John Saxon death: Nightmare on Elm Street and Enter the Dragon star dies aged 83

·1-min read
Actor John Saxon has died, aged 83: Rex
Actor John Saxon has died, aged 83: Rex

John Saxon, star of Enter the Dragon and three Nightmare on Elm Street films, has died aged 83.

The Italian-American actor died from pneumonia in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, his wife Gloria told The Hollywood Reporter.

Born Carmine Orrico in Brooklyn on 5 August 1936, Saxon became known for his portrayals of police officers and detectives.

He won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of a Mexican bandit opposite Marlon Brando in The Appaloosa (1966). He starred with Clint Eastwood in Joe Kidd (1972).

In 1973, Saxon starred in Enter the Dragon with Bruce Lee, in what would become the martial artist’s last film before his death, aged 32.

While Saxon’s martial arts skills did not match those of Lee or their co-star, karate champion Jim Kelly, the actor told the Los Angeles Times in 2012 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 said.

In Nightmare on Elm Street, Saxon played police officer Donald Thompson in the first and third films of the franchise. He played a version of himself in New Nightmare, in 1994.

Saxon was married three times. His first marriages were to screenwriter Mary Ann Murphy, and flight attendant turned actor Elizabeth Saxon.

He married cosmetician Gloria Martel in 2008, and is also survived by his son, Antonio, and his sister Dolores.

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