Batman titled The Entrancing Dr. Cassandra

The Heist (1972)

Christopher George and Howard Duff

With Christopher George in the ABC TV movie The Heist

Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

Meryl Streep and Howard Duff

With Meryl Streep in Columbia drama Kramer vs. Kramer

later years

When Howard Duff's film career began to ebb in the late 1950s, he made a successful transition to television, starring in several TV series, including Dante and Felony Squad in the 1960s and Flamingo Road in the early 1980s. He also appeared as a guest star in numerous television programs from the 1950s onward. Late in his career, his film career was revived in a few 'A' pictures, such as Kramer vs. Kramer (1979; with Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep) and No Way Out (1987; with Kevin Costner). Duff's career continued to be prolific until the end, when he passed away after a heart attack on July 8, 1990, at the age of 76. He was survived by his second wife, Judy, daughter Bridget, a granddaughter, and a brother.

howard duff dvds available from


Too Much Sun (1990) with Allan Arbus, Robert Downey Jr., Eric Idle, Ralph Macchio, and Andrea Martin
Settle the Score (1989) with Jaclyn Smith and Richard Masur
No Way Out (1987) with Kevin Costner, Gene Hackman, and Sean Young
Roses Are for the Rich (1987) with Lisa Hartman, Bruce Dern, Joe Penny, Richard Masur, and Betty Buckley
Monster in the Closet (1986) with Claude Akins, Henry Gibson, Paul Dooley, John Carradine, Jesse White, Paul Walker, Stella Stevens, and Stacy 'Fergie' Ferguson
Love on the Run (1985) with Stephanie Zimbalist and Alec Baldwin
This Girl for Hire (1983) with Bess Armstrong, Celeste Holm, Cliff De Young, Hermione Baddeley, Scott Brady, Jose Ferrer, Beverly Garland, Roddy McDowall, Ray Walston, and Elisha Cook Jr.
The Wild Women of Chastity Gulch (1982) with Priscilla Barnes, Lee Horsley, Pamela Bellwood, Phyllis Davis, Jeanette Nolan, Morgan Brittany, Donny Osmond, Lisa Whelchel, Joan Collins, and Paul Carr
Oh, God! Book II (1980) with George Burns, Suzanne Pleshette, David Birney, and Conrad Janis
The Dream Merchants (1980) with Mark Harmon, Vincent Gardenia, Morgan Fairchild, Brianne Leary, Eve Arden, Kaye Ballard, Morgan Brittany, Red Buttons, Robert Culp, Jose Ferrer, Robert Goulet, David Groh, and Carolyn Jones
Valentine Magic on Love Island (1980) with Adrienne Barbeau, Bill Daily, Dody Goodman, Lisa Hartman, Christopher Knight, and Janis Paige
Double Negative (1980) with Michael Sarrazin, Susan Clark, Anthony Perkins, John Candy, and Joe Flaherty
Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) with Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Jane Alexander, Justin Henry, and JoBeth Williams
Battered (1978) with Karen Grassle, LeVar Burton, Mike Farrell, Joan Blondell, and Diana Scarwid
A Wedding (1978) with Carol Burnett, Paul Dooley, Mia Farrow, Dennis Christopher, and Peggy Ann Garner
Ski Lift to Death (1978) with Don Galloway, Clu Gulager, Veronica Hamel, and Don Johnson
Actor (1978) with Herschel Bernardi, Georgia Brown, and Harold Gould
In the Glitter Palace (1977) with Chad Everett, Barbara Hershey, Carole Cook, Salome Jens, Ron Masak, Diana Scarwid, Tisha Sterling, Paul Stevens, and David Wayne
