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For other people named John Vernon, see John Vernon (disambiguation).
John Vernon
John Vernon.JPG
Vernon as The Mayor of San Francisco in Dirty Harry, 1971
Born Adolphus Raymondus Vernon Agopsowicz[1]
(1932-02-24)February 24, 1932
Zehner, Saskatchewan, Canada
Died February 1, 2005(2005-02-01) (aged 72)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Cause of death
Complications after
heart surgery
Residence Toluca Lake, California
Nationality Canadian
Education Banff School of Fine Arts
Alma mater Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts
Years active 1956–2005
Spouse(s) Nancy West (divorced)
Children Kate Vernon
Nan Vernon
Chris Vernon

John Keith Vernon (February 24, 1932 – February 1, 2005) was a Canadian actor. He made a career in Hollywood after achieving initial television stardom in Canada.

Early life[edit]

Vernon was born Adolphus Raymondus Vernon Agopsowicz in Zehner, Saskatchewan,[1] and was baptised at Sacred Heart Catholic parish in the nearby town of Arat. He was one of two sons of Adolf Agopsowicz, a grocer, and his wife Eleonore Krückel (also spelled as Kriekle or Kriekel). Both parents' families emigrated to the Edenwold district in the late 19th century from the Austrian crownland and duchy of Bukovina. He was of Armenian, German, and Polish descent.[2][page needed]

Vernon was educated at the Banff School of Fine Arts and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London before becoming a live stage actor for CBC Television's dramatic programs. In 1974, he completed a season at The Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England, playing Malvolio.


Early roles[edit]

Vernon made his screen debut in 1956 as the voice of Big Brother in Michael Anderson's film version of George Orwell's 1984 starring Edmond O'Brien. He returned to Canada afterwards and gained film experience appearing on the TV series Tugboat Annie and The Last of the Mohicans.[3]

He made his Broadway debut in 1964 as DeSoto opposite Christopher Plummer and David Carradine in The Royal Hunt of the Sun. During the Golden Age of CBC Drama in the 1960s he co-starred in Edna O'Brien's A Cheap Bunch of Nice Flowers, opposite Colleen Dewhurst, and in Uncle Vanya, opposite William Hutt and Rita Gam. He appeared in the CBC series Wojeck in the late 1960s, playing a crime-fighting medical examiner but left to further his acting career in the United States.[3]

In 1967, he appeared opposite Lee Marvin in Point Blank. In 1969, he played Cuban revolutionary Rico Parra in Alfred Hitchcock's Cold War-era spy movie Topaz. In 1970, he guest-starred in the Hawaii Five-O episode "Force Of Waves" as Cal Anderson, and he appeared in the two-part episode "The Banker" of The Silent Force in 1971. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, he made four appearances over five years on the TV series Mission: Impossible as four different lead villains. In 1974, Vernon turned in a supporting performance in Mary Jane Harper Cried Last Night. [3]

In 1971, he played the by-the-book mayor of San Francisco, perpetually frustrated by Clint Eastwood, in the first Dirty Harry movie. He later parodied this role in the premiere episode of Sledge Hammer!. In 1973 he appeared in One More Train to Rob and Charley Varrick. In 1974, he appeared in The Questor Tapes. In 1975, he starred in Brannigan, alongside John Wayne and Richard Attenborough. In 1976, he played Fletcher in Eastwood's The Outlaw Josey Wales.[3]


Vernon played Dean Vernon Wormer of mythical Faber College in Animal House (a role that he would reprise in the short-lived television sequel Delta House). He also played Mr. Prindle in Herbie Goes Bananas and Sherman Krader in Ernest Goes to Camp.[3]

Vernon played "Ted Jarrett" in the season twoThe A-Team episode "Labor Pains" (1983). Vernon also played "Cameron Zachary" in the season two Knight Rider episode "A Good Knight's Work" (1984). Vernon later played "John Bradford Horn" in the season three Airwolf episode "Discovery" (1986). He made light of his villain image in the 1988 Blaxploitation spoof I'm Gonna Git You Sucka. In 1986, he played the Principal in Fuzz Bucket. He played Sergeant Curt Mooney in Killer Klowns from Outer Space and was a lead in the short-lived 1990s series Acapulco H.E.A.T.[3] In Charley Varrick (1973) he plays a mafia boss.

