Freddy Krueger has haunted dreams since A Nightmare on Elm Street came out in 1984. On top of the creep factor, Krueger has much more of a personality than Michael Myers from Halloween and Jason from Friday the 13th. After seven movies, a run in with Jason, a television show, and a remake, Freddy has forever left his staple on the horror franchise. And he won’t stay dead! A new Nightmare on Elm Street film is currently in the works, so a whole new generation can continue to have nightmares.
But what happened to the actors from the Nightmare on Elm Street movies? Some of them would go on to be big Hollywood stars and Golden Globe winners. Several lent their voices to cartoons. The directors went on to be some of the biggest names in their field. Find out who they are in Where Are They Now? The Cast Of A Nightmare On Elm Street.
20. Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger)
Unlike Jason and Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger was played by the same person for the entire duration of the original franchise. He had much more of a personality and made Robert Englund into a horror legend. He appeared as Freddy in all of the original Nightmare on Elm Street films and the television show Freddy’s Nightmares (1988-1990). His final appearance as Krueger was in the Freddy vs. Jason (2003) movie.
Englund has appeared in over 150 television shows and movies since 1974. In between playing Freddy over the course of the next 30 years, he played Dennis Shothoffer in Downtown (1986-1987), Blackie in Nightmare Cafe (1992), and Dr. Andover in Fear Clinic (TV series in 2009, movie in 2015), to name a few. He also voiced The Riddler in The Batman (2005-2007) and Adrian Toomes, AKA The Vulture, in Spectacular Spider-Man.
It comes as no surprise that Englund has appeared in many horror movies. He played the Phantom in the horror slasher remake of Phantom of the Opera (1989), the murderous Mayor Buckman from 2001 Maniacs (2005), the titular demon in Inkubus (2011) and the Warden in The Funhouse Massacre (2015).
The world of horror has certainly not seen the last of Robert Englund. He is going to be in four upcoming horror movies: Nightworld (2016), The Midnight Man (2016), Echo of Evil (2017) and Abruptio (2018).
19. Wes Craven (Director, Writer)
Wes Craven was a pioneer of the horror genre and a horror legend. His first feature film was The Last House on the Left, which he wrote, directed and edited. He reinvented the genre for a new generation with A Nightmare on Elm Street in 1984. Craven also wrote A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 (1987). He did not direct any of the sequels, but he did return for the last film from the original franchise, New Nightmare (1994). This film popularized self-reflection in movies. It followed the actress who played Nancy in the first film, who played herself in a world where Freddy is just a fictional character… or is he?
Craven continued this theme of self-reflection in Scream (1996), a movie that acknowledges horror cliches. It was the first of a successful horror franchise spanning over four films, all of which were directed by Craven. He took a break from horror and directed the Meryl Streep drama Music of the Heart (1999) and the suspense thriller Red Eye (2005). Craven later returned to horror and directed several films including Cursed (2005) and My Soul to Take (2010). The last film he directed was Scream 4 (2011).
18. Heather Langenkamp (Nancy Thompson)
The star of the first Nightmare film, Langenkamp played Nancy Thompson. The actress reprised the role in the third film and later played herself in New Nightmare. While she was in the first film, Langenkamp was studying at Stanford University. Because she was working while in college, it took Langenkamp seven years to get a degree in English.
The year 1984 was the beginning of Langenkamp’s acting career. Before going to Elm Street, she was in two dramas: Nickel Mountain (1984) and the TV movie Passions (1984). After A Nightmare on Elm Street, she was in a few television shows and TV movies. She was one of the main characters in the family TV show Just the Ten of Us (1988-1990) and played a couple of characters on Growing Pains (1985-1992). More recently, Langenkamp returned to her horror roots as Dorothy in the horror film The Butterfly Room (2012).
