Watson B. Duncan III

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Watson B. Duncan III
Born(1915-02-16)February 16, 1915
Charleston, South Carolina
Died February 21, 1991(1991-02-21) (aged 76)
Nationality American
Occupation Professor
Known for Mentor of Burt Reynolds
Spouse(s) Honey Harper

Watson B. Duncan III (February 16, 1915 February 21, 1991) was an American college professor best known for being the mentor of actor Burt Reynolds.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

College educational institution

A college is an educational institution or a constituent part of one. A college may be a degree-awarding tertiary educational institution, a part of a collegiate or federal university, an institution offering vocational education or a secondary school.

Professor academic rank at universities and other post-secondary education and research institutions in most countries

Professor is an academic rank at universities and other post-secondary education and research institutions in most countries. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences, a teacher of the highest rank.

Duncan was born in Charleston, South Carolina. He received B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of South Carolina, where he majored in English. He also did graduate work at the Shakespeare Institute & Royal Theatre at the University of Birmingham in England.

Charleston, South Carolina City in the United States

Charleston is the oldest and largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina, the county seat of Charleston County, and the principal city in the Charleston–North Charleston–Summerville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city lies just south of the geographical midpoint of South Carolina's coastline and is located on Charleston Harbor, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean formed by the confluence of the Ashley, Cooper, and Wando rivers. Charleston had an estimated population of 134,875 in 2017. The estimated population of the Charleston metropolitan area, comprising Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties, was 761,155 residents in 2016, the third-largest in the state and the 78th-largest metropolitan statistical area in the United States.

A Bachelor of Arts is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, sciences, or both. Bachelor of Arts programs generally take three to four years depending on the country, institution, and specific specializations, majors, or minors. The word baccalaureus should not be confused with baccalaureatus, which refers to the one- to two-year postgraduate Bachelor of Arts with Honors degree in some countries.

A Master of Arts is a person who was admitted to a type of master's degree awarded by universities in many countries, and the degree is also named Master of Arts in colloquial speech. The degree is usually contrasted with the Master of Science. Those admitted to the degree typically study linguistics, history, communication studies, diplomacy, public administration, political science, or other subjects within the scope of the humanities and social sciences; however, different universities have different conventions and may also offer the degree for fields typically considered within the natural sciences and mathematics. The degree can be conferred in respect of completing courses and passing examinations, research, or a combination of the two.

In 1953, he married Honey Harper. [1]

Duncan began teaching Speech and English at Palm Beach Junior College in the early days of the college's history, eventually rising to the head of the English department.

Palm Beach State College

Palm Beach State College is a public state college in Palm Beach County, Florida. It is a member of the Florida College System.

Burt Reynolds attended Palm Beach Junior College while recuperating at home in Riviera Beach from football injuries he suffered playing for Florida State University. Duncan saw a spark of talent in Reynolds, and asked him to read for a play, Sutton Vane's Outward Bound, which the college was presenting. Duncan cast Reynolds in the lead role. This eventually led to a scholarship for Reynolds at the Hyde Park Playhouse in New York City. Reynolds credited Duncan as the person who had the most influence in his life.

Riviera Beach, Florida City in Florida

Riviera Beach is a city in Palm Beach County, Florida, United States, which was incorporated September 29, 1922. Due to the location of its eastern boundary, it is also the easternmost municipality in the Miami metropolitan area, which was home to an estimated 6,012,331 people in 2015. In the 2010 U.S. Census, the total population of Riviera Beach residents was 32,488 people.

Florida State University university in the United States

Florida State University is a public space-grant and sea-grant research university in Tallahassee, Florida. It is a senior member of the State University System of Florida. Founded in 1851, it is located on the oldest continuous site of higher education in the state of Florida.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

Years later, Reynolds cast his former teacher in a cameo role as the press secretary to the governor in the movie Gator, which Reynolds starred in and directed.[ citation needed ]

A press secretary or press officer is a senior advisor who provides advice on how to deal with the news media and, using news management techniques, helps his or her employer to maintain a positive public image and avoid negative media coverage.

<i>Gator</i> (film) 1976 film by Burt Reynolds

Gator is a 1976 American action comedy film and a sequel to White Lightning starring Burt Reynolds in his directorial debut.

Duncan went on to head the English/Communications Department at Palm Beach Junior College for more than thirty years, specializing in Milton and Shakespeare. [1] He also helped develop the talents of actor Monte Markham and Terry Garrity, author of The Sensuous Woman , while they were students at Palm Beach Junior College.

John Milton 17th-century English poet and civil servant

John Milton was an English poet, polemicist, man of letters, and civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under its Council of State and later under Oliver Cromwell. He wrote at a time of religious flux and political upheaval, and is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost (1667), written in blank verse.

William Shakespeare English playwright and poet

William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His extant works, including collaborations, consist of approximately 39 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, some of uncertain authorship. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

Monte Markham American actor

Monte Markham is an American actor. He has appeared in films, television series and on Broadway.

Professor Duncan was well known as a gifted Shakespearean actor, and performed frequently in the Shakespeare Festival at Stratford, Ontario.

His teaching style was flamboyant, dramatic, and rendered his material quite unforgettable. Generations of students remember his shout of "ME MISERABLE!," a trademark of his Paradise Lost lectures, and recall his classes as some of the most memorable experiences of their college years. He was awarded the Distinguished Floridian of the Year (1980) and the National Faculty Award (1985). [1]

The people of Palm Beach County honored Duncan by naming two public buildings for him. The spacious, performing arts theatre on the main campus of Palm Beach State College in Lake Worth, the Watson B. Duncan III Theatre, serves as a performing arts instructional facility and hosts a variety of cultural and entertainment events for the public. A public middle school in Palm Beach Gardens also bears his name. [1]


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  1. 1 2 3 4 "Watson B. Duncan III". Watson B. Duncan Middle School. Archived from the original on 2001-09-05.