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Nationality USABirth 26 march 1932
at Macon (USA
)Death 29 march 2012
(at 80 years) at Portland (USA
Francis Luke Askew (March 26, 1932 – March 29, 2012) was an American actor best known for his role in the 1969 film Easy Rider. He appeared in many westerns, and had a rare lead role in the spaghetti Western Night of the Serpent (La notte dei serpenti – 1969).
Askew was born in Macon, Georgia to Milton Dillard Askew (1904-1976) and Dorothy Doolittle (1910-1969). Askew attended the University of Georgia, Mercer University, and Walter F. Jay School of Law. Askew served in the United States Air Force during his college years in intelligence. He made his film debut in Otto Preminger's Hurry Sundown (1967), but was first noticed as an actor for his role in the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke. He was one of the first actors daring to wear long hair in this era, which he had to hide under a hat during the filming of this movie. The next year he worked with John Wayne in The Green Berets (with his hair cut short). The following year he worked with Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda in Easy Rider, a film that set him on the road to becoming a cult figure of modern cinema.
Askew continued to work as an actor after that, predominantly appearing in guest roles on television series. This includes work on such series as: Bonanza, High Chaparral, Mission: Impossible, Cannon, The Rockford Files, Quincy, M.E., The Six Million Dollar Man, T. J. Hooker, L.A. Law, MacGyver, Walker, Texas Ranger, Murder She Wrote, and HBO's Big Love. He appeared frequently with Bill Paxton.
He also took part in Easy Rider: Shaking the Cage (1999), a documentary about the making of Easy Rider DVD. Askew sang Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and Jimmy Reed songs at The Gaslight Cafe. According to Bob Dylan, when Luke sang at The Gaslight Cafe it was like a "guy who sounded like Bobby Blue Bland".
Askew later moved to Lake Oswego, Oregon, in the Portland metropolitan area. He died in Portland, on March 29, 2012, from lung cancer.