The Late Show (1977) with Art Carney, Lily Tomlin, Bill Macy, and Joanna Cassidy
Snatched (1973) with Leslie Nielsen, Sheree North, Barbara Parkins, Robert Reed, John Saxon, Tisha Sterling, Anthony Zerbe, and Richard Davalos
The Heist (1972) with Christopher George, Elizabeth Ashley, Norman Fell, Cliff Osmond, and Robert Mandan
A Little Game (1971) with Diane Baker, Ed Nelson, and Katy Jurado
In Search of America (1971) with Carl Betz, Vera Miles, Jeff Bridges, Kim Hunter, Michael Anderson Jr., Sal Mineo, and Tyne Daly
D.A.: Murder One (1969) with Robert Conrad, Diane Baker, Scott Brady, and Dana Elcar
Panic in the City (1968) with Linda Cristal, Stephen McNally, Nehemiah Persoff, Anne Jeffreys, Dennis Hopper, George Barrows, John Hoyt, and Wesley Lau
Calhoun: County Agent (1964) with Ken Berry, Jackie Cooper, Beverly Garland, Robert Lansing, Barbara Luna, and Barbara Stanwyck
War Gods of Babylon (1962) with Jocelyn Lane
Boys' Night Out (1962) with Kim Novak, James Garner, Tony Randall, Patti Page, Anne Jeffreys, Zsa Zsa Gabor, William Bendix, Jim Backus, and Fred Clark
Teenage Idol (1958) with Patrick Wayne, Ida Lupino, and Carolyn Craig
Sierra Stranger (1957) with Dick Foran and John Hoyt
While the City Sleeps (1956) with Dana Andrews, Rhonda Fleming, George Sanders, Thomas Mitchell, Vincent Price, Sally Forrest, John Drew Barrymore, James Craig, and Ida Lupino
The Broken Star (1956) with Lita Baron and Bill Williams
Blackjack Ketchum, Desperado (1956) with Victor Jory and Margaret Field
Flame of the Islands (1956) with Yvonne De Carlo, Zachary Scott, and James Arness
Women's Prison (1955) with Ida Lupino, Jan Sterling, Cleo Moore, Audrey Totter, Phyllis Thaxter, Warren Stevens, Mae Clarke, and Juanita Moore
The Yellow Mountain (1954) with Lex Barker, Mala Powers, and William Demarest
Private Hell 36 (1954) with Ida Lupino, Steve Cochran, Dean Jagger, Dorothy Malone, and Dabbs Greer
Tanganyika (1954) with Van Heflin, Ruth Roman, Jeff Morrow, and Noreen Corcoran
Jennifer (1953) with Ida Lupino
Spaceways (1953) with Eva Bartok
Roar of the Crowd (1953) with Helene Stanley
Models Inc. (1952) with Coleen Gray and John Howard
Steel Town (1952) with Ann Sheridan, John Lund, Chick Chandler, James Best, and Nancy Kulp
The Lady from Texas (1951) with Mona Freeman, Gene Lockhart, Craig Stevens, and Ed Begley
Shakedown (1950) with Brian Donlevy, Peggy Dow, Lawrence Tierney, Bruce Bennett, Rock Hudson, and Peggie Castle
Spy Hunt (1950) with Marta Toren, Philip Friend, Philip Dorn, and Walter Slezak
Woman in Hiding (1950) with Ida Lupino, Stephen McNally, Peggy Dow, John Litel, and Joe Besser
Johnny Stool Pigeon (1949) with Shelley Winters, Dan Duryea, Tony Curtis, and Leif Erickson
Calamity Jane and Sam Bass (1949) with Yvonne De Carlo, Willard Parker, and Lloyd Bridges
Illegal Entry (1949) with Marta Toren, George Brent, and Tom Tully
Red Canyon (1949) with Ann Blyth, George Brent, Edgar Buchanan, John McIntire, Chill Wills, Jane Darwell, and Lloyd Bridges
All My Sons (1948) with Edward G. Robinson, Burt Lancaster, Arlene Francis, and Harry Morgan
The Naked City (1948) with Barry Fitzgerald and Dorothy Hart
Brute Force (1947) with Burt Lancaster, Hume Cronyn, Charles Bickford, Yvonne De Carlo, Ann Blyth, Ella Raines, Jeff Corey, and John Hoyt

