Horror icon Robert Barton Englund was born on June 6, 1947, in Glendale, California. He is, of course, best known as Freddy Krueger from the 'Nightmare On Elm Street' film series, a role he carried from its inception in 1984 up until 2003's 'Freddy Vs. Jason'. Robert received a Saturn Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for 'Dream Warriors' in 1987 and 'The Dream Master' in 1988. Despite his reputation for appearing in horror films, Englund is a classically trained actor.
Robert is the son of Janis and C. Kent Englund, who was an aeronautics engineer who helped develop the Lockheed U-2 aircraft. He began studying acting at the age of twelve in Normal, Illinois. While in high school, he also attended the Cranbrook Theatre School in Bloomfield Hills. He then attended Cal State-Northridge for three years before transferring to Michigan's Oakland University, where he continued his training at the Meadow Brook Theatre. At the time, it was a branch of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Since his first film, 'Buster and Billie', in 1974, 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'.
After his huge success in 'A Nightmare on Elm Street', 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), 'Urban Legend' (1998) and '2001 Maniacs' (2005).
Robert is one of only two actors to play a horror character eight consecutive times, joining Doug Bradley, who portrayed the demonic 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 playing 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.
On the small screen, 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" in the series 'Freddy's Nightmares' in 1989-1990. His guest spots include the science fiction series 'Babylon 5', 'Masters Of Horror', 'MadTV', 'Sliders', and 'Knight Rider', where he played a phantom haunting a film studio.
His voice-over work in animation includes magician Felix Faust in 'Justice League', The Riddler on 'The Batman' and The Vulture on 'The Spectacular Spider-Man'. On the TV witch drama 'Charmed' (Episode: "Size Matters"), he played a demon who used the services of a lacky 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. Englund, who is also an avid surfer, hosted the Horror Hall of Fame awards show three times from 1989-1991.
In addition to being in front of the camera, Robert also takes occasional turns behind it as a director. He made his directorial début with the 1989 horror film '976-EVIL'. His second feature, 'Killer Pad', was released direct-to-DVD in 2008. He is currently in pre-production to direct 'The Vij', a horror thriller about a young priest who is led by an evil genie to commit murder, and falls in love with an old witch who is not what she seems.
On October 13, 2009, Robert's memoir, 'Hollywood Monster: A Walk Down Elm Street With The Man Of Your Dreams', was released. He co-wrote with Alan Goldsher, and it was published by Pocket Books. A signing party was held in conjunction with the 'Monster Mania' horror convention, who held a special event just for the book on Halloween weekend 2009 in Cherry Hill, N.J.
Upon hearing about the ABC revival of 'V', Robert recently noted he would welcome a guest appearance. He did make a guest appearance in the Slasher episode of the FOX hit 'Bones' in early 2010, playing a demented janitor at Brennan's old high school.
In January 2010, it was announced that he will return as Jackson Roth for the sequel to Dee Snider's 'Strangeland', 'Strangeland II: Disciple'.
Englund and his wife Nancy currently reside in Laguna Beach, California.
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