Jeffrey Kenton Duty (born May 12, 1995) is an American actor and musician. He stars as the flamboyant European exchange student Gunther Hessenheffer on the Disney Channel original series Shake It Up.
Kenton Duty began his acting career in Dallas, Texas when he was 9 years old in the Dallas Theater Center's stage production of A Christmas Carol, and appeared on-stage again the following year with a principal role in Ragtime. Duty began auditioning for roles in Los Angeles after he was discovered at a workshop 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. He has appeared in numerous national commercials for McDonalds, Walmart, Pizza Hut, and Mattel.
He has appeared in several small television roles before landing his big break. In 2006-2007, he appeared in 4 episodes of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and returning to 2 more episodes in 2009 to act in skits.He was cast in the Lifetime Television movie, Christmas in Paradise in 2007. He played the role of Michael Marino, the younger brother of Devon Werkheiser's character. In 2008, he made an appearance in the Cold Case episode "One Small Step" as Chuck Collier in 1969, a role where he played the antagonist. He also guested on 2 episodes of the 10-episode web series entitled Ctrl as Young Ben, the main protagonist of the show.
Several of his early movie credits include Young Russell in 2:13 in 2008, Ethan Papadopolous in the feature film Crazy on the Outside in 2009, and in the same year, acted as Young Chad in the horror film, Forget Me Not (where he worked with fellow Shake It Up co-star Bella Thorne). The following year, he played Reese Garrick in the Bollywood film, My Name Is Khan.
Duty first gained popular notoriety in the role of "Young Jacob" on the hit TV series Lost in 2010, although no one, including Duty himself, knew who his character was until nearly the final episode of the series. He was billed simply as “Teenage Boy”. The casting call for the role was as follows: "[TEENAGE BOY] CAUCASIAN, 12-14. Dirty blond hair. Wise beyond his years. He's got intense, searching eyes. He's dealt with a horrible family accident. Even at a young age, he has been put in charge of something very important, and it weighs heavily on his shoulders. RECURRING GUEST STAR."
Duty currently co-stars on the Disney Channel original series Shake It Up! as the flamboyant dancer/fashion designer Gunther Hessenheffer, in his most known role, alongside Caroline Sunshine as his fraternal twin sister Tinka. The glitzy brother/sister duo of Günther and Tinka is said to be inspired by Ryan and Sharpay Evans of Disney's High School Musical franchise. The show is currently airing its second season. Kenton confirmed that the show will be coming back for a third season and they will return to film in July. On June 4, 2012, it was confirmed that Kenton will not be returning to Shake It Up as a regular character in Season 3. He will be appearing as a guest star throughout the season.
In 2011, he filmed an independent Christian movie entitled Amazing Love: The Story of Hosea which stars Sean Astin, Erin Bethea, Savannah Jayde, Sammi Hanratty, Kenton Duty, Terrence Hardy, Creagen Dow and features a guest appearance by Patty Duke. It is an educational film and is only available for church showings. Kenton was cast as Steve. The film is a story about many invaluable lessons learned during those early and often rocky, teenage years.
In addition to Amazing Love, Kenton appeared in a guest-starring role on the new ABC Tim Allen comedy, Last Man Standing.
In June 2012, he filmed an independent film about bullying, which is entitled Contest. It is about a shy, bullied, high school loner, and expert chef who enters a television cooking contest to save his grandmother's business. He forms a team to help him, and one of his teammates is the jock bully who's harrassed him most, and unbeknownst to the young chef, plans to secretly sabatoge any chance of his victory. Kenton is playing the role of the bully, Matt, who is on the swim team at school. Co-starring are Dan Flaherty and Kat McNamara. Filming takes place in New York.
More recently, Kenton was featured in collaborations with his Shake It Up co-stars on remakes of hits like "Monster Mash" and "Roam". He was also featured in the season 2 soundtrack of the show, Shake It Up: Live 2 Dance on the song "Show Ya How" with Adam Irigoyen. The song was featured in the episode "Protest It Up". Kenton is currently recording his own music.
- He first acted on-stage in local productions of A Christmas Carol and Ragtime.
- He is allergic to chocolate (cocoa).
- He has two younger twin sisters, Jessica and Rebecca.
- Before his role on Shake It Up, Kenton was most recognized as the mysterious teenage boy in the final season of Lost. It was revealed that his character was a young Jacob, the fraternal twin brother of the infamous character, the Man in Black.
- This would make it the second time Kenton has played the role of a twin on television.
- He sings and plays the guitar.
- He was in a band called KGMC.
- Before Shake It Up, he had already worked with girlfriend and fellow co-star, Bella Thorne, in 2009 on a film called Forget Me Not.
- He has worked with comedian-actor Tim Allen twice in his career. Once in 2010 for the movie, Crazy on the Outside, where he played the son of the single mother Tim Allen's character tries to date. The second time was when Kenton guest-starred on the show Last Man Standing, where he played the crush of Tim Allen's character's youngest daughter.
- He made his one-night only Broadway debut in Mary Poppins as a chimney sweep during the "Step in Time (Reprise)". He appeared on stage on August 4, 2011.
- While in New York in April 2012, he interviewed the cast of the Broadway show, Newsies, for Disney 365.
|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||Indie film, lead role|
|2006 - 2007||The Tonight Show with Jay Leno||Spelling Bee Contestant / Boy #1 / Halloween skit||4 episodes|
|2007||Christmas in Paradise||Michael Marino||Lifetime TV Movie|
|2008||3-Minute Game Show||Himself||-|
|2008||Cold Case||Young Chuck Collier '69||
Episode: "One Small Step"
|2009||Ctrl||Young Ben||10 episodes|
|2009||The Jay Leno Show||Teenager / High School Boy||2 episodes|
|2010||LOST||Teenage Boy (Young Jacob)||4 episodes|
|2010||Jimmy Kimmel Live!||Young Jacob||-|
|2010 - present||Shake It Up||Gunther Hessenheffer||Main role (Season 1-2), Recurring role (???)|
|2011||Last Man Standing||Victor Blake||Episode: "Last Halloween Standing"|