Knots Landing, 1979-1993 CBS TV series. Duff portrayed Paul Galveston from 1984-1990
Flamingo Road, 1980-1982 NBC TV series. Duff portrayed Sheriff Titus Semple
Felony Squad, 1966-1969 ABC TV series. Duff portrayed Detective Sargeant Sam Stone
Dante, 1960-1961 NBC TV series. Duff portrayed Willie Dante
Mr. Adams and Eve, 1957-1958 CBS TV series. Duff portrayed Howard Adams

The Golden Girls, episode The Mangiacavallo Curse Makes a Lousy Wedding Present, originally aired March 31, 1990
Midnight Caller, episode A Snitch in Time: Parts 1 and 2, originally aired February 20 and 27, 1990
Island Son, episode Falling Stars, originally aired January 1, 1989
Simon & Simon, episode Play It Again, Simon, originally aired December 17, 1988
Magnum, P.I., episode Resolutions, originally aired May 1, 1988
Dallas, episode Last of the Good Guys, originally aired April 8, 1988
Dallas, episode Never Say Never, originally aired April 1, 1988
Werewolf, episode Big Daddy, originally aired November 29, 1987
Scarecrow and Mrs. King, episode The Khrushchev List, originally aired May 28, 1987
Scarecrow and Mrs. King, episode Tail of the Dancing Weasel, originally aired October 14, 1985
Hotel, episode Anniversary, originally aired February 20, 1985
Murder, She Wrote, episode Deadly Lady, originally aired October 7, 1984
Hotel, episode Lifelines, originally aired May 9, 1984
St. Elsewhere, episode Addiction, originally aired May 3, 1983
The Love Boat, episode Tomorrow Lady, The/Father, Dear Father/Still Life, originally aired December 4, 1982
Charlie's Angels, episode Harrigan's Angels, originally aired February 20, 1980
Young Maverick, episode – Dead Man's Hand: Parts 1 and 2, originally aired December 26, 1979 and January 2, 1980
Lou Grant, episode Hollywood, originally aired December 17, 1979
The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, episode Voodoo Doll: Parts 1 and 2, originally aired February 12 and 19, 1978
Fantasy Island, episode Family Reunion/Voodoo, originally aired February 18, 1978
Switch, episode Who Killed Lila Craig?, originally aired January 16, 1978
Lanigan's Rabbi, episode Say It Ain't So, Chief, originally aired April 17, 1977
Police Story, episode The Six Foot Stretch, originally aired March 24 1977
The Rockford Files, episode There's One in Every Port, originally aired January 7, 1977
The Streets of San Francisco, episode Dead or Alive, originally aired October 21, 1976
Ellery Queen, episode The Adventure of the Black Falcon, originally aired January 4, 1976
Matt Helm, episode Die Once, Die Twice, originally aired January 3, 1976
Police Story, episode 50 Cents-First Half Hour, $1.75 All Day, originally aired January 30, 1976
Police Story, episode Company Man, originally aired December 19, 1975
Police Story, episode Breaking Point, originally aired December 12, 1975
Medical Story, episode An Air Full of Death, originally aired October 9, 1975
Police Story, episode Headhunter, originally aired January 14, 1975
Kung Fu, episode This Valley of Terror, originally aired September 28, 1974
Kung Fu, episode A Dream Within a Dream, originally aired January 17, 1974
Police Story, episode Death on Credit, originally aired November 27, 1973
Shaft, episode Hit-Run, originally aired November 20, 1973
Faraday and Company, episode Say Hello to a Dead Man, originally aired September 26, 1973
Mannix, episode A Way to Dusty Death, originally aired September 23, 1973
Search, episode Countdown to Panic, originally aired February 7, 1973
Mod Squad, episode Put Out the Welcome Mat for Death, originally aired February 1, 1973
Medical Center, episode Conflict, originally aired March 8, 1972
Rod Serling's Night Gallery, episode I'll Never Leave You - Ever/There Aren't Any More MacBanes, originally aired February 16, 1972
