RIP To Legendary Character Actor John Saxon…
Such sad news to report: the iconic Actor John Saxon has died…
According to THR:
John Saxon, the rugged actor who kicked 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.
I watched a documentary recently that reminded me what a great character Actor John Saxon is – I mean, who else can slap around Bruce Lee like this!
Time to acknowledge this great Actor and showcase his great career. art comedy “Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation”, but he achieved stardom in the late sixties thanks to TV…
From 1969 to 1972 season, he was a star of the TV show “The Bold Ones: The New Doctors”, playing the brilliant surgeon Theodore Stuart.
When the series ended, he took one of his most famous roles – all because he was a black belt in karate, Saxon appeared with the legendary Bruce Lee in “Enter the Dragon!”
Here is one of the fight scenes from the film:
Make sure to rush out and buy the 40th anniversary blu-ray edition of “Enter The Dragon” with tons of extra features!
And on a side note, if you’ve never seen Bruce Lee play ping pong with nunchucks, click on that story here!
Now, back to John Saxon: another one of his great movies is the 70’s horror classic “Black Christmas!”
Saxon plays a Detective struggling to find a missing college co-ed. “Black Christmas” had a huge influence on John Carpenter’s “Halloween” – it was one of the first true slasher films…and “Black Christmas” introduced the “killer POV” style that became so popular afterwards…
A fascinating fact about “Black Christmas”: it was directed by Bob Clark, who also made a classic holiday comedy: “A Christmas Story” – the exact opposite of “Black Christmas” as well as the iconic 80’s sex comedy “Porkys!”
A truly under-rated Director with a fascinating career. Read all about Director Bob Clark here:
John Saxon appeared in dozens of films throughout the 70’s, starring alongside Clint Eastwood in the western “Joe Kidd”, as well as alongside Robert Redford in “The Electric Horseman.”
Saxon’s Italian Phase!
Saxon continued to play a wide variety of roles on television and in motion pictures ever since, including a number of very influential italian crime dramas….since Saxon speaks fluent Italian!
Saxon starred in a number of european crime thrillers, and if you want to see the Actor talk about this exciting part of his career, check out this great documentary!
This is a fascinating look at Italian crime dramas…with extensive interview bites with Saxon today, looking back on that period in his career…you can read my story about the documentary here…
Sadly, my wife and I just saw Saxon pop up in an old episode of the Mary Tyler Moore Show!
He showed up in so many movies and Tv shows, in big or small parts.
Another great part of the film “Enter The Dragon” was Saxon’s co-star, the legendary blaxploitation star Jim Kelly:
Kelly recently died, and you can read about his illustrious career as well by clicking here:
Saxon was in “A Nightmare On Elm Street” and so many other great films…a real talent…
So sad to hear about John Saxon – RIP…