Dick Durock, ‘Swamp Thing’ actor, dies at 72

Sept. 24, 2009 | 4:22 p.m.

Dick Durock as Swamp Thing

I got a note from Mike Petrucelli at the South Bend Tribune in Indiana about the paper’s obituary for an actor who gained relatively little fame despite playing a DC Comics character in two films and close to six dozen television episodes. Here’s an excerpt (with links added by me) from Erin Blasko’s piece on Dick Durock, the 6-foot-5 former Marine who played the forlorn Swamp Thing:

Dick Durock’s most memorable work was as the DC Comics character Swamp Thing, a plant-like humanoid charged with protecting the natural world from the abuses of man.

He played the character in two feature films, “Swamp Thing” (1982) and “The Return of Swamp Thing” (1989), and in a subsequent television series, also called “Swamp Thing,” that ran for 71 episodes in the early 1990s.

Dick Durock was practically unrecognizable in the physically taxing role, which required him to don a heavy body suit and endure hours of makeup.

“At the end of the day you’re wearing 80 pounds of wet latex,” Dick Durock said in a 2008 interview for the Web site Mania.com, “plus all the chemicals on your face. It sure isn’t sunglasses and autographs, I’ll tell ya.”

There are big things ahead for the character, I’d say. Just last week I spoke to Akiva Goldsman (who won an Oscar for his script for “A Beautiful Mind“) and he was giddy about his plan to produce a Swamp Thing reboot that would tap into the metaphysical magic of the Alan Moore comics that took the 1970s horror version of Swamp Thing and added layers and layers of complex mythology. It’s a real shame that Durock won’t be here to see that or make a cameo in the film.

— Geoff Boucher


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Photo: Dick Durock as “Swamp Thing.” Illustration: DC Comics


5 Responses to Dick Durock, ‘Swamp Thing’ actor, dies at 72

  1. Sheldon says:

    Dick Durock's ability to take a men-in-a-rubber-suit role and give the character dignity and a spiritual strength [in spite of the usually abysmal scripts he had to work with after the first film] was truly amazing.
    I wish there had been a special edition DVD of the movies with commentary from him. That would have been very interesting.

  2. Randy Waage says:

    Sad to me that there isn't more of an effort to celebrate actors/actresses who made a role memorable and include them in DVD commentaries/the promotion of movie reboots before they pass away and their wonderful stories/contributions are lost forever.
    RIP Dick Durock you brought Swamp Thing to life and you made both movies enjoyable to watch.

  3. Selina says:

    RIP Dick Durock, your loss is well and truly felt by all the fans of Swamp Thing, and you will be sorely missed. The Swamp will never be the same without you…

  4. roy heath says:

    I was a commando in the first SwampThing movie – have photos of SwampThing (Dick Durock and me during a break – Roy Heath

  5. Regina says:

    I was raised on Swamp Thing and I am so sorry that Mr. Durock is gone. He was the best and I still watch my collection of Swamp Thing dvd’s. I will cherish them forever.

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