Born Louis Denninger in Poughkeepsie, New York, on March 27, 1914, actor Richard Denning was encouraged by his father to take over the family's clothing business. However, after graduating from college, Denning decided against working for the family business and went to Hollywood. His good looks and deep, authoritative voice landed him a contract with Paramount. His first film for the studio was Hold 'Em Navy (1937; with John Howard), in which he had a small role. Denning toiled in bit parts and small roles until the early 1940s, when his career began gaining steam. During this period, his best roles came in The Glass Key (1942; with Alan Ladd, Brian Donlevy, and Veronica Lake), Ice-Capades Revue (1942; with Ellen Drew), and Beyond the Blue Horizon (1942; with Dorothy Lamour and Frances Gifford). Military service interrupted his career, but before enlisting in the in the Navy, Denning met and married beautiful Universal Studios scream queen Evelyn Ankers in 1942.

Evelyn Ankers

Early 1940s pinup of Evelyn Ankers

Throughout their long marriage, Denning and Ankers costarred only twice, in Black Beauty (1946; with Mona Freeman), which was Denning's first film after returning from the war, and No Greater Love (1960), which was Ankers' final film. Upon his return from military service, Denning left Paramount and freelanced for the remainder of his career. In 1948, he took the role of George, the banker husband of Lucille Ball, on the CBS radio comedy series My Favorite Husband (1948-1951); this radio show was the precursor to I Love Lucy. Ball's husband Desi Arnaz replaced Denning in the television series, but Denning landed a series of his own, Mr. and Mrs. North, a 1952-1954 comedy costarring Barbara Britton. And in the 1950s, Denning was cast in numerous horror and science fiction films for which he's now known best.

the films of richard denning

Quiet Please: Murder (1942)

George Sanders and Richard Denning

With George Sanders in the 20th Century Fox film noir thriller Quiet Please: Murder

Beyond the Blue Horizon (1942)

Richard DenningRichard Denning

From the Paramount jungle comedy Beyond the Blue Horizon

Caged Fury (1948)

Buster Crabbe and Richard Denning

Denning wrestles with murderous Buster Crabbe in Paramount's film noir thriller Caged Fury

Harbor of Missing Men (1950)

Richard Denning

Denning's in trouble in this still from the Republic film noir release Harbor of Missing Men

Week-End With Father (1951)

Virginia Field, Patricia Neal, Van Heflin, and Richard Denning

From the Universal-International comedy Week-End With Father with Virginia Field, Patricia Neal, and Van Helfin. This picture was directed by Douglas Sirk

Scarlet Angel (1952)

Yvonne De Carlo and Richard Denning

From the Universal-International period drama Scarlet Angel with Yvonne De Carlo

Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

Richard Carlson, Julie Adams, and Richard DenningRichard Denning, Richard Carlson, and Julie AdamsWhit Bissell, Richard Carlson, and Richard Denning

LEFT: Denning attempts to defeat the creature in Creature from the Black Lagoon. Also pictured are Richard Carlson and Julie Adams. CENTER: With Richard Carlson, Julie Adams, and Nestor Paiva. RIGHT: With Whit Bissell, Nestor Paiva, and Richard Carlson

Air Strike (1955)

Richard Denning

From the low-budget war film Air Strike

Creature with the Atom Brain (1955)

Richard Denning

From the Columbia science fiction release Creature with the Atom Brain

The Crooked Web (1955)

Richard DenningRichard DenningRichard Denning and Mari Blanchard

LEFT and CENTER: From the Columbia crime drama release The Crooked Web. RIGHT: With Mari Blanchard

The Day the World Ended (1956)

Lori Nelson and Richard DenningRichard Denning and Paul BirchRichard Denning and Mike Connors

From Roger Corman's effective science fiction thriller The Day the World Ended. LEFT: With Lori Nelson. CENTER: With Paul Birch. RIGHT: Denning wrestles with bad guy Mike Connors

Girls in Prison (1956)

Lance Fuller and Richard Denning

Wrestling with Lance Fuller in the American International crime drama Girls in Prison

The Oklahoma Woman (1956)

Richard Denning and Peggie Castle

With Peggie Castle in the Roger Corman western The Oklahoma Woman

The Black Scorpion (1957)

