Birth Date: May 11, 1920
Birth Place: Bethune, Colorado
Date of Death: December 27, 1997 / Age: 77
Cause of Death: lung cancer
Biography: Denver Dell Pyle (May 11, 1920 - December 25, 1997) was born in Bethune, Colorado. After graduating from high school he briefly attended college before dis-enrolling to pursue a career in show business. He worked as a drummer and band member until the start of the Second World War, when he applied to join the Merchant Marine. Denver Pyle would claim in later life that he was a Navy veteran, who had been wounded in action at Guadalcanal, however the National Personnel Records Center stated in 1991 that there was no evidence that Denver Pyle had ever served on active duty in the United States Navy. Denver Pyle’s statements were not resolved prior to his death, and his exact status of military service remains unclear to this day.
After the close of World War II, Denver Pyle began his film career and starred in several motion pictures throughout the 1950s and 1960s, making several appearances as "Briscoe Darling", the gruff patriarch of a clan of coarse hillbillies, on The Andy Griffith Show.
His best known television role was as the immortal “Uncle Jesse” in the series The Dukes of Hazzard. In addition to this, Denver Pyle played the role of Mad Jack in the television series "The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams."
In his later life, Denver Pyle played mostly cameo television roles and retired from full time acting. He died of lung cancer on Christmas Day in 1997.