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