Happy 65th birthday today to Robert Englund, the character actor best known for his portrayal of the iconic horror-meister Freddy Krueger, who terrorized, slashed, and serial-killed his way through characters’ bad dreams in Wes Craven’s A Nightmare On Elm Street film series.
Englund, born in Glendale, CA, in 1947, began acting at the age of 12 in a local children’s theater program in his hometown. He stayed with acting, and by the 1970s, he was fresh out of drama school, looking for leading man parts. Englund was one of the many struggling actors at the time who tried out for the role of Luke Skywalker in George Lucas’ epic sci-fi classic Star Wars. After bouncing around Hollywood for a few more years, being typecast in smaller roles as either a nerd or a redneck character, he finally landed a role in 1983 on the original version of the aliens-attack-Earth TV series V. Portraying the character of Willie, a kinder, gentler, almost lovable alien so to speak, it was a stark contrast to the typical bloodthirsty devoid of scruples stereotypes of how alien characters were usually portrayed in various mediums. A year later, after V ran its course and was cancelled, Englund landed the role which brought him fame and iconic status, that of Freddy Krueger.
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