Image of Frank De Kova

Frank De Kova

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 hit-man assigned to kill Elliot Ness in Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse: The Untouchables: Part 1 (1959). The role for which he will be most remembered, however, is probably the one that was his most atypical: the scheming, somewhat untrustworthy but very funny Hekawi Chief Wild Eagle, the partner to Forrest Tucker's Sgt. O'Rourke in O'Rourke's various schemes to make money, in the western comedy series F Troop (1965). He showed a previously unknown talent for comedy and managed to steal most of the scenes he was in from such veterans as Tucker and Larry Storch. He died in his sleep in 1981.

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Mar 17, 1910 In New York - USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie Viva Zapata! 1952-02-07
Latest Project:
Movie Hey Good Lookin' 1982-10-01
Known For
Poster of Little House on the Prairie
Poster of Hawaii Five-O
Poster of The Greatest Story Ever Told
Poster of Not One Shall Die
Movie Hey Good Lookin' Old Vinnie (voice) 1982-10-01
Movie American Pop Crisco (voice) 1981-02-13
Movie Mafia on the Bounty Rupolo 1980-03-07
Movie Cat in the Cage Rachid Khan 1978-08-02
Series The Incredible Hulk Unknown 1977-11-04
Series Baretta Unknown 1975-01-17
Movie Johnny Firecloud White Eagle 1975-08-01
Series The Swiss Family Robinson Unknown 1975-09-14
Movie Coonskin Managan (voice) / Ruby (voice) 1975-08-20
Series Little House on the Prairie Unknown 1974-09-11
Series Run, Joe, Run Unknown 1974-09-07
Series The Rockford Files Nova (as Frank De Kova) 1974-09-13
Series Police Woman Unknown 1974-09-13
Movie Baby Needs a New Pair of Shoes Big Tony (as Frank deKova) 1974-11-01
Movie Heavy Traffic Angelo "Angie" Corleone 1973-08-08
Series Police Story Unknown 1973-03-20
Series Toma Unknown 1973-03-21
Movie The Don Is Dead Giunta 1973-11-14
Movie The Slams Capiello 1973-09-26
Movie The Mechanic The Man 1972-10-06
Series Cannon Unknown 1971-09-14
Movie The Wild Country Two Dog 1970-12-16
Series Hawaii Five-O Unknown 1968-09-20
Movie The Legend of the Boy and the Eagle Narrator (voice) 1967-06-21
Series The High Chaparral Unknown 1967-09-10
Movie Those Calloways Nigosh 1965-01-28
Movie The Greatest Story Ever Told The tormentor 1965-02-15
Series F Troop Chief Wild Eagle 1965-09-14
Series The F.B.I. Unknown 1965-09-19
Series Daniel Boone Unknown 1964-09-24
Series Kraft Suspense Theatre Unknown 1963-10-10
Series The Dakotas Unknown 1963-01-07
Series The Greatest Show on Earth Unknown 1963-09-17
Movie Follow That Dream Jack (as Frank de Kova) 1962-04-11
Series The Gallant Men Unknown 1962-10-05
Movie Atlantis: The Lost Continent Sonoy the Astrologer 1961-05-03
Series Ben Casey Unknown 1961-10-02
Series The Tall Man Unknown 1960-09-10
Movie The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond Syndicate Chairman 1960-02-03
Series Outlaws Unknown 1960-09-26
Series Thriller Unknown 1960-09-13
Series The Islanders Unknown 1960-10-02
Series The Roaring 20's Unknown 1960-10-15
Series Route 66 Unknown 1960-10-07
Series Surfside 6 Unknown 1960-10-06
Movie Day of the Outlaw Denver, Bruhn's Gang 1959-07-01
Series The Lawless Years Unknown 1959-04-16
Series Rawhide Unknown 1959-01-09
Series Johnny Staccato Unknown 1959-09-10
Series Black Saddle Unknown 1959-01-10
Movie The Jayhawkers! Evans 1959-10-15
Series Laramie Unknown 1959-09-15
Series The Detectives Unknown 1959-10-16
Series Hawaiian Eye Unknown 1959-10-07
Series The Rebel Unknown 1959-10-04
Series The Alaskans Unknown 1959-10-04
Movie Machine-Gun Kelly Harry 1958-05-01
Movie Cowboy Alcaide 1958-02-19
Movie Teenage Caveman The Black-Bearded One (as Frank De Kova) 1958-07-01
Movie The Brothers Karamazov Capt. Vrublevski 1958-02-20
Movie Apache Territory Lugo (as Frank deKova) 1958-09-01
Series 77 Sunset Strip Unknown 1958-10-10
Series The Rifleman Unknown 1958-09-30
Series Peter Gunn Unknown 1958-09-22
Series Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans Ottawa Chief 1957-04-03
Movie Not One Shall Die Egyptian Official 1957-01-01
Movie Appointment with a Shadow Dutch Hayden 1957-09-01
Series Maverick Unknown 1957-09-22
Movie Run of the Arrow Red Cloud (as Frank De Kova) 1957-09-05
Movie Ride Out for Revenge Chief Yellow Wolf 1957-10-31
Series The Walter Winchell File Unknown 1957-10-02
Movie Santiago Jingo 1956-07-13
Movie The Lone Ranger Chief Red Hawk (as Frank deKova) 1956-02-25
Movie The Ten Commandments Abiram 1956-10-05
Movie The White Squaw Yellow Elk 1956-11-01
Movie Reprisal! Charlie Washackle 1956-11-02
Series Tales of the 77th Bengal Lancers Unknown 1956-10-21
Movie The Man from Laramie Padre 1955-08-31
Movie Strange Lady in Town Anse Hatlo 1955-04-12
Series Gunsmoke Unknown 1955-09-10
Series Cheyenne Unknown 1955-09-20
Movie Shack Out on 101 Prof. Claude Dillon 1955-12-04
Movie Hold Back Tomorrow Priest 1955-11-01
Series Alfred Hitchcock Presents Unknown 1955-10-02
Movie Passion Martinez (as Frank de Kova) 1954-10-06
Series The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin Unknown 1954-10-15
Movie They Rode West Isatai 1954-12-04
Movie Drum Beat Modoc Jim 1954-11-10
Movie The Desert Song Mindar 1953-05-30
Movie Split Second Dummy 1953-05-02
Movie Arrowhead Chief Chattez 1953-08-03
Movie Fighter Attack Benedetto 1953-11-29
Movie King of the Khyber Rifles Ali Nur 1953-12-23
Movie Viva Zapata! Col. Guarjarado 1952-02-07