Currently, Heather Langenkamp co-owns a special effects make-up studio, AFX Studio, with her husband David Leroy Anderson. It was because of her work with Wes Craven that Langenkamp met her husband. Recently, Anderson did the make-up for Star Trek Into Darkness. A fan of the franchise, Langenkamp convinced her husband, who talked to director J.J. Abrams, to let her wear one of his suits in the film. She will be appearing in the short The Sub (2016) as Senora Babcock and in the video Hellraiser: Judgement (2017).
17. Lin Shaye (Teacher)
Lin Shaye was only a nameless teacher in A Nightmare on Elm Street, and yet she went on to become a popular horror icon who is very active today. She has been acting since 1975 and has been in almost 200 productions in movies and television. Many of these are horror and today Shaye is well-known for her role as the medium Elise Rainier in the three Insidious movies. She won two awards in 2012 for Best Supporting Actress in Insidious (2010): one from Fangoria Chainsaw Awards and another from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films.
Some of Shaye’s other horror roles include Sally in both Critters movies, Granny Boone in both 2001 Maniacs films, Helen in Grace: The Possession (2014), and Paulina Zander in Ouija (2014). She has been in other films as well, playing Mrs. Neugeboren in the comedy Dumb & Dumber (1994) and Magda in the rom-com There’s Something About Mary (1998).
Lin Shaye will be in ten upcoming movies. She’s reprising two of her roles in the films Insidious: Chapter 4 (2017) and Oujia: Origin of Evil (2016). Some of her other upcoming roles include Anna in The Midnight Man (2016) and Meredith in Re-Animator Evolution (2017).
16. Johnny Depp (Glen Lantz)
The most recognizable name on this list, superstar Johnny Depp was an extra in a few films before landing his first legitimate movie role as Nancy’s boyfriend Glen Lantz in A Nightmare on Elm Street. After the film, Depp studued acting and went on to star in the TV series 21 Jump Street (1987-1990). He then starred in the musical rom-com Cry-Baby (1990).
Depp has become known for his dark and oddball roles. He was a man with scissors for hands in Edward Scissorhands (1990), Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean (2003), the demon barber of Fleet Street in Sweeney Todd (2007), and the Mad Hatter in the Alice and Wonderland movies. Depp has also played real-life mobsters in Public Enemies (2009) and Black Mass (2015). He has been in so many movies and some television shows – he even showed up in an episode of Spongebob Squarepants.
Johnny Depp has won more than 60 awards and been nominated for over 100. His notable win was his Golden Globe award in 2008 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical for Sweeney Todd. However, he has never won an Oscar, despite being nominated three times.
Some of his future movie roles include a return to the seas as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017) and as the voice of Sherlock Gnomes in the animation Gnomeo & Juliet: Sherlock Gnomes (2018).
15. John Saxon (Lt. Tom Johnson)
John Saxon has been in almost 200 movies and television shows. He became known in the 50s as a supporting actor for A-list projects. He appeared in A Nightmare on Elm Street and A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 as Nancy’s father Lt. Tom Johnson.
Saxon had a couple of minor recurring drama roles while he was working on the first Nightmare film. He was Rashid Ahmed in Dynasty (1981-1989) and Tony Cumson in Falcon Crest (1981-1990). Saxon has been acting a lot since then, appearing in a minor role as FBI Agent Stanley Chase in the crime fantasy horror film From Dusk Till Dawn (1996). Later, Saxon won an award from the Action on Film International Film Festival in 2006 for Best Supporting Actor in The Craving Heart (2006). He also won a Best Supporting Actor award from Method Fest in 2008 for God’s Ears (2008). Still in the industry after over 60 years, Saxon will be in two upcoming films: the comedy film Bring Me the Head of Lance Henrikson and the sci-fi film After the Thunderstorm (2017).
14. Ronee Blakley (Marge Thompson)
Ronee Blakley is a folk singer/songwriter, producer, director, and actress. She played Nancy’s mother Marge Thompson in A Nightmare on Elm Street. Blakley would occasionally appear in minor roles in television shows and movies after Nightmare until 1990. Some of her roles during this time include Sally from the sequel to Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot called A Return to Salem’s Lot (1987) and Faith in the crime thriller Murder By Numbers (1990).
