1 9 5 4 (USA)
13 x 30 minute episodes
As a summer replacement for The Dave Garroway Show on NBC, The Duke had an interesting premise; a prizefighter who opted to go “classy” and leave the ring to use his prizemoney for more highbrow and intellectual pursuits.
The Duke was Duke London (Paul Gilbert, whose birth name was Ed McMahon), a retired boxer who, thanks to a friend named Rudy Cromwell (Claude Stroud) who graduated from Harvard, now enjoyed more elitist diversions, such as reading, the opera, and fine art.
The Duke was becoming quite an accomplished painter, and also – with Rudy as his business partner – decided to open a nightclub to be called “The Duke’s.”
Meanwhile, this new version of Duke London was upsetting to his former promoter, Sam Marco (Sheldon Leonard), and his former trainer, Johnny (Allen Jenkins), both of whom were gearing up for a Duke London comeback.
They did eventually lure Duke back into the ring, but only to paint other fighters.
The Duke also had a girlfriend named Gloria (Phyllis Coates).