View Full Version : Duane Jones
10-03-2008, 09:02 PM
I think he's one of the bright spots in NOTLD in terms of acting. He's good in it.
Does anyone have any details about his death? Wiki says it was a cardiac arrest, but did he have some sort of ailment that lead to that? Just kind of curious because whenever I see or hear people talk about him on NOTLD docs he always gets high praise but his death comes across as tragic and I dunno...a little mysterious. Just wondering if anyone knew anything.
This could double as a Duane Jones appreciation thread as well. Ben was the cat's pajamas!
He did a great job in the role.
His casting was a brilliant move on Romero's part.
01-04-2009, 08:23 AM
Being the first African American to star in a horror film was something in itself. He was badass. Here's some interesting stuff from our favorite (giggle) IMDB:
At the time of his death, Dr. Duane Jones was the head of the Theatre Department at the State University of New York at Old Westbury.
His role in "Night of the Living Dead" was the first time a black actor was cast in a lead role of a major motion picture that did not specify the part had to be played by a black actor.
He never saw any of George A. Romero (I)'s other films including Dawn of the Dead (1978) or Day of the Dead (1985).
In an audio interview conducted shortly before his untimely death in 1988, he recalled an occasion where he met with a group of his theater students at a local café near Old Westbury campus on Long Island, New York, when they were suddenly awestruck at the film then playing on TV. Duane turned around and noticed that the movie playing on the television in the café was none other than Night of the Living Dead. His students were amazed to see their professor on screen, because Duane never usually made any mention of his movie roles to his students. After this occasion, the word spread that Night of the Living Dead's star hero was teaching at Old Westbury college on Long Island!
"It never occurred to me that I was hired because I was black. But it did occur to me that because I was black it would give a different historic element to the film." (on being cast as Ben in "Night of the Living Dead")
01-04-2009, 08:40 AM
according to the IMDb, Jones passed away from heart failure at the age of 52 in 1988.
01-04-2009, 06:54 PM
Yeah, he did. I hope his legacy lives on. Tony Todd was a suitable nod to his character.
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