John Saxon, 'Enter the Dragon,' 'Nightmare on Elm Street' Actor, Dies at 83
The Brooklyn tough guy also starred in 'The Appaloosa,' 'The Unguarded Moment' and 'Bla＊ Christmas.'
John Saxon, the rugged actor who ki＊ed around with Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon and appeared in three Nightmare on Elm Street movies for director Wes Craven, died Saturday. He was 83.
Saxon died of pneumonia in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, his wife, Gloria, told The Hollywood Reporter.
An Italian-American from Brooklyn, Saxon played characters of various ethnicities during his long career.
His portrayal of a brutal Mexican bandit opposite Marlon Brando in The Appaloosa (1966) earned him a Golden Globe, and he had a recurring role on ABC's Dynasty as Rashid Ahmed, a powerful Middle East tycoon who romanced Alexis Colby (Joan Collins). And on another 1980s primetime soap, CBS' Falcon Crest, he played the father of Lorenzo Lamas' character.
Years earlier, Saxon starred from 1969-72 as the surgeon Theodore Stuart on "The New Doctors" rotating segment of the NBC drama series The Bold Ones.
Discovered by the same agent who launched the careers of Ro＊ Hudson and Tab Hunter, Saxon first gained notice for his performance as a disturbed high school football star who taunts Esther Williams in The Unguarded Moment (1956). In the film's credits, he's billed as "the exciting new personality John Saxon."
He played a police chief who makes a fatal mistake in the Canadian cult classic Bla＊ Christmas (1974), featuring Margot Kidder and Keir Dullea, and his horror resume also includes two films for Roger Corman: Queen of Blood (1966) and Battle Beyond the Stars (1980), playing a tyrannical warlord.
In Warner Bros.' Enter the Dragon (1973), Lee's first mainstream American movie and last before his death at age 32, Saxon portrayed Roper, a degenerate gambler who participates in a martial arts tournament. In real life, his fighting skills did not approach those possessed by Lee and another co-star, karate champion Jim Kelly.