|Born||Robert Barton Englund
June 6, 1947
Glendale, California, U.S.
|Residence||Laguna Beach, California|
|Education||California State University, Northridge|
|Alma mater||Royal Academy of Dramatic Art|
|Years active||1974 – present|
|Known for||Freddy Krueger|
|Home town||Los Angeles, California|
|Spouse(s)||Nancy Booth (1988 – present)|
Robert Barton Englund (born June 6, 1947) is an American actor, voice-actor, singer, and director, best known for playing the fictional serial killer Freddy Krueger, in the Nightmare on Elm Street film series, and underground strip club owner Ian in the film Zombie Strippers. 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 was born in Glendale, California on June 6, 1947, the son of Janis (née MacDonald) and John Kent Englund, an aeronautics engineer who helped develop the Lockheed U-2 airplane. He is of part Swedish ancestry, and can speak Swedish fairly well. 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. He then attended California State University for three years before transferring to Michigan's Oakland University, where he trained at the Meadow Brook Theater, at the time a branch of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Wanting a feature film debut, Englund was briefly considered for the part of Han Solo in the 1977 film Star Wars while visiting his close friend, Mark Hamill, who would later be cast in the film as Luke Skywalker, for which role Englund actually auditioned. Englund's first film wound up being Eaten Alive. He then acted out Ranger in Galaxy of Terror, produced by Roger Corman, which was released in 1981. 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, in which he was a regular cast member.
But after such typecasting, Englund acted out a role jarringly against type: the psychotic burn victim and child murderer Freddy Krueger in Wes Craven's 1984 hugely successful A Nightmare on Elm Street. This role catapulted 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 act out a horror character eight consecutive times, the other being Doug Bradley, who portrayed the Pinhead character eight times in the Hellraiser film series. Englund has said that he enjoys the role of Freddy as it gives him a break from always acting out the nice guy; indeed, many people who have worked with Englund attest to his congeniality. Makeup artists responsible for the Krueger makeup have commented that Englund was so friendly and talkative that it made the lengthy makeup application slightly more challenging.
Englund's TV appearances include starring in the short-lived series Nightmare Cafe (1992), in which he played Blackie, the mysterious proprietor of the title cafe, and reprising his role of "Freddy Krueger" or "Fred Krueger" in the series Freddy's Nightmares. His guest roles include the science fiction series Babylon 5, one episode of the show MacGyver as Tim Wexler, Masters of Horror, MadTV, Sliders, and Knight Rider, where he appeared as a phantom haunting a film studio, and Walking Tall: The Series as well as a guest star spot on the hit TV show Walker, Texas Ranger. His work in voice-over animation includes magician Felix Faust in Justice League, The Riddler on The Batman, The Vulture on The Spectacular Spider-Man, and as Dormammu on The Super Hero Squad Show. On the TV witch drama Charmed (Episode: "Size Matters"), he appeared as a demon who used the services of a lackey to lure people into a decrepit household (where he lived in the walls) and shrank them down to action figure size. He also appeared on an episode of Married...With Children as The Devil. He appeared most recently, in one episode of the 2010 season of the television spy send-up Chuck, as a scientist who created a fear-inducing nerve toxin, a similar character to the Scarecrow, one of Batman's enemies in the DC Comics.
Englund performed as host of the Horror Hall of Fame awards show three times from 1989-1991.
Englund made his directorial debut with the 1988 horror film 976-EVIL, produced at a time when the "976" prefix was used for premium-rate telephone numbers. His second feature, Killer Pad, was released direct-to-DVD in 2008. As of the beginning of July 2013, he was in pre-production to direct The Vij, about a young priest who is led by an evil genie to commit murder, and who falls in love with an old witch who is not what she seems.
His memoir, Hollywood Monster: A Walk Down Elm Street with the Man of Your Dreams, which Alan Goldsher transcribed from his dictations, was published by Pocket Books on October 13, 2009.
Englund recently noted he would welcome a guest appearance in the ABC revival of V in an interview with Todd Sokolove from Forces of Geek. But the series was canceled before he could make such a guest appearance.
In January 2010, it was announced that Englund would return as Jackson Roth for the sequel to Dee Snider's Strangeland, titled Strangeland II: Disciple. However, as of December 2010, no specific dates or plans had been made regarding the project.
Englund made a guest appearance in the "The Death of the Queen Bee" episode of Bones, appearing as a quirky janitor at protagonist Dr. Temperance Brennan’s old high school. His character, a friend of Brennan's, and situation were introduced as "very creepy... it's like Freddy creepy." Englund was a special guest at the 2010 Streamy Awards, and also appeared as a special guest of the CA Weekend of Horrors on 8 October 2010.
Englund appeared as himself in the new Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies map, "Call of the Dead" as one of the playable characters, and acted out the part of a Halloween-themed serial killer in the 2010s revival of Hawaii Five-0. He also took part in a Halloween "Come dine with me" for Channel 4 in 2012.
Although the character of Freddy Krueger is regarded as one of the most terrifying in cinema history, Englund is often described by fellow actors and film crews as being extremely friendly and appreciative of his fans, many admitting that his portrayal of Krueger legitimately frightened them as children.
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