John Saxon
Enter the Dragon (1973, Hong Kong) Directed by Robert Clouse Shown from left: John Saxon, Jim Kelly

John Saxon was a titan of the screen. In a long an illustrious career that spanned from 1954 to the present day. He was always a presence that could be felt on the screen. If you were making a movie and you needed a tough guy that could actually act, John Saxon was your man. He was a pioneer of the horror genre at certain points of his career. Saxon lent a credence to roles like Lt. Thompson in A Nightmare on Elm Street 1 and 3 and Lt. Ken Fuller in Black Christmas.

It’s often understated how much of an influence he had on the original A Nightmare On Elm Street. A film like that needed a heavy hitter in the acting department. For a brand new film that had a major character behind heavy makeup and the rest of the cast consisting of new players, Saxon was the anchor. He was arguably what held that film up and made it what it is today. Anyone other than Saxon in that role might have made the movie completely different.

John Saxon

John Saxon Was A True Legend

Those roles might be what most horror fans know him for, but what could be his most famous is the role of Roper from Enter the Dragon. That film showed the chops that Saxon would use for the rest of his career. Sharing the screen with luminaries like Bruce Lee and Robert Englund and living to tell the tale is something that not many can say. He earned a Golden Globe for his performance in The Appaloosa.

He’s survived by his sons, Antonio and Lance; grandson Mitchell; great-grandson John; sister Dolores, and his wife Gloria. He died of pneumonia at the age of 83.

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