While many film fans may not be familiar with Bill Duke's name, they most certainly recognize his face. Dating back to the 1970s, Duke has appeared in a number of popular films, including Car Wash, American Gigolo, Commando, Predator, and X-Men: The Last Stand. Fewer still might be aware of Duke's extraordinary accomplishments off-screen--as a talented director, producer, entrepreneur, and humanitarian. Bill Duke: My 40-Year Career on Screen and behind the Camera is the memoir of a Hollywood original. In an industry that rarely embraces artists of color, Duke first achieved success as an actor then turned to directing. After helming episodes of ratings giants Dallas, Falcon Crest, Hill Street Blues, and Miami Vice, Duke progressed to feature films like A Rage in Harlem, Deep Cover, Hoodlum, and Sister Act 2. In this candid autobiography, Duke recalls the loving but stern presence of his mother and father, acting mentors like Olympia Dukakis, and the pitfalls that nearly derailed his career, notably an addiction to drugs. Along the way, listeners will encounter familiar names like Danny Glover, Laurence Fishburne, Forest Whitaker, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Whoopi Goldberg.
When he was seven, David Sadzin's first grade teacher gave him a paragraph to read out loud. She interrupted him halfway to proclaim him the "Ringmaster" in his class's musical extravaganza about the circus. He's been using his voice to get out of trouble ever since. After a few intense years on New York's stages, performing traditional and experimental theater, improv, and sketch comedy, he's now settled comfortably in front of the mic in his home studio in Brooklyn.