If you are a martial arts enthusiast or familiar with the 1973 film Enter The Dragon, you must be familiar with the name John Saxon. He played the role of Roper in the film and starred alongside the legendary Bruce Lee. John Saxon has worked on over 200 projects and has been in the film industry for 60 years. There are so many interesting things to find out about him, such as his martial arts skills, which nowadays make many fans wonder if he really is a black belt holder, and the women he married and divorced. Let’s take a look at his professional and personal life.
John Saxon Bio
John Saxon, whose original birth name is Carmine Orrico, was born on 5 August 1935 in Brooklyn, New York in the United States. His father’s name was Antonio Orrico, and he was a dock worker, while his mother’s name was Anna Orrico. John Saxon is an actor by profession and has acted in westerns and horror movies. He attended New Utrecht High School, where he studied acting and graduated in 1953.
Married Life – Wives and Son
John has not had a stable married life. He was married three times and his first marriage was to Mary Ann Saxon between 1967 and 1979. The marriage lasted 12 years and was blessed with a son. About eight years after divorcing his first wife, he remarried Elizabeth Saxon in 1987 and they also divorced in 1992. He then married Gloria Martel on 29 August 2008. Gloria is an actress and known for the film Bring Me The Head of Lance Henriksen. She is also a licensed beautician/aesthetician. Currently, the couple is still strong but has no child together. So the only child of John Saxon is Antonio Saxon, who is also an actor and was born to him from his first marriage. Apart from being an actor, John Saxon is also a martial artist and has a good command of judo and Shotokan karate.
John Saxon Acting Career
John Saxon registered at Universal in April 1954 and was there for 18 months before he appeared in his first movie. He played the lead role in Running Wild (1955), where he played a role as a juvenile delinquent, and in 1956 he played the lead role in Unguarded Moment. He played many teenage roles until he got a lead role in the teen movie Rock, Pretty Baby, which later became a hit and made John popular.
Saxon repeated his role in the show Summer Love, which was produced in 1957. At the height of his career, he received 3,000 letters a week from his fans. The positive reaction of the audience and fans prompted Universal to reunite Saxon and Sandra Dee in the teenage melodrama movie entitled The Restless Years (1958). He went to United Artist and starred in a film about a teenage delinquent called Cry Tough, which was produced in 1959.
Henry Wilson, who was a talent agent, was the one who discovered John and signed him before bringing him to California where he changed his name from Carmine Orrico to John Saxon. For five years he worked continuously, among others in supporting roles for films like Unforgiven (1960), produced by John Huston, the James Stewart comedy Mr. Hobbs Takes A Vacation (1962), and others.
John was a star of the television series The Bold Ones: The New Doctors from 1969 until the 1972 season he played the role of the brilliant surgeon Theodore Stuart. When the series ended, he took on the role of Roper and starred alongside Bruce Lee and Jim Kelly in the film Enter the Dragon, which was produced in 1973. His more recent films include The Craving Heart (2006), Trapped Ashes (2006), War Wolves (2009), The Mercy Man (2009), and The Extra (2015).
6 Quick Facts About The Martial Artist
- John Saxon is good at judo and Shotokan karate. He also has a black belt in karate.
- It was his martial arts skills that earned him the role he played alongside Bruce Lee in the movie called Enter the Dragon.
- John Saxon began acting at the age of 17.
- He studied acting at the side of the famous acting coach Stella Adler.
- His original name is Carmine Orrico before it was changed to John Saxon.
- He is 5 ft 10 inches (1.79 m) tall.
- The net worth of John Saxon is $1.5 million.