Her singing career is also noteworthy. She debuted with a self-titled album released by Elektra Records, which featured her original songs accompanied by her piano playing. Later, Blakley toured as a backup singer for Bob Dylan in the Rolling Thunder Revue concert tour. She directed, producer, wrote, and starred in a music docudrama called I Played It For You (1985). Blakley would sing for political and social causes such as civil rights and equal rights for women. Her most recent original album was River Nile (2009) was inspired by her trip to Egypt.
13. Jsu Garcia as Nick Corri (Rob Lane)
Jsu Garcia is an actor and co-owner of the production company Scott J-R Productions. His parents immigrated to the United States from Cuba and he grew up in a rough Newark neighborhood. He discovered his acting talents by crying on command when a bully tried to mug him at six-years-old. Jsu Garcia, who was going by the name Nick Corri at the time, appeared in A Nightmare on Elm Street as Rob Lane, Tina Grey’s boyfriend who is the main suspect in her murder (Spoiler Alert: Freddy did it!).
Garcia followed his appearance with a role in the film Gotcha! (1985). He played Mel Gibson’s friend and commander of a company fighting against the Viet Cong in We Were Soldiers (2002) and played a communist guerilla fighting against Arnold Schwarzenegger in Collateral Damage (2002). Garcia also played a supporting role as a salsa dancer in Along Came Polly (2004), alongside Ben Stiller, Jennifer Aniston and Philip Seymour Hoffman. He played real-life Argentine Marxist revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara in The Lost City (2005).
Joined by his friend Dr. John-Roger, Garcia helped found tScott J-R Productions. Their first film was Spiritual Warriors (2007), based on John-Roger’s book. The two wrote the script and were the executive producers on the film, which shot in several locations, including Egypt and Syria. Garcia also appeared in the movie as Christopher Finn. He co-directed and co-wrote their second film, The Wayshower (2011), and played Jesus. His upcoming credits are both voice-related: Miracle Underground (2016) and Inferno By Dante (2016).
12. Robert Rusler (Ron Grady)
Robert Rusler participated in semi-professional skateboarding and surfing, as well as martial arts tournaments, before becoming an actor. The first film Rusler appeared in was the hit comedy Weird Science (1985). He played Max, who bullied the main characters alongside his friend Ian (played by Robert Downey Jr.). In the same year he was in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 (1985). He played Ron Grady, and similar to his role in Weird Science, Rusler’s character butts heads with the main character in the film, Jesse. Later, the two become friends. According to director, Jack Sholder, the subtext in the movie implied Jesse had romantic feelings for Ron.
After Nightmare, Rusler was in several movies before becoming the recurring character Tim Shepard in the short-lived TV drama The Outsiders (1990). His more well-known television role was as Lt. Warren Keffer in the second season of Babylon 5 (1994-1998). He went on to appear in several more movies and had short guest roles in television shows like The Closer (2005-2012), General Hospital (1963-), Bones (2005-), and Ray Donovan (2013-). Rusler will be in three upcoming films: the recently completed horror remake Blood Feast (2016) as Fuad Ramses, the thriller The Unwilling (2017) as Rich, and the action movie Atone as Shaw.
11. Charles Fleischer (Dr. King)
Charles Fleischer is a stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and musician. Before appearing as the sleep doctor, Dr. King, in A Nightmare on Elm Street, Fleischer had several TV roles including Cavelli in Welcome Back Kotter (1975-1979), Everett in Aloha Paradise (1981), and Chuck in Laverne & Shirley (1976-1983).
