Horror fans are mourning the passing of legendary actor John Saxon tonight. The actor died of pneumonia according to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 83.
The performer was known for playing many roles throughout his 67-year career. His first major role was that of Roper from the 1973 kung fu epic Enter the Dragon starring Bruce Lee.
Saxon was also a television actor who made appearances in shows such as The Rookies, Night Gallery, and Fantasy Island.
In 1984 he took a role in Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street. He portrayed Lt. Thompson, the father of Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) Thompson, the teen tormented by nightmares involving the disfigured child predator Freddy Krueger.
Saxon would return to that role for Dream Warriors; the third chapter in the franchise, then again in 1994 in the meta sequel Wes Craven’s New Nightmare.
In an interview from 2015 in Filmmaker, Craven said of the actor:
“Saxon was a real gentleman and great to work with, and I’m used to working with young people because I often make films starring teenagers, or people who look like teenagers. In horror you’re constantly working with actors that are just starting out, and I think it helps that I’m a little older.”
John Saxon: 1935-2020