Actor John Saxon dies; ‘Enter the Dragon’ among many roles

Actor John Saxon dies; ‘Enter the Dragon’ among many roles”

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The New York native had portrayed a wide range of characters in film and TV over his 60-year career span.

Saxon's most prominent titles include "Enter The Dragon" with Bruce Lee in what would be the legendary martial artiste-actor's first mainstream American movie and last before his death; Wes Craven's "A Nightmare on Elm Street", and The Appaloosa, in which he starred opposite Hollywood veteran Marlon Brando, for which was nominated for the best supporting actor Golden Globe. After graduating high school he studied with famous acting coach Stella Adler. He worked on something like 200 projects, with starring roles in the 1973 Bruce Lee era-defining martial-arts adventure Enter the Dragon, Wes Craven's hugely popular A Nightmare on Elm St (1984), and Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's From Dusk Till Dawn (1996). He made a great bad guy. "Very good actor, very nice guy".

John who hailed from Brooklyn, New York was famed for being able to play various characters with different ethnicities.

'Brooklyn was a tough place to grow up in, but it taught you survival, and if you were ambitious, it taught you to want better things, ' he once said in an interview.

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Saxon had a recurring role on ABC's Dynasty as Rashid Ahmed, a powerful Middle East tycoon who romanced Alexis Colby (Joan Collins), and also appeared on CBS' Falcon Crest as the father of Lorenzo Lamas' character.

Action fans remember Saxon as the gambler Roper in the 1973 martial arts classic Enter the Dragon, opposite the late Bruce Lee.

His other horror credits include the first version of Black Christmas (1974), in which he also played a cop, and Rod Serling's Night Gallery series, while his sci-fi resume includes the movies Queen of Blood and Battle Beyond the Stars, as well as the TV movies Planet Earth (a pilot for a series developed by Gene Roddenberry) and Strange New World.

In recent years, he has been in a number of independent movies and has played in several television series, including CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and the Showtime series Masters of Horror.

He was married three times, firstly to the Hollywood screenwriter Mary Ann Murphy, then to airline attendant turned actress Elizabeth Saxon.

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