Alias Smith and Jones, episode Shootout at Diablo Station, originally aired December 2, 1971
The Virginian, episode The Town Killer, originally aired March 10, 1971
The Name of the Game, episode The Glory Shouter, originally aired December 18, 1970
The Immortal, episode Paradise Bay, originally aired December 10, 1970
The Bold Ones: The New Doctors, episode Man Without a Heart, originally aired November 9, 1969
Insight, episode Is the 11:59 Late This Year?, originally aired October 5, 1969
Judd for the Defense, episode The Law and Order Blues: Part 2, originally aired January 31, 1969
Batman, episode The Entrancing Dr. Cassandra, originally aired March 7, 1968
Insight, episode The Highest Bidder, originally aired January 15, 1967
I Spy, episode Crusade to Limbo, originally aired March 23, 1966
Mr. Novak, episode Mountains to Climb, originally aired February 23, 1965
The Rogues, episode Bless You, G. Carter Huntington, originally aired January 17, 1965
Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, episode The Sojourner, originally aired May 29, 1964
Burke's Law, episode Who Killed the Paper Dragon?, originally aired March 20, 1964
Burke's Law, episode Who Killed Billy Jo?, originally aired November 8, 1963
The Virginian, episode A Distant Fury, originally aired March 20, 1963
The Eleventh Hour, episode Prodigy, originally aired March 18, 1964
Arrest and Trial, episode Isn't It a Lovely View, originally aired September 22, 1963
Sam Benedict, episode Not Even the Gulls Shall Weep, originally aired January 5, 1963
The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, episode The Tender Poisoner, originally aired December 20, 1962
Combat!, episode Missing in Action, originally aired November 13, 1962
Bus Stop, episode Door Without a Key, originally aired March 4, 1962
Twilight Zone, episode A World of Difference, originally aired March 11, 1960
Alcoa Theatre, episode Small Bouquet, originally aired November 16, 1959
Bonanza, episode Enter Mark Twain, originally aired October 10, 1959
The George Burns Show, episode Howard Duff Guests, originally aired February 17, 1959
Studio 57, episode Pride of the Man, originally aired October 14, 1956
Climax!, episode Fury at Dawn, originally aired July 19, 1956
Chevron Hall of Stars, episode Harrigan's Ghost, originally aired June 22, 1956
Celebrity Playhouse, episode Dark Legacy, originally aired June 12, 1956
The Ford Television Theatre, episode The Payoff, originally aired May 3, 1956
Celebrity Playhouse, episode Home Is the Soldier, originally aired April 2, 1956
Lux Video Theatre, episode The Steel Trap, originally aired March 22, 1956
Front Row Center, episode The Morals Squad, originally aired March 11, 1956
The Star and the Story, episode Payment in Kind, originally aired January 28, 1956
Crossroads, episode The Mountain Angel, originally aired January 20, 1956
The Star and the Story, episode The True Confessions of Henry Pell, originally aired June 11, 1955
Science Fiction Theatre, episode Sound of Murder, originally aired May 20, 1955
The Star and the Story, episode First Offense, originally aired March 26, 1955
Climax!, episode Escape from Fear, originally aired January 13, 1955
The Ford Television Theatre, episode A Season to Love, originally aired May 4, 1954
Schlitz Playhouse, episode Woman Expert, originally aired December 17, 1954
The Whistler, episode Letters from Aaron Burr, originally aired November 4, 1954
The Ford Television Theatre, episode The Ming Lama, originally aired November 12, 1953

howard duff film now showing

Watch Howard Duff in a 1950 episode of The Ed Wynn Show
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This page premiered February 8, 2012.