John Saxon of Nightmare on Elm Street
Credit: Image: Jill Johnson/JPI

An iconic figure in Hollywood and television passed away.

On Saturday July 25, John Saxon, an actor who had more than 200 television and film credits to his name, passed away. His wife Gloria Martel revealed he died from pneumonia in his Murfreesboro, Tennessee home. Saxon was 83.

Saxon was born Carmine Orrico on August 5, 1936 in Brooklyn, New York. After graduating from New Utrecht High School he studied with famed acting coach Stella Adler. Early in his career he did some modeling and was spotted on the cover of a magazine by talent agent Henry Willson, who brought him to California. He was soon put on contract by Universal Studios and changed his name to John Saxon. He made his television debut on Medic in 1955 and got his first substantial role in Running Wild the same year playing a juvenile delinquent. He went on to appear in a number of movies playing a teen idol, including Summer Love, The Reluctant Debutante, and This Happy Feeling. In 1958 he won a Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer Male, helping to cement his career. In 1966 he starred in The Appaloosa, in which he played a Mexican bandito and the man who stole Marlon Brando’s character’s horse. He was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe for the role.

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From 1969 to 1972 he played the brilliant surgeon Theodore Stuart on the television series The Bold Ones: The New Doctors. His other major television credits include the role of Rashid Ahmed on Dynasty from 1982 until 1984, and as Tony Cumson on Falcon Crest from 1984 until 1988. He was on the 1994 to 1995 season of Melrose Place as Henry Waxman. However, he is most well known for his role as Roper in 1973 alongside Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon, and as playing Nancy’s father Lt. Thompson in the Wes Craven thriller A Nightmare on Elm Street in 1984. His final film project was the role of Frank in the upcoming sci-fi thriller After the Thunderstorm.

General Hospital’s Mark Lawson (Dustin Phillips) honored Saxon in an Instagram post for their shared love of kettlebell training. Saxon was also trained in judo and held a black belt in karate.

Saxon was married three times. First to Mary Ann Murphy from 1967 to 1979, then to Elizabeth Saxon from 1987 to 1992. His third and final marriage was to Gloria Martel since 2008. He is survived by Martel, his son, Antonio, and his sister, Dolores.

We send our condolences to Saxon’s family and friends. Browse our gallery below of other daytime stars lost in 2020, and then subscribe to’s newsletter.