While many film fans may not be familiar with Bill Duke's name, they most certainly recognize his face. Dating back to the 1970s, Duke has appeared in a number of popular films, including Car Wash, American Gigolo, Commando, Predator, and X-Men: The Last Stand. Fewer still might be aware of Duke's extraordinary accomplishments off-screen-as a talented director, producer, entrepreneur, and humanitarian.
Bill Duke: My 40-Year Career on Screen and behind the Camera is the memoir of a Hollywood original. In an industry that rarely embraces artists of color, Duke first achieved success as an actor then turned to directing. After helming episodes of ratings giants Dallas, Falcon Crest, Hill Street Blues, and Miami Vice, Duke progressed to feature films like A Rage in Harlem, Deep Cover, Hoodlum, and Sister Act 2. In this candid autobiography, Duke recalls the loving but stern presence of his mother and father, acting mentors like Olympia Dukakis, and the pitfalls that nearly derailed his career, notably an addiction to drugs. Along the way, readers will encounter familiar names like Danny Glover, Laurence Fishburne, Forest Whitaker, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Whoopi Goldberg.
From his Broadway debut in 1971 to the establishment of the Duke Media Foundation, which trains and mentors young filmmakers, Duke has been breaking the rules of what it means to triumph in the entertainment industry. Recalling pivotal moments in his life, Bill Duke: My 40-Year Career on Screen and behind the Camera is the story only Bill Duke could tell.
Bill Duke is an actor, director, producer, and humanitarian who has more than sixty films and television shows to his credits. His directing credits include A Rage in Harlem, Deep Cover, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, and Hoodlum, as well as episodes of Dallas, Knots Landing, Hill Street Blues, and Miami Vice. His acting credits include Bird on a Wire, Commando, Menace II Society, Predator, Payback, X-Men: The Last Stand, and several television shows, including Law and Order: SVU. He is the president of Duke Media Entertainment, a production company that produces films and television shows, and head of the Duke Media Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to train and empower underserved and gifted high school students in the disciplines of media literacy and financial literacy.