John Saxon's fans are remembering the actor, who died on Saturday at age 83. Saxon had an incredibly diverse career, stretching back to the 1950s. He is best known for his role opposite Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon and starring in three A Nightmare on Elm Street films.
Saxon died after a battle with pneumonia, his wife Gloria Mitchell told The Hollywood Reporter. He lived in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and is also survived by sins Antonio and Lance; grandson Mitchell; great-grandson John; and sister Dolores. Saxon married Gloria, his third wife, in 2008.
The actor was born in Brooklyn, New York, and signed his first studio contract with Universal in 1954. His first credit came in 1955's Running Wild. His other films during the 1950s and '60s included The Reluctant Debutante, Rock, Pretty Baby, Summer Love, Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation, Portrait in Black, The Unforgiven, The Cardinal and The Appaloosa. The 1958 film This Happy Feeling earned Saxon a Golden Globe for Most Promising Male Newcomer. Following years of supporting parts, he was cast as martial artist Roper in 1973's Enter the Dragon, a film that made him popular in action movies throughout the 1970s.
Saxon also regularly appeared in horror movies, including Evil Eye, Tenebrae, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Black Christmas. He also appeared in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors in 1987 and Wes Craven's New Nightmare in 1994. In 1996, he starred in Robert Rodriguez's From Dusk Till Dawn. He also directed the 1987 horror movie Zombie Death House. In recent years, Saxon appeared in independent films and occasionally took guest roles on television. His TV credits include CSI, Melrose Place, Matlock, Falcon Crest, Dynasty, and Fantasy Island.prevnext
RIP John Saxon.
World class bad ass and friend/student of Bruce Lee.
I always said, if I had to do a secret mission and I could on;y bring a couple of guys, I'd want two of them to be Bruce Lee and John Saxon! pic.twitter.com/VDsIiQwPEn— Don Winslow (@donwinslow) July 26, 2020
In a 2012 interview with The Los Angeles Times, Saxon said one of his favorite films was The Appaloosa, a Western starring Marlon Brando. The film earned Saxon a Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe nomination. “This was to me a terrific role and something I was ready for, but he was despondent," Saxon said of the film and Brando. "He said he had lent a whole bunch of money to his father, and what he was saying to me was that his father ruined his life by losing all of his money. He was kind of bored in the picture."prevnext
Thank you for all the horror memories and unforgettable roles, John Saxon. You'll be greatly missed. ❤ pic.twitter.com/WAJqY1kdp6— Meagan Navarro (@HauntedMeg) July 26, 2020
Like many horror fans, I loved whenever John Saxon appeared in any NIGHTMARE film, but I was thrilled that Wes really gave him a chance to do something special in NEW NIGHTMARE. He was a kind man & he’ll be missed by so many. RIP John & thank you for everything. pic.twitter.com/FcUTFw6C5H— Heather Wixson (@thehorrorchick) July 26, 2020
Kung Fu movies, Italian gialli, Canadian slashers, multiple Nightmare on Elm Streets, more than one beach-centric horror movie and, uh...Hellmaster. John Saxon was a legitimately great actor but in the world of b-movies, he's about as legendary as they get. RIP pic.twitter.com/8dZyEXBRrJ— Jay Bauman (@JayBauman1) July 26, 2020
This one hurts. We are saddened to learn that John Saxon passed away today. The world lost a legend, the community is hurting today for sure. Our thoughts are with his family and friends, and all of the fans who are mourning today.
John Saxon— FredHeads The Documentary (@FredHeadsDoc) July 26, 2020
8.5.1935 - 7.25.2020 pic.twitter.com/nkUZzrkiLc