Rockne Booth Tarkington
July 31, 1931
Junction City, Kansas, United States
|Died||April 5, 2015 (aged 83)|
Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
(m. 1968; div. 1970)
|Children||Rockne Tarkington Jr. , Keith Tarkington, Ngai Tarkington|
Rockne Booth Tarkington (July 15, 1931 – April 5, 2015) was an American stage, film and television actor.
Born in Junction City, Kansas, Tarkington began his career as a stage actor, and made the transition to television with guest appearances in episodes of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Kraft Suspense Theatre, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Ben Casey, Mission: Impossible, Bewitched, and many others. Tarkington was also the first credited black actor to appear on The Andy Griffith Show, and the only African American on the show to ever have a speaking part.
Tarkington made recurring appearances on Tarzan (as Tao) and starred as Elihu Morgan on Danger Island on Hanna-Barbera's Banana Splits Adventure Hour. He also played "Too Mean" Malone on the 1983–84 season of Matt Houston and made appearances in episodes of Bearcats!, MacGyver, Baretta and other shows in the 1970s and 1980s.
As a film actor, Tarkington played the title role in the blaxploitation picture Black Samson (1974), and co-starred with Richard X. Slattery in The No Mercy Man (1973) and Zebra Force (1976). He also appeared in films such as Soldier in the Rain (1963), Clarence, the Cross-Eyed Lion (1965), The Great White Hope (1970), Beware! The Blob (1972), Melinda (1972), The Baltimore Bullet (1980), National Lampoon's Movie Madness (1983), The Ice Pirates (1984), Uphill All the Way (1986) and Death Before Dishonor (1987), and had parts in many television films. Rockne was the first choice to play the part of Williams in Enter the Dragon but just before the start of filming he was replaced by Jim Kelly.
Tarkington lived in Los Angeles for the majority of his career where he was married to fellow screen actor Joan Blackman from July 1968 to October 1970. In the 1990s he returned home to Kansas when his mother became ill. He turned to religion, eventually becoming a Mormon after seeing a television commercial for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
|1963||Soldier in the Rain||Sgt. William Booth|
|1965||Clarence, the Cross-Eyed Lion||Juma|
|1965||Tell Me in the Sunlight||Rocky|
|1969||The Dream of Hamish Mose||Hamish Mose|
|1970||The Great White Hope||Rudy|
|1972||Beware! The Blob||Deputy Williams|
|1973||The No Mercy Man||Prophet|
|1977||The Great Gundown||Sutton|
|1980||The Baltimore Bullet||Gunner|
|1982||National Lampoon's Movie Madness||Black Cop - 'Municipalians'|
|1982||Showdown at Eagle Gap||Enterprise Jackson|
|1984||The Ice Pirates||Patch|
|1986||Uphill All the Way||Leon|
|1987||Death Before Dishonor||Jihad|
|1988||Under the Gun||Leon|
|1989||Fists of Steel||Rijar|
|1994||Wyatt Earp||Stable Hand|
- "RIP Rockne Tarkington". Westernboothill.blogspot.co.uk. September 30, 2015.
- "Act Well Thy Part". Portraits. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- "50 Years of the Andy Griffith Show". Internet Archie Forums. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- "Rockne Tarkington". tv.com. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- "Joan Blackman". Glamour Girls of the Silver Screen. Retrieved 12 April 2012.