Frank DeKova

1910 - 1981

Frank DeKova parlayed a sinister scowl, piercing eyes and an all-around menacing attitude into a long career of playing cold-blooded trigger-men, rampaging Indian chiefs, brutal Mexican army officers and the like. So it would probably come as a shock to those who know his work to discover that, before he became an actor, he was--of all things--a schoolteacher.Born in New York in 1910, DeKova gave up teaching for the stage, and played in many Shakespearean productions before getting work on Broadway. One of his first starring roles was in the classic detective play "Detective Story", which got him noticed and brought to Hollywood. He debuted in Viva Zapata! (1952) as the devious Mexican colonel who sets up Zapata's assassination. For the next several years he played an assortment of gangsters, killers, gunfighters and Indians--with time out to play a prehistoric patriarch in Roger Corman's campy Teenage Cave Man (1958)--and did much television work, including a standout job as a Mafia h

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