American actor and martial artist John Saxon, who starred opposite Bruce Lee in the classic film Enter the Dragon and protrayed Lt. Thompson in Nightmare on Elm Street, has died at 83 of complications of pnuemonia. He died Saturday at his home in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, according to his wife Gloria Martel Saxon. His 84th birthday would have been August 5th. Saxon told CNN. “He was a fighter, he was a sensitive, supportive and a generous person to not only his friends but to a lot of people that needed support and help.
Saxon was born Carmine Orrico in Brooklyn, New York, on August 5, 1936.
The science fiction and fantasy genres threaded strongly through Saxon’s lifetime of work. He appeared in all sorts of stuff, from Nightmare on Elm Street and Black Christmas, to sci-fi roles in pilots for Gene Roddenberry, Planet Earth and Strange New World, and more.
Saxon also appeared in such movies as Prisoners of the Lost Universe, Battle Beyond the Stars,My Mom’s a Werewolf, and Blood Beast from Outer Space. His TV guest appearances included Wonder Woman, Time Tunnel, Night Gallery, Fantastic Journey, and The Six Million Dollar Man. He was also a director, having helmed the horror movie Death House. Being fluent in Italian, he filmed several projects in Italy.
He was married three times and divorced twice. He and his first wife, writer Mary Ann Saxon, has one son, actor Antonio Saxon (Jim Killing Obsession). He is survived by his third wife, Gloria Martel.