Ken made his acting debut in New York, in an off-Broadway production of James Baldwin’s Blues for Mr. Charlie. He found himself unexpectedly hooked on acting, having only turned up to the audition by chance! He went on to train professionally and shortly afterwards landed a part in the film The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings (1976) opposite Richard Pryor and James Earl Jones.
Next up was Ken’s most famous part: Peter Washington in George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead (1978), a role he reprised in the 2004 Universal Pictures remake. Cementing his status as a zombie film legend, a tribute was paid to Ken in cult ‘rom-zom-com’, Shaun of the Dead (2004) – Shaun’s workplace is named ‘Foree Electric’.
While he is most widely known for his work in the last two installments of Dawn, Ken has many other horror films to his credit, including Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990), Hangfire (1991), Night of the Warrior (1991), Joshua Tree (1993), The Dentist(1996) and Sleepstalker (1996).
A softer side of Ken was displayed in Nickelodeon’s hit kid’s show Keenan and Kel. Other television roles include Kojak, The X-Files, General Hospital, Babylon 5 and Brothers.