A World War II veteran who worked numerous odd jobs before becoming an actor, Denver Pyle appeared in over 200 television programs and is best known for his role as Uncle Jesse in the popular 1980s television series "The Dukes of Hazzard. " Born in Bethune, Colorado, Pyle briefly attended college before enlisting in the Merchant Marines. His first screen credit came in 1947, when he landed a small role in the high-seas adventure "Devil Ship." He worked steadily throughout the 1950s, appearing in the Western anthology series "Frontier" and on the popular family series "My Friend Flicka." Although he acted primarily in western and crime television dramas like "Gunsmoke" and "Perry Mason," Pyle also landed roles in films like "The Horse Soldiers" and "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance." In 1963, he appeared in six episodes of "The Andy Griffith Show" as Briscoe Darling, the gruff leader of a local hilbilly gang. He also appeared as Doris Day's father in three seasons of "The Doris Day Show." In 1979 Pyle enjoyed his biggest success yet, as the wise and kind-hearted Uncle Jesse on the family drama "The Dukes of Hazzard." He continued his role in the short-lived spin-off show "The Dukes," which ended after only one season. Pyle, who was terminally ill with lung cancer by the time of the reunion show in 1997, died on December 25, 1997.