Fleischer started doing stand-up comedy when he was nine-years-old. His big break came in 1972 when he appeared on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. He became a headliner in the comedy club circuit in the ’70s. His comedy included doing cartoon voices, which would lead to one of his most famous roles: the voice of Roger Rabbit (and other voices such as Benny the Cab) in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988). He reprised the role in theatrical shorts.
He lent his voice to various characters in television shows and movies after voicing Roger Rabbit. Some of his movie roles include Dweeb the parasaurolophus in We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story (1993), The Elf General in The Polar Express (2004), and Elbows in Rango (2011). As if he wasn’t doing enough already, Fleischer also wrote a scientific paper titled “Can Sequentially Linked Gamma-Ray Bursts Nullify Randomness?”
10. Mark Patton (Jesse Walsh)
Mark Patton is an amazingly courageous person who tours horror conventions. He starred in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 as Jesse Walsh. Patton, a gay man, was one of the first people who picked up on the film’s subtext: Jesse is actually gay and in denial about his sexuality. During his work on A Nightmare on Elm Street, Patton explained in a plus interview: “By that point, AIDS was all around me. Everyone I knew was getting sick….”
He was forced into the closet by management because they were worried it would negatively affect his career and faced another battle in 1987, when he got the role of a gay character on a CBS show. He met with TV executives who wanted him to say in interviews that he himself was straight even though he played a gay character. Frustrated, Patton walked away from the role and acting.
He became an interior decorator, but his health was still declining. On his 40th birthday, Patton discovered that he not only had HIV+ but also pneumonia, thrush, and tuberculosis. His life was saved in an AIDS health clinic.
Patton found out about Nightmare on Elm Street 2 becoming a cult hit with horror and LGBT communities when he was approached by the Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy (2010) filmmakers for an interview. This year he’ll play Brian in William Froste and Tyson in Family Possessions (2016). He is also making a documentary about his experience called Scream, Queen: My Nightmare on Elm Street.
9. Marshall Bell (Coach Schneider)
Marshall Bell is a character actor who has been in over 100 movies and television shows. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 was his third movie role. He played Coach Schneider, Jesse’s gym teacher. His next credited role was as the emotionally distant father Mr. Lachance in Stand By Me (1986). He later played a homeless man who intimidated Bill Paxton’s character in The Vagrant (1992).
He regularly appeared in The Oldest Rookie (1987-1988) as Det. Gordon Lane. Some of his other recurring roles were Mr. Fancher in Hull High (1990), Ford Plasko in Good vs Evil (1999-2000), and Deputy Director Nicholas Spiller in the crime drama Legends (2014-2015). Bell has also been in various famous science-fiction movies. He played George/Kuato in Total Recall (1990) and General Owen in Starship Troopers (1997). He was also an admiral in the war movie Rescue Dawn (2006). His next role will be as a lawyer in the drama Thirty Nine (2016).
Bell is married to the Oscar-winning costume designer Milena Canonero. She has worked on various big-time movies including A Clockwork Orange (1971), The Shining (1980), and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), which won her an Oscar in 2015 for Best Achievement in Costume Design.
8. Laurence Fishburne (Max Daniels)
Laurence Fishburne is a well-known actor who has appeared in over 100 films and television shows since he started acting in 1968. He appeared as Max Daniels, a hospital worker, in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3. A little known fact about Fishburne is that he played Cowboy Curtis in Peewee’s Playhouse (1986-1991). He went on to play Morpheus in The Matrix (1999) and in the follow-up in 2003. Some of his other movie roles include Noland in Predators (2010) and Dr. Ellis Cheever in Contagion (2011).
One of his most well-known roles is as Dr. Raymond Langston in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000-2015). Later, he played Jack Crawford in the television show Hannibal (2013-2015). Fishburne also plays Pops in the comedy Black-ish (2014-). He will be in the upcoming TV mini-series Madiba playing the former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandala. He will also be “The Bowler King” in John Wick: Chapter Two (2017).
