Actor David Dukes dies during break in Spanaway filming

Associated Press

SPANAWAY, Wash. — Veteran actor David Dukes collapsed and died during a day off from filming the Stephen King miniseries "Rose Red" in the suburbs south of Tacoma. He was 55.

Dukes collapsed Monday evening in this town near Fort Lewis and was pronounced dead at St. Clare Hospital in Lakewood, a hospital spokeswoman said.

It appeared the cause of death was cardiovascular disease — "a heart attack, a natural death," said spokesman Ed Duke at the Pierce County Merical Examiner’s Office in Tacoma, which performed an autopsy Tuesday morning.

Dukes had suffered a head injury, possibly when he collapsed, but that was not a factor in the death, Duke said.

The actor was in Lakewood for the shooting of "Rose Red," which had been expected to last through the month. ABC and the Walt Disney Co. spent $500,000 to remodel Thornewood Castle for the miniseries, scheduled to be aired in the spring of 2002.

Dukes was born June 6, 1945, in San Francisco, the son of a California Highway Patrol officer, and attended American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, according to information on the E online Web site.

His TV credits include the miniseries "The Winds of War" in which he played low-level career diplomat Leslie Slote in 1983, and "War and Remembrance" in 1989.

He was better known to younger viewers as Mr. McPhee on the WB TV show "Dawson’s Creek." Other TV credits include appearances on the "The Practice" and "Law &amp Order."

He was nominated for an Emmy award for best supporting actor in a miniseries or special for his role in "The Josephine Baker Story" on HBO in 1991.

He also played a role in the critically acclaimed 1998 movie "Gods and Monsters" about horror director James Whale.

In 1994 Dukes attracted favorable notices on Broadway as a womanizing physician who epitomized Nazi-blind complacency in "Broken Glass" by Arthur Miller, a play set at the time of Kristallnacht, when Jewish businesses and institutions throughout Germany were vandalized.

In 1988 he replaced John Lithgow in the starring role of a French diplomat who falls in love with a male Chinese opera star in the hit Broadway play "M. Butterfly."

Dukes had a son, Shawn, from his first marriage, which lasted from 1965 to 1975, and a daughter, Annie, from his marriage to Carol Muske-Dukes, a poet, writer and professor to whom he was married at the time of his death.

There was no immediate word from Dukes’ father or wife on funeral arrangements.

Copyright ©2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Talk to us

More in Local News

FILE - A sign hangs at a Taco Bell on May 23, 2014, in Mount Lebanon, Pa. Declaring a mission to liberate "Taco Tuesday" for all, Taco Bell asked U.S. regulators Tuesday, May 16, 2023, to force Wyoming-based Taco John's to abandon its longstanding claim to the trademark. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
Hepatitis A confirmed in Taco Bell worker in Everett, Lake Stevens

The health department sent out a public alert for diners at two Taco Bells on May 22 or 23.

VOLLI’s Director of Food & Beverage Kevin Aiello outside of the business on Friday, May 19, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Coming soon to Marysville: indoor pickleball, games, drinks

“We’re very confident this will be not just a hit, but a smash hit,” says co-owner Allan Jones, who is in the fun industry.

Detectives: Unresponsive baby was exposed to fentanyl at Everett hotel

An 11-month-old boy lost consciousness Tuesday afternoon. Later, the infant and a twin sibling both tested positive for fentanyl.

Cassie Franklin (left) and Nick Harper (right)
Report: No wrongdoing in Everett mayor’s romance with deputy mayor

An attorney hired by the city found no misuse of public funds. Texts between the two last year, however, were not saved on their personal phones.

Firearm discovered by TSA officers at Paine Field Thursday morning, May 11, 2023, during routine X-ray screening at the security checkpoint. (Transportation Security Administration)
3 guns caught by TSA at Paine Field this month — all loaded

Simple travel advice: Unpack before you pack to make sure there’s not a gun in your carry-on.

Heavy traffic northbound on 1-5 in Everett, Washington on August 31, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
To beat the rush this Memorial Day weekend, go early or late

AAA projects busy airports, ferries and roads over the holiday weekend this year, though still below pre-pandemic counts.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Troopers: DUI crash leaves 1 in critical condition in Maltby

A drunken driver, 34, was arrested after her pickup rear-ended another truck late Tuesday, injuring a Snohomish man, 28.

Housing Hope CEO Donna Moulton raises her hand in celebration of the groundbreaking of the Housing Hope Madrona Highlands on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
$30M affordable housing project to start construction soon in Edmonds

Once built, dozens of families who are either homeless or in poverty will move in and receive social and work services.

A south-facing view of the proposed site for a new mental health facility on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, near 300th Street NW and 80th Avenue NW north of Stanwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
County Council OK’s Stanwood behavioral health center

After an unsuccessful appeal to block it, the Tulalip Tribes are now on the cusp of building the 32-bed center in farmland.

Most Read