Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Born in Poughkeepsie, New York, Duke received his first instruction in the performing arts at Boston University. After also studying at New York University's Tisch School of Arts and the American Film Institute, Duke began his career behind the camera, directing episodes of several noteworthy 1980s television series, including Hill Street Blues and Miami Vice. Standing an imposing 6'4 and featuring a closely shaved head, Duke became a familiar face to moviegoers after portraying tough guys alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando and Predator, as well as the memorable police chief in Carl Weathers' action vehicle Action Jackson .
Returning to the director's chair, Duke began directing feature-length films in the 1990s with crime dramas A Rage in Harlem and Deep Cover. He also directed The Cemetary Club and the well-received Sister Act 2, starring Whoopi Goldberg. Duke continues to act and direct for both the small and silver screens. He is also a mentor for young African-Americans aspiring for the performance arts.
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