“And that foot is me.”
That’s probably one of the most quoted lines in movie history, and it was spoken by our Cool Actor of the Week, John Vernon.
Vernon, born Adolphus Raymondus Vernon Agopsowicz, appeared in an astonishing 196 movies and TV shows throughout his long career — including, of course, Animal House (1978), where he delivered his unforgettable performance as Dean Vernon Wormer. He reprised that role in the rather terrible spin-off TV series, Delta House, which only lasted 13 episodes. But while many younger fans only know him from Animal House, Vernon had been active in film and television for 22 years before he put the Deltas on Double Secret Probation.
Always tearing hell out of whatever role he was given, Vernon appeared in such classic flicks as Point Blank (1967), Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here (1969), Topaz (1969), Charlie Varrick (1973), The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), and the Linda Blair trash spectacular, Chained Heat (1983). And in his performance as The Mayor in Dirty Harry (1971), Vernon very nearly stole the show from Clint Eastwood. Vernon’s TV credits include appearances on pretty much every classic show you can think of, including a turn doing the voice of Tony Stark/Iron Man in the 1966 animated series. For a little bonus nerd cred, he was also the father of actress Kate Vernon, who played Ellen Tigh on Battlestar Galactica.
John Vernon died in February, 2005 at the age of 72, but he will certainly be remembered.