On this Day in Movie History, June 6, 1947: Robert “Freddy Kruger” Englund is Born

It was on this day, June 6, 1947, American actor, voice-actor, singer, and director, Robert Barton Englund was born. Best known for playing the fictional serial killer Freddy Krueger, in the Nightmare on Elm Street film series, he received a Saturn Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors in 1987 and A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master in 1988. Englund is a classically trained actor.

Englund began studying acting at the age of twelve in a children’s theater program at California State University, Northridge. While he was in high school, he attended the Cranbrook Theatre School (organized by the Cranbrook Educational Community) in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. He then attended California State University for three years before transferring to Michigan’s Oakland University, where he trained at the Meadow Brook Theatre, at the time a branch of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Story has it, wanting a feature film debut, Englund auditioned for the part of Luke Skywalker in the 1977 film Star Wars. After failing to get the part, Englund suggested that a friend, Mark Hamill, try out instead, for which in turn Hamill became famous. Englund’s first film wound up being Eaten Alive, ironically in that same year. Since then, Englund has made over 100 appearances on film and television.

His early film roles usually typed him as a nerd or a redneck, and he first gained attention in the role of Willie, the lovably innocent alien in the 1983 miniseries V, as well as the 1984 sequel V: The Final Battle, and V: The Series.

Englund played the psychotic burn victim and child murderer Freddy Krueger in Wes Craven’s 1984 hugely successful A Nightmare on Elm Street. This role rose him to nationally syndicated fame, and Englund became the first new horror movie star since Sir Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing in the 1960s. His association with the genre led him to top-billed roles in The Phantom of the Opera (1989), The Mangler (1995), and 2001 Maniacs (2005).

Englund is one of only two actors to play a horror character eight consecutive times, the other being Doug Bradley, who portrayed the Pinhead character eight times in the Hellraiser film series.

1898 – Walter Abel (actor: Raintree County, Mirage, Quick Let’s Get Married, 13 Rue Madeleine, Wake Island, Silent Night Bloody Night, Kid from Brooklyn, Holiday Inn, The Indian Fighter; died Mar 26, 1987)

1932 – Billie Whitelaw (actress: Frenzy, The Dressmaker, The Secret Garden, The Omen, Masterpiece Theatre productions)

1945 – David Dukes (actor: War & Remembrance, The Winds of War, Sisters, The Men’s Club, Snow Kill, The Triangle Factory Fire Scandal, The Josephine Baker Story, Held Hostage; died Oct 9, 2000)

1952 – Harvey Fierstein (Tony Award-winning actor: Torch Song Trilogy [1983]; Mrs. Doubtfire, Bullets Over Broadway; and playwright: Torch Song Trilogy [1983]; La Cage aux Folles, Tidy Endings; actor: Mrs. Doubtfire, Independence Day)

1955 – Sandra Bernhard (comedienne, actress: Roseanne, The Richard Pryor Show, Comedy Central: The A-List, The Late Shift, Hudson Hawk, King of Comedy)

1959 – Amanda Pays (actress: Exposure, Dead on the Money, Leviathan, Off Limits, The Kindred, Oxford Blues, Mad Headroom, The Flash)

Mark your calendar for September 29th, 2012

And prepare to be present for the

Jaxon Film Fest


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