There are a handful of villains that are often referred to by the moniker ‘horror icon,’ with guys like Freddy, Jason and Michael Myers being a few notable standouts. Then there’s characters like Matt Cordell, better known as Maniac Cop, who certainly belong in the same conversation as the greats.
It was 6-foot-2 actor Robert Z’Dar who portrayed undead officer of the law Matt Cordell in all three films of the Maniac Cop franchise, and it’s for that series that he was most known. He also appeared in a slew of other horror films, including Easter Sunday, Zombiegeddon and Little Creeps.
The Pensacola News Journal broke the heartbreaking news tonight that 64-year-old Z’Dar passed away last night, a result of cardiac arrest. The iconic actor was in town for a convention when he began experiencing chest pains, and he had been in the hospital over the weekend.
“We talked every day,” said Z’Dar’s manager Jim Decker. “We’ve been together through thick and thin. He was the first actor I took on in my career as an agent. We spent many weekends on the road together and a lot of time enjoying each other’s company. I miss him dearly.”
Though his best days of health were behind him, Z’Dar nevertheless continued working, and his lengthy IMDb resume serves as a reflection of that. A handful of film and television appearances were in his near future, including a sequel to the 1991 film Samurai Cop.
Decker said that Z’Dar, who was 64, is survived by a brother, Billy Zdarsky, and a nephew, Matthew. He said those who would like to send condolences could do so through his email, [email protected].