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.
In Warner Bros.' Enter the Dragon (1973), Lee's first mainstream American movie and last before his death at age 32, Saxon portrayed Roper, a degenerate gambler who participates in a martial arts tournament. In real life, his fighting skills did not approach those possessed by Lee and another co-star, karate champion Jim Kelly.
Saxon, though, said that Lee "took me seriously. I would tell him I would rather do it this way, and he'd say, 'OK, try it that way,' " he told the Los Angeles Times in 2012.
Saxon played the cop Donald Thompson in the first and third films in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, where he's eventually killed by Freddy Krueger's skeleton. He then returned to play a version of himself in New Nightmare (1994).
Credit Hollywood Reporter for article