The famous American actor and martial artist John Saxon reportedly died of pneumonia in Tennessee yesterday, July 25. He was 83. His wife Gloria Martel confirmed the news to The Hollywood Reporter.
Saxon, an Italian American, was born Carmine Orrico in Brooklyn, New York. He attended New Utrecht High School, graduating in 1953. He then studied acting with famous acting coach Stella Adler. He started acting in movies during the mid-1950s, playing teenage roles.
He was a contract actor for Universal Pictures. In his long career he acted in several famous movies. In early years Saxon acted in Rock, Pretty Baby (1956) and Portrait in Black (1961). During the 1970s and 1980s, he established himself as a character actor, frequently portraying law enforcement officials in horror movies such as Black Christmas (1974), Dario Argento's Tenebrae (1982), and A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984).
His screen career goes back to the 50s and he's best remembered as a genre star, notable especially in 'Enter the Dragon' (Bruce Lee's first mainstream movie), 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' and 'Black Christmas'. Saxon went on to be part of more than 200 projects over his 60 year career. From cops & heroes to psychotic villains, he always gave his best in acting.