American actor and martial artist, John Saxon, passed away on Saturday, 25th July, at the age of 83. He lost his life to pneumonia in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, his wife, Gloria, told The Hollywood Reporter.
Saxon appeared in nearly 200 films and TV shows during a span of 60 years. He was a versatile actor, best known for his role in ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ movies under the direction of Wes Craven, Bob Clark’s ‘Black Christmas’, and ‘Enter the Dragon’, where he starred alongside martial arts legend Bruce Lee.
Saxon portrayed characters of various ethnicities throughout his career. He portrayed the role of a Mexican bandit opposite Marlon Brando in ‘The Appaloosa’ (1966), a Puerto Rican New Yorker in ‘Cry Tough’ (1959).
The actor was extremely popular for his work in Westerns and horror movies, often portraying the roles of police officers and detectives.
He was a teen idol in the 1950s, with films like ‘Rock’, ‘Pretty Baby’, ‘Summer Love’, and multiple pairings with Sandra Dee, before starring in the horror genre.
John Saxon was born Carmine Orrico on August 5, 1936. He was married three times, first to screenwriter Mary Ann Murphy, then to actress Elizabeth Saxon, and finally to Gloria Martel, with whom he stayed together till death.
Saxon is survived by his sons, Antonio and Lance; grandson Mitchell; great-grandson John; and sister Dolores.