Monday, March 26, 2012

Happy 80th Birthday Luke Askew

Francis Luke Askew was born on March 26, 1932 in Macon, Georgia. The tall, rangy, usually sporting long mangy hair and frequently projecting a strong and intense on-screen presence, character actor has made a potent and lasting impression playing a substantial volume of mean and fearsome villains in both motion pictures and television shows alike for well over forty years. He's of mixed Yorksire and Scandinavian descent and first developed an interest in acting in high school. Luke attended the University of Georgia, Mercer University, and the Walter F. Joy School of Law. Askew served in the U.S. Air Force in the strategic air command intelligence during his college years. Following college Askew worked as a radio deejay and television announcer prior to beginning his acting career in Off-Broadway stage productions in New York City. Luke moved to Los Angeles in 1966 and made his film debut in "Hurry Sundown" (1967). Best known as the stranger on the highway in the cult classic "Easy Rider" (1969), Askew's other memorable roles include the redoubtable Boss Paul in "Cool Hand Luke," (1967) peaceful hippie commune leader Jonathan Tremaine in "Angel Unchained" (1970), very scary and hateful as brutal low-life thug Automatic Slim in the grim revenge thriller "Rolling Thunder" (1970) sleazy coroner Dexter Ward in "The Beast Within" (1982), and no-nonsense Irish gypsy crime lord Boss Jack Costello in "Traveller" (1997). Moreover, Luke has appeared in a sizable number of Westerns made throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s with a rare lead role in the spaghetti Western "Night of the Serpent" (1969) and gave an especially fine performance as tough and stoic veteran cowpoke Luke in the gritty gem "The Culpepper Cattle Co" (1972). Among the many TV series Askew has popped up in throughout the years are "The High Chaparral," "Mission: Impossible," "Cannon," "The Six Million Dollar Man," "Fantasy Island," "T.J. Hooker," "The Fall Guy," "Airwolf," "Murder, She Wrote," "Walker, Texas Ranger," "Everwood," and "Cold Case." More recently Luke had an excellent recurring part as creepy and dangerous polygamist Hollis Greene on the acclaimed cable TV program "Big Love." Askew lives in Oregon with his wife. His son Christopher is a well-regarded painter and tattoo artist. Today we celebrate Luke Askew's 80th birthday.

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately,LUKE ASKEW departed the scene on Thursday 29 March 2012 at the age of 80, just three days after attaining that plateau ...

    He was an excellent character actor with a large body of work in more memorable films and many fine television performances.