February 8, 2005 by

John Vernon


Categories: Actors, Hollywood

jvernon.jpgJohn Vernon, a prolific character actor who played crafty villains and crusty authority figures, died on Feb. 1 following complications from heart surgery. He was 72.
Born Adolphus Raymondus Vernon Agopsowicz in Saskatchewan, Canada, Vernon was still a teenager when he decided to dedicate his life to acting. He attended the Banff School of Fine Arts in Alberta, then traveled to London to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. His classmates there were Peter O’Toole, Alan Bates and Albert Finney. After returning home, he adopted the name John Vernon and became a spear carrier at the Stratford Festival of Canada.
Although he was trained for the stage — Vernon acted opposite Christopher Plummer in the 1956 Broadway production of “The Royal Hunt of the Sun” — his big break came playing the title role in “Wojeck.” The 1960s Canadian Broadcasting Corp. crime series was inspired by the exploits of Toronto coroner Dr. Morton Shulman.
Canadian and Hollywood producers took notice of the rugged actor’s versatile talents and cast him in more than 200 films and TV productions, including “The Outlaw Josey Wales,” “Dirty Harry,” “Topaz,” “Point Blank,” “Airplane II,” “Killer Klowns From Outer Space” and “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka.” Vernon was best known in the states for playing the slimy Dean Wormer in the 1978 college comedy “Animal House.”
Vernon’s distinctive voice led to a wide variety of audio roles as well. In the 1956 film version of George Orwell’s “1984,” he provided the voice of Big Brother. Vernon also voiced characters in the cartoons “Pinky and the Brain,” “The Incredible Hulk” and ” Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman,” and in the video games “Star Trek: Klingon Academy,” “Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2,” “Earth and Beyond” and “Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel.”
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2 Responses to John Vernon

  1. Ernesto Jimenez

    By far one of the most talented actors I’ve seen in my life. Since I recall him being in movies, he hadn’t changed in appearance not one bit.
    May he rest in peace.

  2. Christopher

    Either movies I’ve seen John Vernon starred in are Herbie Goes Bananas and Ernest Goes To Camp.
    But anyway I didn’t get People brand magazine yearbook though.

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