Fishburne has won over 20 awards for his acting. He won Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series for Hannibal from the Academy of Science-Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films in 2015. Fishburne also won a NAACP Image Award in 1995 for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for his role as Professor Maurice Phipps in the crime drama Higher Learning (1995).
7. Patricia Arquette (Kristen Parker)
Patricia Arquette is an award-winning actress with over 40 awards. In her very first film role she played the main character of A Nightmare on Elm Street 3, Kristen Parker. Kristen is a patient of Dr. Neil Gordon and Nancy Thompson. She is able to pull people into her dreams. Some of Arquette’s movie roles include Alabama Whitman in True Romance (1993), Guthrie in The Wildflower (1991), and Nancy Coplin in Flirting with Disaster (1996).
Arquette’s most famous role on television was as the star of NBC’s Medium (2005-2010). Playing suburban mom Allison Dubois for seven seasons, Arquette won a Primetime Emmy Award for the role in 2005. She also played the role of Sally Wheet in the last two seasons of the crime drama Boardwalk Empire (2010-2014). One of Arquette’s highest achievements was winning both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe in 2015 for the Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for her portrayal of a mom in Boyhood (2014).
Recently, Arquette starred in the short-live crime drama CSI: Cyber (2015-2016) as special agent Avery Ryan. She will be playing Jeanne Dixon in Permanent (2017) and lending her voice to Toy Story 4 (2018).
6. Tuesday Knight (Kristen Parker)
When Patricia Arquette did not return to A Nightmare on Elm Street 4, her character was recast. Tuesday Knight, who had previously guest starred on some television shows and appeared in a TV movie, landed the role. She is also a singer who sang the opening credits song “Nightmare” in the film. She later appeared as herself in New Nightmare.
Knight was a regular character in two very short-lived dramas, Sunset Beat (1990) and 2000 Malibu Road (1992). She would make guest appearances on shows like as Jackie Gurwitch in The X-Files (1993-) and Candy in Law & Order (1990-2010). Later, Knight played a supporting role in the Lifetime movie The Perfect Mother (1997). She played Callie in The Theory of the Leisure Class (2001) and performed the song “It Takes All Night” in the film. Her most recent role was an uncredited appearance in How to Be Single (2016).
5. Renny Harlin (Director)
Renny Harlin is the most successful Finnish film directors in Hollywood. He is also a screenwriter, actor, and producer. Harlin directed A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 (1988). This film was made to be much funnier than its horrific counterparts. According to Harlin in an interview with Blake Harris, during the film he felt: “We have to make Freddy the James Bond of horror films. We have to make him funny, in a way. We have to wink at the audience and say: We get it, it’s Freddy and he has his tricks and we know that you know what’s going to happen. We’re going to make him funny, and we’re going to make him into this almost wisecracking hero of the movie.”
Harlin is known for directing action movies as well as horror films. Following up Nightmare, he directed Die Hard 2 (1990). He later directed the Sylvester Stallone vehicle Cliffhanger (1993), the shark thriller Deep Blue Sea (1999), the prequel Exorcist: The Beginning (2004), and the UK-Russian sci-fi horror film Devil’s Pass (2013). Harlin recently directed The Legend of Hercules (2014) and the action comedy Skiptrace (2016). He is directing Legend of the Ancient Sword, which currently does not have a release date.
4. Matt Winston (Chuck)
Matt Winston has been in over 100 movies and television shows. His first film role ever was in New Nightmare. He played Chuck, a special effects worker. In real-life he is actually the son of a special make-up effects creator who worked on the Terminator franchise, the first three Jurassic Park movies, and other films. Winston followed up this role by playing Col. Beauregard Damon in Josh Kirby… Time Warrior: Chapter 5, Journey to the Magic Cavern (1996), then starred as David Hitchcock in Shooting Lily (1996), where he met his future wife (and wife in the movie), Amy Smallman. He later appeared as recurring character Adam Lewis in Fame L.A. (1997-1998), a short lived remake of the critically acclaimed show from the ’80s. After that show, he returned to his horror roots and played Matt in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998).