Voice work[edit]

Vernon did extensive voice work. He voiced the Prosecutor on the animated film Heavy Metal. He worked on such animated TV series as The Marvel Super Heroes, Batman: The Animated Series, The Incredible Hulk, Wildfire, Spider-Man, The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy and Delgo.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Vernon was the father of actresses Kate and Nan Vernon, and son Chris Vernon.[1]


Vernon died of complications following heart surgery on February 1, 2005, in Los Angeles, California. He was cremated after a private funeral service.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Bernstein, Adam (February 4, 2005). "Actor John Vernon, 72; 'Animal House' Dean". The Washington Post. p. B06. Retrieved April 20, 2013. 
  2. ^ Edenwold Anniversary Committee (1981). Where Aspens Whisper: Edenwold. Edenwold: Edenwold Anniversary Committee. ISBN 9780889252523. OCLC 15879980. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g John Vernon at the Internet Movie Database

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Vernon — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

9751 news items

The Star-Ledger
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 20:33:45 -0700

Tyler Soltes completed 13 of 17 passes for 159 yards and ran for the game-winning touchdown as Vernon defeated Pope John, 24-17. Soltes' 5-yard touchdown run put Vernon ahead for good after Pope John had scored in the fourth to tie the game.

Daily Post North Wales

Daily Post North Wales
Sun, 26 Oct 2014 09:50:02 -0700

A grandfather shot in the head by a suspected rubber bullet before Everton's game at Lille has described the shock of the potentially 'life-threatening' injury. John Vernon Thomas, a season-ticket holder from Bangor, was on his first trip abroad with ...
The Register-Guard
Fri, 14 Nov 2014 23:52:30 -0800

Arrangements by Park View Cemetery & Funeral Home in Manteca. Dale — John Vernon Dale, 78, of Eugene, died Nov. 14. Arrangements by Musgrove Family Mortuary in Eugene. Fraser-Dean — Gretchen K. Fraser-Dean, 59, of Springfield, died Nov. 12.


Sun, 09 Nov 2014 15:15:00 -0800

Eau Claire State Trooper John Vernon says the biggest thing drivers need to remember, is to slow down. “The first snowstorm of the year, people aren't used to it, so slow down, that will make things a lot safer. Just because the speed limit says 65 ...

Staffordshire Newsletter

Staffordshire Newsletter
Sat, 08 Nov 2014 00:15:00 -0800

Kate Vernon, the wife John Vernon a senior ambulance officer in Staffordshire, was on duty at Burton Hospital in her role as a senior staff nurse when she suddenly became unwell and collapsed. Nursing colleague, Glad Young and two A&E Doctors; ...
A.V. Club DC
Wed, 05 Nov 2014 11:11:36 -0800

He's got his reasons for revenge, as his “friend” Mal Reese (John Vernon) double-crosses him and leaves him for dead at Alcatraz in the opening scene, stealing his wife Lynne (Sharon Acker) in the bargain. But all that is resolved fairly early in the ...

Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle) (blog)

Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle) (blog)
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:30:00 -0700

John Vernon, a broker with NAI Puget Sound Properties, represented Panattoni in the leasing of the building. He said that Boeing is installing a 50-foot-wide door and removing an interior column in the building, though he was unsure why. "We don't even ...
The Star-Ledger
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:19:52 -0700

Rebecca Frisk scored twice and in the second half and had an assist to lift Pope John to a 3-0 shut out against Vernon in Sparta. Nicole Barnett added a goal in the first half and Danielle line tallied an assist. Grayson Smentana and Franki Whritenour ...

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