Hy Pyke photo

Hy Pyke

Birth name:
Monty Pike
Date of Birth:
28 September 1935 Los Angeles, California, USA
Hy Pyke is an American character actor born in Los Angeles, California, in 1935. He majored in theater at the UCLA in the 60s, appearing in numerous student films, including one for Ray Manzarek, keyboardist of The Doors. From the UCLA, Pyke continued to a career as a character actor in low-budget, independent, films in the 70s and 80s, such as Dolemite and The First Nudie Musical. He specialized in manic, hysterical and borderline insane characters, going out of his way to steal every scene he appeared in. His long monologue scene in Richard Blackburn's Lemora: A Child's Tale of the Supernatural (1975), otherwise a somber, underplayed film, is arguably Pyke's greatest scenery-chewing moment. In the 70s, Pyke's physical appearance was as distinctive as his acting. He was very short, overweight, moustached and had rapidly balding Einstein hair. A character born to play Sancho Panza, which he eventually did, in The Erotic Adventures of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza (1976).Pyke also appeared in some bigger-budgeted mainstream films, most notably as the bartender Taffey Lewis in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner (1982). He also had a small role in the Grace Jones vehicle Vamp (1986). The majority of Pyke's mainstream appearances were very brief.During the 80s, his acting career slowed down and he moved over to TV commercials, making only occasional film appearances. His last larger part to date was in the horror movie Hack-o-Lantern (1990). He is now living in Los Angeles, California, and is still performing as a comedian at clubs and parties. Pyke has also contributed pieces about his experiences working in low-budget films to two books: Gods In Polyester, A Survivors' Account Of 70's Cinema Obscura (Succubus Press/2004), and Gods In Spandex, A Survivors' Account Of 80's Cinema Obscura (Succubus Press/2007).
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