From shows like The Andy Griffith Show, where he played Briscoe Darling Jr, to playing Jesse Duke in the classic show, The Dukes of Hazzard, and appearing in several other movies and TV shows, the actor/director, Denver Pyle was a giant in the industry who committed fifty years of his life to filmmaking, right till his death.
Denver Pyle, during his active years as an actor and director, appeared and directed an incredible combined total of 265 movies and TV shows. Throughout his career, he also worked in other capacities in the filmmaking process, including working as a set photographer.
He was not known for carting home several awards during his career but he left a filmography that has commanded respect across the world of filmmaking, and in this article, we explore a few details about his life, including his net worth. Read on to learn more.
Denver Pyle’s Biography
On the 11th of May, 1920, in Bethune, Colorado, Denver Dell Pyle was born to parents, Ben H. Pyle and Maude Pyle. He was born into a lower-class family, which consisted of a father who worked as a farmer and a mother who was a housewife. Not much is known of his family background but he has a brother, Willis Pyle, who went on to become a notable animator for the popular animation studio, Walt Disney Animation Studios.
Denver Pyle’s journey to Hollywood began after completing high school and dropping out from Colorado State University, choosing instead to pursue a career in show business. He started as a drummer in a band before his career in entertainment was momentarily interrupted by the US’ participation in the Second World War, where he served as a United States Merchant Marine.
After he completed his time in the US military, Denver Pyle return to his career as an entertainer, but instead of picking up his sticks and returning to the drums, chose to become an actor. He made his debut appearance in an onscreen project in 1947, first in an uncredited role as an unnamed man in the opening scene of the movie, The Guilt of Janet Ames.
In the same year, he got his first credited role as Carl in Devil Ship and as Jim Rockwell in Where the North Begins. Before the 40s were over, Denver Pyle appeared in a lot more projects, all of which were movies, such as Captain China, The Flying Saucer, The Old Frontier, Million Dollar Pursuit and many more.
The story continued well into the 50s and in 1951, he made his first TV appearance, in the show, The Cisco Kid, appearing in two episodes, playing the character, Professor Jerry Roark. Over the course of the decade, he appeared in other shows like The Roy Rogers Show, The Range Rider, Adventures of Superman, The Adventures of Kit Carson and a few more others.
He continued to appear in several movies and TV shows for the rest of his career, with his last appearances coming in 1997, where he appeared in a TV movie, The Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion! and the show, Podunk Possum. They were both his 261st and 262nd projects as an actor.
As a director, Denver Pyle directed several episodes of The Dukes of Hazzard, The Doris Day Show, and Death Valley Days. He did not direct any movie during his career.
How Rich was the Film Director? Net Worth
During the height of his career, Denver Pyle worked several movies and TV shows, during which he earned several amounts of money in salaries and residuals, all of which totaled into a net worth of $5 million at the time of his death.
While that might seem small in today’s money, one ought to remember the effect of inflation and his cumulative net worth at the time of his death is worth almost $8 million in today’s money.
That is a lot of money for a man who pretty much retired from active acting three years before his death. He was also a known philanthropist, most notably sponsoring a fishing tournament for a decade, which he used to raise money and fund various children’s programs.
Other Facts About Denver Pyle
Denver Pyle’s only award recognition during his career was a Golden Boot Award in 1984 and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1997.
He was married twice, to Marilee Carpenter and Tippie Johnston. His marriage with Marilee lasted between 1955 and 1970, during which they had two children, David and Tony. His second marriage lasted until his death.
Denver Pyle died on the 25th of December, 1997 of lung cancer and was buried in an unmarked grave in Waxahachie, Texas.