Richard DenningMara Corday and Richard DenningMara Corday and Richard Denning

From the Warner Bros. science fiction flick The Black Scorpion. LEFT: Richard Denning tries to figure out how to defeat the giant scorpions. CENTER and RIGHT: Mara Corday is Denning's love interest in the film

Naked Paradise (1957)

Beverly Garland and Richard Denning

With Beverly Garland in a scene from American International's drama Naked Paradise

The Lady Takes a Flyer (1958)

Jeff Chandler and Richard Denning

With Jeff Chandler in the Universal-International drama The Lady Takes a Flyer

Michael Shayne (1960-1961 NBC TV Series)

Lola Albright and Richard Denning

With Lola Albright in an episode of Denning's TV series Michael Shayne titled Framed in Blood, which originally aired on October 28, 1960

later years

Denning's film career began to ebb in the early 1960s. He and his family moved to Hawaii in 1965 to enjoy retirement, but in 1968 he was asked to take the role of Governor Paul Jameson on the television series Hawaii Five-O. Denning remained with the series throughout its entire run and officially retired from acting upon its cancellation in 1980. Sadly, his wife Evelyn Ankers passed away in 1985. Denning married a family friend the following year and relocated to California. His health declined in the 1990s, and he passed away on October 11, 1998 at the age of 84. He was survived by his second wife, a daughter, and two grandchildren.

