Born in Neffs, Ohio, on June 4, 1927, beefy actor Kenneth Donovan Clark acted in a number of low-budget films during the 1950s and 1960s. After serving in the Army as an officer, Clark embarked on a film career in Hollywood in the 1950s, signing with 20th Century-Fox and appearing in a string of popular films. Clark had also been a physique model in the 1950s. In 1956, his busiest year, Clark appeared in five films, mostly westerns for Fox. However, by the late 1950s Fox, as with most other studios, had dropped many of its contract players, including Clark. He then went into low-budget sci-fi films, such as Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959; with Yvette Vickers and Bruno VeSota) and 12 to the Moon (1960; with Tom Conway). He also did quite a bit of television work in the late 1950s, even shooting a television pilot, titled Brock Callahan. Unfortunately, the series was not picked up for broadcast.

Ken ClarkKen Clark

LEFT: Late 1950s portrait of Ken Clark (thanks to Michael Barnum). RIGHT: Mid 1960s Italian magazine cover

Today, Clark is best remembered for a pair of horror/science fiction films. Produced by Roger Corman, Attack of the Giant Leeches was released as a short feature, with a running time of 62 minutes. The cast of Leeches includes beautiful Yvette Vickers in the role of the town tramp and Bruno Ve Sota as Vickers' long-suffering husband. The second, the Columbia Pictures science fiction release 12 to the Moon, has an impressive cast for a B movie, but special effects suffer from its low budget. Nonetheless, it's not a bad film, and Clark and the talented cast make it watchable. But these films did not help his career, so in the early 1960s, Clark went to Europe to star in a number of movies and enjoy the success that eluded him in Hollywood.

the films of ken clark

On the Threshold of Space (1956)

Ken ClarkKen Clark and Virginia LeithWarren Stevens, Barry Coe, Guy Madison, Ken Clark, and Martin Milner

LEFT: From Ken Clark's second film, the 20th Century Fox science fiction/drama On the Threshold of Space. CENTER: With Virginia Leith. RIGHT: With Warren Stevens, Barry Coe, Guy Madison, and Martin Milner

South Pacific (1958)

Ken Clark and Ray WalstonKen ClarkKen Clark

From the 20th Century Fox musical South Pacific. LEFT and CENTER: With Ray Walston. RIGHT: Clark as Stewpot

Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959)

Ken ClarkKen ClarkKen ClarkKen Clark

From Roger Corman's infamous Attack of the Giant Leeches, released by American International. LEFT: With Jan Shepard (thanks to Michael Barnum). CENTER A and B: Clark as Steve Benton. RIGHT: Clark mines the swamp to get rid of the giant leeches

12 to the Moon (1960)

Ken ClarkKen Clark and Michi KobiKen ClarkKen Clark

Images from Columbia's sci-fi release 12 to the Moon. LEFT: Clark as Captain John Anderson. CENTER A: With Michi Kobi (thanks to Michael Barnum). CENTER B: Lobby card. RIGHT: Clark and crew land on the moon

Hercules Against the Mongols (1963)

Ken Clark

Clark portrays antagonist Sayan in Hercules Against the Mongols

The Road to Fort Alamo (1964)

Ken Clark and Jany Clair

From Mario Bava's western The Road to Fort Alamo with Jany Clair

Secret Agent FX-18 (1964)

Ken ClarkKen Clark

From Agent Secret FX-18

None But the Lonely Spy (1964)

Ken Clark

From None But the Lonely Spy featuring Bella Cortez

From The Orient With Fury (1965)

Ken Clark and Margaret LeeKen Clark

LEFT: With Margaret Lee in the Euro spy thriller From The Orient With Fury. RIGHT: Clark as agent Dick Malloy

Agent 077--Mission Bloody Mary (1965)

Ken ClarkKen ClarkKen Clark

Clark as agent Dick Malloy in the spy thriller Agent 077--Mission Bloody Mary

Special Mission Lady Chaplin (1966)

Ken Clark

AS Dick Hallam in the spy thriller Special Mission Lady Chaplin

Tiffany Memorandum (1967)

Ken Clark

AS Dick Hallam in the spy thriller Tiffany Memorandum

Desert Commandos (1967)

Ken Clark

From the World War II era adventure Desert Commandos

later years

Leaving Hollywood behind for the greener pastures of European films, Clark became very popular in spy thrillers and spaghetti westerns in the 1960s, remaining in Italy to act in films and television programs. Ken Clark passed away from a heart attack in Rome on June 1, 2009, at the age of 81. Clark had just wrapped shooting on an Italian television show at the time of his death. At this time, it is unknown if Clark left any survivors. In 1962 and 1963, Clark was romantically linked to actress Shelley Winters.

