Frank Doubleday in Escape from New York
Avco Embassy/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock
May 30, 2018 04:24 PM

Frank Doubleday, who played the ghoulish, spike-haired henchman from John Carpenter’s sci-fi cult classic Escape from New York, has died at 73.

The actor’s wife Christina Hart confirmed his death on Facebook, and told The Hollywood Reporter that he died on March 3 of complications from esophageal cancer at his home in Los Angeles.

Doubleday is survived by his two famous daughters Portia Doubleday, who stars in Mr. Robot, and Kaitlin Doubleday, who has appeared on Nashville and Empire, as well as his mother, Jane.

“This cool, confident, intelligent looking man, was my partner for 40 years,” she wrote on Facebook, along with a photo of Doubleday. “He was always the smartest man in any room that I was in. Could probably boast being among the most talented as well. The most interesting dinner guest, the funniest at the table. He encouraged and fostered me to be anything and everything I wanted to be.”

She added, “The loss is immeasurable … Frank had a lot of other friends, but was not a social media kind of guy. And interestingly his brilliant and memorable work, created fans all over the world, who still contact me.”

In a rare interview, the private actor revealed how he first got into the business. “I started acting in college. I did not now I wanted to be an actor until I saw a production of Waiting for Godot. Once I saw that production, I knew I had to do this,” he told an Escape from New York fan site.

Speaking about playing Romero in the film he told the website, “I totally created the role myself. John gave me total creative freedom. The voice and the look were my ideas. I like that kind of work. I did a lot of character work and worked on Romero through voice, costume and movement. All my behavior was improvised.”

He added, “Once a character is created and is in one’s skin, the behavior just comes naturally. All the behavior, the hissing, etc. was not planned. That kind of thing is the actor playing … and again if the character has been internalized it all just happens. That was a rich, really fun character to create.”

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