richard denning dvds available from


I Sailed to Tahiti with an All Girl Crew (1968) with Gardner McKay, Fred Clark, Diane McBain, and Edy Williams
Alice Through the Looking Glass (1966) with Ricardo Montalban, Jack Palance, and Agnes Moorehead
Twice-Told Tales (1963) with Vincent Price, Brett Halsey, Beverly Garland, and Mari Blanchard
No Greater Love (1960) with Evelyn Ankers
Desert Hell (1958) with Brian Keith and Barbara Hale
The Lady Takes a Flyer (1958) with Jeff Chandler, Lana Turner, and Chuck Connors
The Buckskin Lady (1957) with Gerald Mohr and Patricia Medina
The Black Scorpion (1957) with Mara Corday and Carlos Rivas
An Affair to Remember (1957) with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr
Naked Paradise (1957) with Beverly Garland, Dick Miller, Jonathan Haze, and Roger Corman
Assignment Redhead (1956) with Carole Mathews
Girls in Prison (1956) with Adele Jergens, Lance Fuller, and Phyllis Coates
The Oklahoma Woman (1956) with Peggie Castle, Mike Connors, Cathy Downs, Bruno VeSota, and Dick Miller
The Day the World Ended (1956) with Lori Nelson, Adele Jergens, and Mike Connors
Air Strike (1955) with William Hudson
The Magnificent Matador (1955) with Maureen O'Hara and Anthony Quinn
The Crooked Web (1955) with Mari Blanchard
The Gun That Won the West (1955) with Dennis Morgan and Paula Raymond; directed by William Castle
Creature with the Atom Brain (1955) with Angela Stevens
Target Earth (1954) with Kathleen Crowley, Virginia Grey, and Whit Bissell
Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) with Richard Carlson, Julie Adams, Nestor Paiva, Antonio Moreno, and Whit Bissell
The Battle of Rogue River (1954) with George Montgomery and Martha Hyer
Jivaro (1954) with Rhonda Fleming, Fernando Lamas, Lon Chaney Jr., Brian Keith, Rita Moreno, and Nestor Paiva
The Glass Web (1953) with Edward G. Robinson, John Forsythe, and Marcia Henderson
The 49th Man (1953) with John Ireland and Mike Connors
Target Hong Kong (1952) with Nancy Gates, Richard Loo, and Michael Pate
Hangman's Knot (1952) with Randolph Scott, Donna Reed, Glenn Langan, and Lee Marvin
Okinawa (1952) with Pat O'Brien and Cameron Mitchell
Scarlet Angel (1952) with Yvonne De Carlo, Rock Hudson, and Amanda Blake
Flame of Stamboul (1951) with Lisa Ferraday, Nestor Paiva, and George Zucco
Secrets of Beauty (1951) with Julie Bishop
Week-End with Father (1951) with Van Helfin, Patricia Neal, Virginia Field, and Gigi Perreau
Insurance Investigator (1951) with Hillary Brooke and Reed Hadley
Double Deal (1950) with Marie Windsor
Harbor of Missing Men (1950) with Barbara Fuller, Steven Geray, and George Zucco
No Man of Her Own (1950) with Barbara Stanwyck, Phyllis Thaxter, Lyle Bettger, and Carole Mathews
Disaster (1948) with Trudy Marshall
Lady at Midnight (1948) with Frances Rafferty
Unknown Island (1948) with Virginia Grey and Ray 'Crash' Corrigan
Caged Fury (1948) with Mary Beth Hughes, Sheila Ryan, and Buster Crabbe
Seven Were Saved (1947) with Ann Doran
The Fabulous Suzanne (1946) with Barbara Britton, Otto Kruger, Rudy Vallee, and Veda Ann Borg
Black Beauty (1946) with Mona Freeman and Evelyn Ankers
Beyond the Blue Horizon (1942) with Dorothy Lamour, Frances Gifford, Jack Haley, Barbara Britton, and Ann Doran
Ice-Capades Revue (1942) with Ellen Drew, Jerry Colonna, and Vera Ralston
Quiet Please: Murder (1942) with George Sanders and Gail Patrick
The Glass Key (1942) with Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, Brian Donlevy, and Frances Gifford
West Point Widow (1941) with Richard Carlson, Anne Shirley, and Frances Gifford
Adam Had Four Sons (1941) with Ingrid Bergman, Susan Hayward, Fay Wray, and June Lockhart
The Farmer's Daughter (1940) with Martha Raye, William Demarest, and William Frawley
Seventeen (1940) with Jackie Cooper and Otto Kruger
Love Thy Neighbor (1940) with Jack Benny, Fred Allen, Mary Martin, Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson, and Jack Carson
North West Mounted Police (1940) with Gary Cooper, Madeleine Carroll, Robert Preston, and Lon Chaney Jr.
Parole Fixer (1940) with William Henry
Those Were the Days (1940) with William Holden, Bonita Granville, and Phillip Terry
Queen of the Mob (1940) with Ralph Bellamy
Emergency Squad (1940) with William Henry
Geronimo (1939) with Preston Foster, Ellen Drew, Andy Devine, and William Henry
Golden Gloves (1939) with Jeanne Cagney, J. Carrol Naish, William Frawley, and Robert Ryan
The Gracie Allen Murder Case (1939) with Gracie Allen, Ellen Drew, Kent Taylor, and William Demarest
Grand Jury Secrets (1939) with John Howard, Gail Patrick, William Frawley, and Elisha Cook Jr.
King of Chinatown (1939) with Anna May Wong, J. Carrol Naish, and Sydney Toler
Sudden Money (1939) with Marjorie Rambeau, Charles Ruggles, Evelyn Keyes, and Broderick Crawford
Television Spy (1939) with William Henry
Undercover Doctor (1939) with Lloyd Nolan, J. Carrol Naish, and Broderick Crawford
Million Dollar Legs (1939) with Betty Grable, Donald O'Connor, Jackie Coogan, and Buster Crabbe
Some Like It Hot (1939) with Bob Hope and Una Merkel
Ambush (1939) with Lloyd Nolan, William Henry, Broderick Crawford, and Antonio Moreno
Persons in Hiding (1939) with Lynne Overman, J. Carrol Naish, and William Henry
Illegal Traffic (1938) with J. Carrol Naish, Robert Preston, and Buster Crabbe
King of Alcatraz (1938) with Lloyd Nolan, Gail Patrick, J. Carrol Naish, and Robert Preston
Campus Confessions (1938) with Betty Grable and William Henry
Her Jungle Love (1938) with Dorothy Lamour and Ray Milland
The Big Broadcast of 1938 (1938) with W.C. Fields, Dorothy Lamour, Bob Hope, and Martha Raye
The Buccaneer (1938) with Fredric March
Hold 'Em Navy (1937) with Lew Ayres and John Howard

Hawaii Five-O, 1968-1980 CBS TV series. Denning portrayed Governor Paul Jameson
Karen, 1964-1965 NBC TV series. Denning portrayed Steve Scott
Michael Shayne, 1960-1961 NBC TV series. Denning portrayed Michael Shayne
The Flying Doctor, 1959 syndicated TV series. Denning portrayed Dr. Greg Graham
Mr. & Mrs. North, 1952-1954 CBS TV series. Denning portrayed Jerry North. Also starring on the series was Barbara Britton

richard denning film now showing

Watch Richard Denning's 1948 science fiction adventure Unknown Island

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