Unveiling the Shocking Legacy: The Untold Story Behind Buddy Duress’s Tragic End – A Hollywood Cowboy’s Final Act

Actor Buddy Duress, Known for ‘Good Time’ Performance, Passes Away at 38

Renowned for his captivating supporting role in the 2017 film “Good Time,” actor Buddy Duress sadly succumbed to “cardiac arrest from a drug cocktail” in November 2023, as disclosed by his brother to PEOPLE. Born Michael C. Stathis in Queens, N.Y., in May 1985, Duress marked his screen debut in 2014’s “Heaven Knows What.”


Duress’s entry into the film industry was unconventional, as he secured his role after meeting filmmaker Josh Safdie through mutual friend Arielle Holmes. This encounter occurred shortly after Duress’s release from Rikers Island, where he served time for a drug-related conviction. His tumultuous journey, including evading authorities and incarceration, unfolded during the shooting of “Heaven Knows What,” premiering at the Venice Film Festival in August 2014.

Reflecting on his past, Duress acknowledged the serendipity that led him to acting, stating, “If I had gone to that program, I wouldn’t have been in ‘Heaven Knows What,’ and I probably wouldn’t be an actor right now.”

The Safdie brothers, impressed by Duress’s authenticity, cast him once again in the 2017 breakout film “Good Time,” starring Robert Pattinson. In the film, Duress portrayed Ray, a hardened criminal embroiled in a quest for liquid LSD at an amusement park alongside Pattinson’s character, Connie.

Josh Safdie attested to Duress’s invaluable contribution, noting that his time in prison significantly influenced the portrayal of Ray in “Good Time.” Duress, who had maintained prison journals, provided unique insights into the harsh realities of penal society, shaping the character in a profound manner.

Throughout his brief yet impactful career, Duress showcased his talents in various projects, including “Person to Person,” “The Mountain,” “The Great Darkened Days,” “Beware of Dog,” “PVT Chat,” “Flinch,” and “Funny Pages.” His final appearance will be in the upcoming film “Mass State Lottery” directed by Jay Karales.

Director Jay Karales fondly remembered Duress as a “once-in-a-lifetime charismatic actor” and expressed deep sorrow over the tragic loss of such visceral talent. Comparing him to John Cazale of their generation, Karales emphasized Duress’s irreplaceable contributions to the world of acting.

Buddy Duress is survived by his mother, Jo-Anne, and younger brother, Christopher. The legacy of this remarkable actor lives on through the indelible mark he left on the cinematic landscape.

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