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Dick Durock

1937-2009

Sept. 25, 2009.  Dick Durock, known to us as Swamp Thing in the movies and TV series passed away on September 17. The South Bend Tribune has a well written obituary covering his life and career. Our thoughts are with his family at this time. I asked Swamp Thing producer Steven Sears to share his thoughts on Dick Durock and this is what he had to say:

Dick Durock was a true professional.  I had the pleasure of working with him on 50 episodes of the Swamp Thing Series and, after that, being honored as a friend of his.  The last time I saw Dick was at ComiCon.   We promised to get together for one of his famous backyard cookouts.   We exchanged a note or two and spoke on the phone but never had a chance to get to the cookout.   That's a shame for so many reasons, but one being that he was truly the master of the grill!

Dick would always tell me "Heck, I'm not an actor, I'm a stuntman" but I can't honestly think of anyone who could have given Swamp Thing the mixture of humor, sadness, love, strength, determination and soul that Dick managed to bring to the character. More than that, he was able to get an audience to identify with this strange creature.   For me, that was the core of the Swamp Thing success.   Despite what he thought, Dick was definitely an accomplished actor.   One of the best.

And he was not only a true actor in the creative sense, but in the way he handled himself on the set and the way he regarded the crew and fellow actors.   I have many many stories of working with Dick on the set. He was one of those people who wanted to contribute to the series and not steal it for himself. He collaborated and never made demands.   And, let's face it, when you are standing in the Florida heat in the middle of summer with forty pounds of foam rubber, you would have ever right to get a little perturbed at things.   And, yes, Dick would have his moments where he would vent and gripe about something.   But every time, he'd follow it up with something like "Well, that's my input for what it's worth.   Just let me know what you want me to do."   And with his vast amount of experience in the business in front and behind the camera, when he vented, I listened.

But at the end of the day, Dick was not an actor, he was not a stunt man.   He was just Dick Durock.   A big, honest, straight forward person who believed that people deserved respect.   In an industry so dependent on smoke and mirrors, Dick was very real.   In a lot of ways, he was the character he portrayed: Powerful, sensitive and caring.   As the Swamp Thing seemed like an outsider, Dick was also an outsider to the very business that he worked in for so long.

I will miss him. 

--Steven Sears
 

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