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A Man Called Sledge (1970) with James Garner; directed by Vic Morrow
Tarzana, The Wild Girl (1969) with Raf Baldassarre
Desert Commando (1967) with Horst Frank
The Fuller Report (1967) with Jess Hahn
Operation Lady Chaplin (1967) with Jacques Bergerac, Daniela Bianchi and Helga Line
The Tiffany Memorandum (1967)
Savage Gringo (1966) with Red Ross; directed by Mario Bava
Agent 077--Fury in the Orient (1965) with Margaret Lee
Agent 077---Mission Bloody Mary (1965) with Helga Line
Apache Fury (1965)
None but The Lonely Spy (1964) with Bella Cortez
Secret Agent FX-18 (1964) with Jany Clair
The Road to Fort Alamo (1964) with Jany Clair; directed by Mario Bava
Hercules Against the Barbarians (1964) with Mark Forest
Hercules the Invincible (1963) with Dan Vadis and Red Ross
Hercules Against the Mongols (1963) with Mark Forest
Giacobbe ed Esau (1963) with Massimo Serato
The Defeat of the Barbarians (1962) with Moira Orfei
Twelve to the Moon (1960) with Francis X. Bushman, Tom Conway, and Bob Montgomery, Jr.; once aired on Mystery Science Theater 3000
Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959) with Yvette Vickers and Bruno VeSota. This film was Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode #406
South Pacific (1958) with Rossano Brazzi, Mitzi Gaynor, Doug McClure, Richard Harrison, and Ron Ely
Love Me Tender (1956) with Elvis Presley, Richard Egan, Debra Paget, William Campbell, and Bruce Bennett
The Last Wagon (1956) with Richard Widmark and Nick Adams
The Proud Ones (1956) with Jeffrey Hunter, Robert Ryan, Virginia Mayo, Walter Brennan, Arthur O'Connell, Edward Platt, and Whit Bissell
On the Threshold of Space (1956) with Guy Madison, Virginia Leith, Martin Milner, John Hodiak, Barry Coe, Dean Jagger, and Warren Stevens
Between Heaven and Hell (1956) with Robert Wagner, Terry Moore, Harvey Lembeck, Broderick Crawford, Buddy Ebsen, Brad Dexter, Mark Damon, Skip Homeier, L.Q. Jones, and Tod Andrews

Alfred Hitchcock Presents, episode Insomnia, originally aired May 8, 1960
Sea Hunt, episode Strong Box, originally aired March 19, 1960
Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse, episode Circle of Evil, originally aired March 16, 1960
Lock Up, episode Death in the Streets, originally aired December 19, 1959
Sugarfoot, episode Apollo with a Gun, originally aired December 8, 1959
Adventure Showcase, episode Brock Callahan, originally aired August 11, 1959
Highway Patrol, episode Detour to Death, originally aired June 15, 1959
Colt .45, episode The Saga of Sam Bass, originally aired May 17, 1959
M Squad, episode Accusation, originally aired June 13, 1958
Alfred Hitchcock Presents, episode Lamb to the Slaughter, originally aired April 13, 1958
Suspicion, episode The Eye of Truth, originally aired March 17, 1958
The Gale Storm Show, episode Ride 'Em Cowgirl, originally aired February 22, 1958
The Thin Man, episode Ship Shakedown, originally aired February 21, 1958
Death Valley Days, episode Yankee Pirate, originally aired February 13, 1958
Alfred Hitchcock Presents, episode The Motive, originally aired January 26, 1958
General Electric Theater, episode The Iron Horse, originally aired November 24, 1957
Alfred Hitchcock Presents, episode The Dangerous People, originally aired June 23, 1957
Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre, episode Night of Terror, originally aired May 14, 1957
The 20th Century-Fox Hour, episode Deep Water, originally aired May 1, 1957
The Jack Benny Show, episode Jack Hunts for Uranium, originally aired December 4, 1955

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Watch Ken Clark's 1959 horror film Attack of the Giant Leeches
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