Ken Duken was born in Heidelberg on April 17th 1979. The son of an actors' family enrolled at the Internationale Theaterschule München, where he studied "Method Acting" and "Shakespeare Method". He performed in several plays, including "Der Besuch der alten Dame" and "Das Haus in Montevideo". Duken made his film debut in 1997 with the TV drama "Blutiger Ernst". His portrayal of a rebellious teen in "Schlaraffenland", his performance as a cop in Lars Becker's crime thriller "Rette Deine Haut" and his turn as a womaniser in "100 Pro" established him as one of the most promising young actors in Germany.
Duken also had a recurring role of a savvy police detective in Lars Becker's TV series "Nachtschicht". In 2005, he won the Grimme Award for Best Actor for his performance as an eccentric video nerd in "Kiss and Run". The same year, he played the male lead in Buket Alakus' acclaimed tragicomedy "Eine andere Liga". He gained further popularity in the 2006 miniseries "Störtebeker", in which he portrayed the titular hero, a famous German pirate. He was also prominently cast in international productions like the Italian made-for-TV epic "Karol. Ein Mann, der Pabst wurde" (2005), the French fantasy miniseries "Ali Baba und die 40 Räuber" (2007) and the Norwegian-Danish-German co-production "Max Manus" (2008).
In Thomas Sieben's "Distanz", which premiered at the 2009 Berlin IFF and was released in August 2010, Duken played the role of a young man who turns into a serial killer for no apparent reason. Also in 2009, he was seen in supporting roles in Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" and in Til Schweiger's "Zweiohrküken".