Updated: July 14, 2022
IN MEMORY OF ACTOR-BOXER HENRY KULKY
Kulky began boxing in his teenage years. After six bouts, he stopped boxing when he was offered a position training wrestlers at St. Matthew's Lyceum in his native Hastings-on-Hudson.
Stanislaus Zbyszko convinced Kulky to compete professionally in 1939. Moving to Argentina, Kulky competed throughout South America under the ring name Bomber Kulkavich. The number of matches in which he competed is uncertain; one claim states that he won 172 of 175 matches. Kulky, however, claims that he won nearly all of 7,000 matches. While in South America, he is also said to have won the continent's judo crown.
Like most wrestlers who turned to acting in the 1950s he owed his big break to Mike Mazurki. The two appeared in several parts in the 1940s and 1950s, with Mazurki's agent getting him a part in Call Northside 777.
Because of his rather tough guy image, Kulky became typecast as military men, thugs, gangsters, bartenders, wrestlers and other "strong guys" who were at times quite friendly and lovable characters contrasting strongly with the tough guy image. In 1949, he began playing Otto Schmidlap in the television series, The Life of Riley. In the series, Kulky portrayed a co-worker of series character Chester Riley, a wing riveter at an aircraft plant. In 1952 he appeared in an episode (#11) of Adventures of Superman, as a wrestler working for a crooked promoter. In 1954 he appeared in an episode (#141) of The Lone Ranger. From 1959 to 1962, Kulky was cast in the recurring role as Chief Max Bronsky in forty-six episodes of Jackie Cooper's CBS military sitcom/drama television series, Hennesey. The role was close to Kulky's heart because during World War II, he was a boatswain's mate in the United States Navy.
Kulky's last role was as Chief Curley Jones in the television series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.
Kulky died on February 12, 1965 in Oceanside, California, of a heart attack suffered while he was studying a script.