: I suppose a lot of Broadway people will want to kill me for saying it, but I wanted to use Broadway so I could make more money in the movies.
Dan Duryea was definitely the man you went to the movies for and loved to hate. His sniveling, deliberately taunting demeanor and snarling, flat nasal tones set the actor apart from other similar slimeballs of the 1940s and 1950s.
From his very first picture, the highly acclaimed The Little Foxes (1941), in which he portrayed the snotty, avaricious nephew Leo Hubbard, who would easily sell his own mother down the river for spare change, the tall, lean and mean Duryea became a particularly guilty pleasure, particularly in film noir, melodramas and westerns.
Dan expressed an early interest in acting and was a member of his hometown high school's drama club. Majoring in English at Cornell University and president of his university's drama society, he abruptly changed the course of his career after deciding that the advertising business was perhaps a more level-headed pursuit.
The frantic pace in such a cutthroat field, however, unexpectedly triggered a mild heart attack in his late twenties, and he gave it all up to return to his first love--acting--in the long run, all the better for filmgoers.
He signed with Universal at the peak of his villainy, but the post-WWII move resulted in a dearth of quality films. More often than not, he found himself mired in such B-grade outings as Black Bart, Highwayman (1948) and River Lady (1948).
Duryea's celluloid reputation as a heel did not extend into his personal life. Long married to Helen Bryan and a family man at heart.They had two children.