Richard Denning

1914 - 1998

Born in Poughkeepsie, New York, Louis Albert Denninger Jr. was the son of a garment manufacturer who relocated and set up shop in Los Angeles when Louis Jr. was 18 months old. After finishing school, Denninger enrolled at Woodbury Business College and majored in business and accounting, graduating cum laude with a master's in business administration. But Denninger, who never liked accounting, started becoming involved in little theater groups as a hobby and was encouraged to compete in a radio contest called "Do You Want to Be an Actor?", winning a screen test at Warner Brothers. Warners wasn't interested in him because he looked too much like another well-known actor under contract, but by now he had his heart set on a movie career. Denninger was soon signed by Paramount, who insisted on changing his name (to "Richard Denning") because his real name, Denninger, sounded too much like gunman John Dillinger's. He retired and moved to Maui but was asked to play the governor in TV's Hawaii

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