Kenton DutyEdit


Kenton Duty (born May 12, 1995) is an American actor dancer and singer. He is best known for his recurring role as "Young Jacob" on the final season of the ABC primetime drama, Lost, and for his co-starring role as the flamboyant European exchange studentGunther Hessenheffer on the Disney Channel comedy series, Shake It Up!.


  [hide*1 Early life

Early lifeEdit

Kenton Duty was born on May 12, 1995.[1][2] He was born and raised in Plano, Texas and has two younger siblings, twin sisters, Jessica and Rebecca, born in 1999.[2][3][4][5] Duty first began study

ing acting at the age of 9, when his parents suggested he attend a musical theatre workshop to help him feel comfortable in front of an audience for school presentations.[6][7] It was at the summer workshop that he discovered he had a love for musical theatre, and it was there that he would also meet the casting director who would ask him to audition for his first play, A Christmas Carol.[6][7]


In 2004, Duty began his acting career in Dallas, Texas at the age of 9, playing "Young Scrooge" in the Dallas Theater Center's musical stage production of A Christmas Carol.[3][7][8] He appeared on-stage again the following year with a principal role in the Denton Community Theater's production of Ragtime.[3][5][7][9] Duty began auditioning for roles in Los Angeles after he was discovered at a showcase performance at the Young Actors Studio in Dallas, Texas by Hollywood talent agent, Cindy Osbrink and she invited him to come to California to audition for pilot season.[3][7][9] He has appeared in numerous national commercials for McDonaldsWal-MartPizza Hut, and Mattel.[1][10]

In 2007, after several appearances in comedy sketches on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Duty landed his first featured role as Michael in the Lifetime television movie,Christmas in Paradise.[2][3][9] Over the next two years, he appeared in guest-starring roles on the television crime drama, Cold Case and The Jay Leno Show, as well as a co-starring role in the popular web series Ctrl.[2][3][5][9] In 2009, Duty landed his first feature film role in the suspense thriller, 2:13, as well as feature film roles in the horror film,Forget Me Not, the comedy film, Crazy on the Outside, and the Bollywood film, My Name Is Khan.[3][5][7][9] In the spring of 2010, Duty gained popular notoriety in the role of "Young Jacob" on the hit TV series Lost, although no one, including Duty himself, knew who his character was until nearly the final episode of the series.[3][7][8][9] He was billed simply as “Teenage Boy.”[9]

In the fall of 2010, Duty landed a co-starring role on the Disney Channel original series Shake It Up! as the flamboyant dancer/fashion designer, Gunther Hessenheffer alongside Caroline Sunshine as his twin sister, Tinka.[11][12][13][14][15] The glitzy brother/sister duo of Gunther and Tinka is said to be inspired by Ryan and Sharpay Evans of Disney's High School Musical franchise.[15][16][17] While finding some aspects of the show formulaic, People Magazine critic, Tom Gliatto expressed appreciation for the comedic twosome's work on the series, writing - "Shake It Up doesn't shake up the kidcom formula, but it has something more than the usual shiny-sparkly cuteness... The best performances are from Caroline Sunshine and Kenton Duty as an overbearing brother-and-sister act from abroad named Tinka and Gunther. They're like High School Musical's Sharpay split in two and speaking in an unplaceable accent."[18]

On June 4, 2012, it was announced that Kenton Duty will no longer be a main cast member on the series Shake It Up. He will make special guest appearances like co-starCaroline Sunshine did for the first season.

Kenton is part of the new teen musical group Invasion. The group also includes Mathias Anderle, Nolan Sotillo, John Lindahl, and Nick Dean. The band is based in Hollywood, California.[19] [20]

[edit]Personal lifeEdit

Duty currently lives in Los Angeles with his parents and two younger twin sisters.[2][3][4] Duty loves animals and dreamed of becoming a veterinarian before beginning his acting career.[3][6] He has a pet guinea pig named "Peanut", and a horse that he keeps on his grandmother's property in Texas.[7][21][22][23] Duty's hobbies include baking, cooking, and horseback riding.[7][21][24] He also enjoys singing, playing guitar and songwriting.[1][21][25] Before beginning work on the TV series Shake It Up!, Duty played guitar and sang in the band KGMC Gigmasters with Braeden Lemasters and fellow Lost co-star Dylan Minnette.[26] Having no dance experience prior to his role on Shake It Up, Duty began taking private lessons in his free time to develop his dance skills.[23]

When he isn't working, Duty involves himself with charitable causes including the Disney's Friends for Change initiative, which benefits environmental charities through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, the Starlight Children's Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the quality of life for children with chronic and life-threatening medical conditions, UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital, which is dedicated to researching and treating pediatric diseases, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the quality of life for those living with cystic fibrosis, and St. Jude Children's Hospital, which is dedicated to providing treatment to children with cancer and othercatastrophic illnesses.[23][27][28] Kenton is also involved with the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN). FAAN is a non-profit organization that provides information, programs and resources about food allergies and anaphylaxis.[29]

In addition to his charity work, Duty has been an outspoken voice against school bullying.[28][30] In May 2011, he was named one of Dream Magazine's "Top 16 Under 16" and, when asked about the problem of bullying and cyber-bullying, Duty told the magazine - "You know, I have been bullied. It is always an awkward and difficult situation to be in. A couple of things to try when being bullied is to avoid the bully as much as possible, try using humor against the bully, have a sense of confidence….hold your head up and look everyone in the eyes."[23][31]


