Duane Jones

Duane Jones


2/2/1937, New York City, New York



Birth Name

Duane Jones


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Duane Jones was born on February 2nd, 1936 in New York City, NY. Most of his acting background came from his native New York, but he also studied in the Sorbonne.
While a regular among stage theater performances, it was in George Romero's cult c, Night of the…more

Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Duane participated in the Phelps-Stokes exchange scholar program. He went to Niger where he helped with developing their education system.

    • Duane helped design and taught at Harlem Preparatory School.

    • Duane developed English-language training programs for the Peace Corps.

    • Among his theater productions, Duane directed: Mama, I Want to Sing, The Estate, Trombones, Black Picture Show, Medium and Sojourner.

    • Duane had one sibling, his sister Marva Jones Brooks.

    • Duane became the firstAfrican-American actor to have a starring role in a horror film.

    • In Night of the Living Dead, Duane's character of Ben was written to be somewhat ignorant and uneducated. However, Duane corrected the dialogue to reflect a more intelligent character.

    • Duane was a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and achieved a M.A. in Communications at NYU.

    • Duane's zodiac sign was Aquarius.

    • Night of the Living Dead co-star, Judy O'Dea, said that Duane was easy to work with on the project, intelligent and focused.

    • Duane's final taped interview is featured on Night of the Living Dead: 40th Anniversary Edition.

    • Duane said he never watched any of the sequels to Night of the Living Dead.

    • Duane L. Jones Recital Hall at State University of New York at Old Westbury is named after Duane.

    • Duane was the executive director of the Black Theater Alliance.

    • Duane was the director of the Maguire Theater at the State University College at Old Westbury.

    • Duane's character from The Night of the Living Dead was described by a reviewer in 1969as a "comparatively calm and resourceful Negro". The choice of putting a African-American as the hero of the film was controversial at the time.

    • In the tv series of The Walking Dead, there is a young African American boy named Duane. This is paying homage to the work Duane Jones did in The Night of the Living Dead.

    • There is a character named Duane Jones in the zombie comic The Walking Dead. It is named after Duane for his work in The Night of the Living Dead.

    • Duance acted in eight films:

      Night of the Living Dead (1968)

      Ganja and Hess(1973)

      Losing Ground (1982)

      Beat Street (1984)

      Vampires (1986)

      Negatives (1988)

      Fright House (1988)

      To Die For (1989)

  • Quotes

    • On casting of Night of the Living Dead

      Duane Jones: The thing that used to bother me the most was that interviewers just assumed that we were a bunch of amateur actors. It was an interesting mix of amateurs and professional actors, which was even more clever on George's part.

    • On the death of his character Ben

      Duane Jones: The heroes never die in American movies. The jolt of that and the double jolt of the hero figure being black seemed like a double-barreled whammy.