John Saxon, ‘Enter the Dragon’ co-star & veteran character actor, RIP
John Saxon, the veteran character actor from such films as Enter the Dragon, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Black Christmas, and more, died today at his Murfreesboro, Tennessee home from pneumonia. He was 83.
Born Carmine Orrico in 1936, Saxon grew up in Brooklyn and began acting when still a teenager; one of his first film roles was opposite Mamie Van Doren in 1955's Running Wild. Saxon was soon an extremely prolific actor, playing a lot of gunslingers in film and TV (One Dollar Too Many, Bonanza, Gunsmoke), not to mention cop shows (Ironside, Vega$), soap operas (Dynasty, Falcon Crest, Melrose Place), cult shows (Kung Fu, The Six Million Dollar Man, Wonder Woman, Fantasy Island), and many many b-movies, usually as the heavy. He made a great bad guy.
His most famous role, though, is alongside Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon where he played Roper, a gambling addict who joins forces with Lee to bring down the evil Han. (You can watch Enter the Dragon on HBO Max right now.) Other notable roles include thriller Black Christmas, the Nightmare on Elm St series, and Dario Argento's Tenebre.
Rest in peace, John.