Year Film Role Notes
2009 2:13 Young Russell
2009 Forget Me Not Young Chad
2010 Crazy on the Outside Ethan Papadopolous
2010 My Name Is Khan Older Reese Garrick
2013 Contest Matt Prylek In post-production for Summer 2013 release [32]
Year Show Role Notes
2006–2007 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Various roles 4 episodes
2007 Christmas in Paradise Michael Marino (TV movie)
2008 3-Minute Game Show Himself - Contestant 1 episode
2008 Cold Case Young Chuck Pearce '69 1 episode
2009 Ctrl Young Ben 10 episodes
2009 The Jay Leno Show Various roles 2 episodes
2010 Lost Teenage Boy (Young Jacob) 4 episodes
2010 Jimmy Kimmel Live! Young Jacob 1 episode
2011 Last Man Standing Victor Blake 1 episode
2010–present Shake It Up! Gunther Hessenheffer Main Role (seasons 1-2), Recurring (season 3-present)[33]


Year Single Album Notes
2011 "Monster Mash" Spooky Buddies Soundtrack With Adam Irigoyen and Davis Cleveland
2012 "Roam" Roam (single) With Caroline SunshineAdam Irigoyen and Davis Cleveland
2012 "Show Ya How" Shake It Up: Live 2 Dance With Adam Irigoyen

[edit]Awards and NominationsEdit

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2011 Young Artist Awards Outstanding Young Ensemble In a TV Series

(shared with Bella ThorneZendayaRoshon FeganAdam IrigoyenDavis ClevelandCaroline Sunshine)

Shake It Up Nominated [34]
2012 Young Artist Awards Outstanding Young Ensemble In a TV Series

(shared with Bella ThorneZendayaRoshon FeganAdam IrigoyenDavis ClevelandCaroline Sunshine)

Shake It Up Nominated [35]


  1. a b c "Kenton Duty is "Gunther""Disney Channel Medianet. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  2. a b c d e "Kenton Duty Interview - 12/03/2010"The Joey & Elise Show. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
  3. a b c d e f g h i j "Lost's Kenton Duty - Duty Calls"SciFiAndTvTalk. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  4. a b "Kenton Duty Interview - 8/28/2010"Maximo TV. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  5. a b c d "Plano teen guest stars in 'Cold Case'"Star Local News. Retrieved September 12, 2011.
  6. a b c "Kenton Duty Interview"Star Chat Magazine. Retrieved 2011-01-10.
  7. a b c d e f g h i "Kenton Duty Interview"Portrait Magazine. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  8. a b "Young Dallas performer finds niche in Disney sitcom" September 12, 2011.
  9. a b c d e f g "Kenton Duty Talks About His Part On 'Lost'"Media Blvd Magazine. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  10. ^ "Kenton Duty "Shake It Up""Pop Tower. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  11. ^ "Characters - Gunther & Tinka - Shake It Up! - Disney Channel"Disney Channel Online. Disney. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  12. ^ "'Shake It Up': Meet Gunther & Tinka"ClevverTV. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  13. ^ "Kenton Duty Interview: Disney Channel's 'Shake It Up'"ClevverTV. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  14. ^ "1 to 1 with Caroline Sunshine & Kenton Duty"Fanlala. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  15. a b "When It Comes to Gay Characters, When Will the Teen Channels Grow Up?" Retrieved 2010-12-24.
  16. ^ "O.C. teen lands role in Disney Channel's new "Shake It Up" series"The Orange County Register. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  17. ^ "Caroline Sunshine & Kenton Duty: Disney's New Ryan & Sharpay!"The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  18. ^ "Picks and Pans: Shake It Up"People Magazine. December 20, 2010.
  19. ^ "Ex-Puyallup student chases teen screams, his dream in boy band"The News Tribune. Retrieved October 24, 2012.
  20. ^ "Official Invasion Website". Retrieved October 24, 2012.
  21. a b c "Kenton Duty from 'Shake It Up!'" Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  22. ^ "Kenton Duty Interview: "I didn't even know how to dance""The Star Scoop. Retrieved 2010-12-12.
  23. a b c d "Top 16 Under 16: Kenton Duty" Retrieved May 2011.
  24. ^ "Kenton Duty Celebrates Thanksgiving"Fanlala. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
  25. ^ "Interview with 'Shake It Up!' star Kenton Duty!'"Starry Constellation Magazine. Retrieved 2010-12-09.
  26. ^ "KGMC Gigmasters Band - 'Stand By Me'"Youtube. Retrieved 2010-11-13.
  27. ^ "Disney On Ice benefit for Starlight Children's Foundation"Wire Image. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
  28. a b "Get Ready To "Shake It Up" with Kenton Duty"Hollywood Teen 'Zine. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
  29. ^ "Kenton Duty's Connection to FAAN"FAAN Website. Retrieved 2012-9-30.
  30. ^ "Thorne, Duty & Cleveland anti-bullying message" Retrieved 2011-09-10.
  31. ^ "Dream Magazine - May 2011 Cover" Retrieved May 2011.
  32. ^ "Contest (2013)"Internet Movie Database. Retrieved October 2012.
  33. ^ "Premiere of 'Shake It Up'" October 2010.
  34. ^ "32nd Annual Young Artist Awards" Retrieved 2011-03-28.
  35. ^ "33rd Annual Young Artist Awards" Retrieved 2012-04-07.