Some of Winston’s notable minor movie roles include as a seminary student in Fight Club (1999), an executive in A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), and a pageant MC in Little Miss Sunshine (2006). He also had recurring roles on several television shows. He was Barry Cunningham in John from Cincinnati (2007), Agent Daniels from Star Trek: Enterprise (2001-2005) and Dr. Jeffrey Studman in Scrubs (2001-2009). Winston has made numerous guest appearances on TV shows like Hannah Montana (2006-2011), Castle (2009-2016), 2 Broke Girls (2011-), and Desperate Housewives (2004-2012).
3. Miko Hughes (Dylan)
Miko Hughes started acting when he was 22 months old, in a PSA. His first movie role was as the resurrected child Gage Creed in Stephen King’s Pet Sematary (1989) when he was only a couple of years old. He was in numerous television shows and movies before he appeared as Heather Lagenkamp’s son Dylan in New Nightmare (1994).
Some of Hughes other notable movie roles are as the son of astronaut Jeffrey Lovell in Apollo 13 (1995) and an autistic child in Mercury Rising (1998) with Bruce Willis. He also got to say one of the funniest lines as Jeremy in Kindergarten Cop (1990). Hughes has guest starred in several television shows. He appeared as Aaron in a dozen episodes of Full House (1987-1995) and voiced Tommy Anderson in the cartoon Life with Louie (1995-1998).
Future movie roles Hughes has in the works are Brian Bernett in William Froste, Jeremy in the comedy drama The Untold Story (2016), and Gio in the drama A City of Shoulders and Noses (2016). His hobbies include raising tens of thousands of bees.
2. Clancy Brown (Alan Smith)
Clancy Brown has appeared in over 200 movies and television shows, a lot of which are animated. He has voiced a lot of popular cartoon characters including penny-pincher Mr. Krabs in Spongebob Squarepants (1999-) and the voice for Lex Luthor from Superman (1996-2000). He often reprises his role of Lex in other shows and movies such as Justice League (2001-2006) and the Lego Batman movies and video games. Brown appeared in the A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) remake as Alan Smith.
After appearing in the film, Brown has continued to lend his voice to television shows, many of which are based on comics. He seems to have switched teams from DC Comics to Marvel and has done voices for Red Hulk, Black Bolt, and other characters in Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. (2013-). He reprised his role as Red Hulk and also lent his voice to Taskmaster in Ultimate Spider-Man (2012-2015).
Brown has appeared in many live action roles that are too numerous to list. He has done a lot since Elm Street, including playing Sheriff August Corbin on Sleepy Hollow (2013-) and Blackhand in the Warcraft movie.
Some of Brown’s other upcoming projects include the comedy Supercon (2017) and the drama based on the Boston bombings, Stronger (2017). Brown still voices Mr. Krabs and will be voicing him in the upcoming Spongebob Squarepants 3 (2019) movie.
1. Jackie Earle Haley (Freddy Krueger)
The only other person to play Freddy Krueger in the films, Jackie Earle Hayley starred in the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010).
Regarding the unhinged characters he often plays, Jackie Earle Haley commented in an interview with Peter Hall: “It’s a complex world and all our good guys are just sort of homogenized down to this banal place we can all agree is ‘the good guy’. But with unhinged characters, whether they’re good or bad or what, they’re all over the place; but they’re still just unhinged a bit. Some are darker than others, but it kind of speaks a little bit more to the complexity of what’s out there in the world. ”
Some of his movie roles after his introduction into the franchise include Willie Loomis in Dark Shadows (2012), Alexander Stephens in Lincoln (2012) and Rick Mattox in the remake of Robocop (2014). Haley regularly appears as Odin Quincannon in the Preacher (2016-) television show. He will be in two upcoming films: The Tick playing “The Terror” and the movie adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower (2017) playing Sayre.