We recently received word here at Wicked Horror that beloved actor, martial artist and horror icon John Saxon, unfortunately, has passed away on July 25th 2020, at the age of 83. Saxon’s wife Gloria announced that he had succumbed to pneumonia.
John Saxon was born Carmine Orrico, on August 5th, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York. After high school, he began studying actor under famed actress and teacher Stella Adler. Some alumni of Adler’s teaching in addition to Saxon include Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel and Marlon Brando.
John Saxon’s big break when he received a contract from Universal Pictures and subsequently starred in Rock, Pretty Baby in 1956 and Portrait in Black in 1961. Saxon’s contract saw him achieve teen idol status when Rock, Pretty Baby became a hit, much to Universal’s surprise. Saxon continued to work steadily starring in various genres.
In 1973, Saxon found himself sharing the screen with some argue, the greatest martial artist of all time, Bruce Lee. Saxon starred alongside Lee in the classic film Enter the Dragon. According to many biographies about Saxton, he held a black belt in Shotokan Karate and was proficient in Judo.
Saxon’s career continued seeing him make appearances is several iconic horror films like Black Christmas and the role of Nancy Thompsons’ father in the Wes Craven masterpiece, A Nightmare on Elm Street. Saxon’s filmography is way too numerous to list here, but throughout his career, Saxon acted in over 200 projects. If you’ve seen it, chances are, John Saxon is in it somewhere.
John Saxon’s passing leaves a huge hole in my heart, as I am sure it does for others. Hollywood has truly lost an icon that has worked with some of the biggest names in the business. John Saxon leaves behind a legacy that will not be easily forgotten. In honor of him, I implore you to watch one of his numerous, amazing films and help celebrate his memory. Godspeed John Saxon, thanks for the scares.