Ashes to Ashes, Mud to Mud

Swamp Thing TV series

Sadly, the man who made the role of The Swamp Thing his own, won't be around to grace the 3-D remake with his presence.

While Warner Brothers busies itself putting together a 3-D remake of Wes Craven’s 1982 The Swamp Thing (based upon the DC Comics character), fans of the original film have been dealing with the death, on September 17th 2009, of the actor who played the creature in two films and a television series.

Dick Durock, a 6ft5 former Marine, passed away aged 72, at his home in Oak Park, California, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. His stoical struggle against the disease reflected, in a tragically ironic way, the tough-guy persona that he had so frequently assumed on the big screen.

The towering actor donned the latex bodysuit to play the monster in the 1982 original as well as its 1989 sequel, which was (quite logically) named The Return of Swamp Thing. He also starred in a subsequent Swamp Thing TV series that ran for 71 episodes, from 1990 to 1993. Although he’ll undoubtedly go down in movie history as “the Swamp dude”, the actor also appeared in loads of TV series, including Star Trek, Knight Rider, The A-Team, Quincy M.E., Magnum P.I., Married With Children, Dynasty, Battlestar Galactica and The Incredible Hulk.

Not one to limit himself to either boggy marshes or TV series, Durock also appeared in theatrical features such as Stand By Me and Silverado – invariably in brief roles, and playing brutes (what else would a 6ft5 ex-Marine play?). He was a pro stuntman, and performed daring physical feats for exciting big-screen attractions such as Die Hard: With a Vengeance and Runaway Train.

After Sandra Locke, Big D has probably appeared in more Clint Eastwood movies than any other actor. He was a terro in The Enforcer, fought fist-to-fist with Eastwood in an early scene of Any Which Way You Can and performed stunts for Bronco Billy. While Locke may have had better legs, few would dare suggest that she was better thespian…

Durock participates in a 'Q & A' at Fangoria's 'Weekend of Horrors' at the Renaissance Austin Hotel, in January, 2008. [Thanks to Flickr's Infidelpoptart for the photie.]

Durock participates in a 'Q & A' session at Fangoria's 'Weekend of Horrors' at the Renaissance Austin Hotel in January 2008. (Thanks to Flickr's Infidelpoptart for the photie.)

Durock’s fans had hoped that he’d have a cameo role in the 3-D remake of The Swamp Thing, or at least be a part of the excitement around its release, but sadly, the beloved old giant was called to that Great Big Swamp In The Sky before he was able to participate in any of the new film’s activities.

There is still a hope that some kind of on-screen homage will be paid to the cult hero in the new film. Dick Durock will be missed by his legions of fans.

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