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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]

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.
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478279 videos foundNext > 


Animal House (1/10) Movie CLIP - Double Secret Probation (1978) HD

Animal House Movie Clip - watch all clips http://j.mp/yKTdpB click to subscribe http://j.mp/sNDUs5 Dean Wormer (John Vernon) and Greg (James Daughton) conspi...

Connections II: Animal House-Josey Wales

John Vernon starred in 'The Outlaw Josie Wales' in 1976, and in Animal House in 1978. View the connections!

Killer Klowns from Outer Space Official Trailer #1 - John Vernon Movie (1988) HD

Killer Klowns from Outer Space Trailer - Directed by Stephen Chiodo and starring Grant Cramer, John Allen Nelson, John Vernon, Michael Siegel, Peter Licassi....

The Golden Rendezvous (1977)

Cast: Richard Harris, Ann Turkel, John Vernon, David Janssen, Burgess Meredith Adaptation of Alistair Maclean's 1962 same named novel Plot: Aboard the cargo ...

HUNTER Made for TV 1973 - John Vernon, Steve Ihnat - 2 great Canadian actors

email litmustest@shaw.ca or call 1-800-440-2960.

Alice Through the Looking Glass - John Vernon Lord

Alice Through The Looking Glass. Enjoy a brief walk through the exhibition of John Vernon Lord's exquisite illustrations to the new limited edition by boutiq...

Decode the Scene GAME - John Vernon James Daughton Donald Sutherland MOVIE CLIPS

John Vernon James Daughton Donald Sutherland MOVIE CLIPS click to subscribe http://j.mp/sNDUs5 Dean Wormer (John Vernon) and Greg (James Daughton) conspire t...

10 18 13 Pope John Vernon Football

MATT HELM -- TV movie pilot ( with Patrick Macnee, James Shigeta, John Vernon, Catherine Bach )

478279 videos foundNext > 

43 news items

The Star-Ledger
Thu, 11 Sep 2014 18:30:00 -0700

Carleen O'Connell scored twice, including the game-winning goal in overtime to lift Pope John past Vernon, 2-1, in Vernon. Maddie Jordan assisted on one of the goals for Pope John and Sam Scalabrini made 10 saves .

New York Times

New York Times
Fri, 12 Sep 2014 08:45:00 -0700

The 19th century was the Golden Age of Collectors. Or, depending on your perspective, the Gilded Age of Plunderers. From Lord Elgin's marbles to Alfred Russel Wallace's tropical fauna (over 80,000 beetles!) to Edward Drinker Cope's dinosaur bones to ...
Daily Journal Online
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 22:37:30 -0700

... Leon and Crawford Thomure; one sister, Marjorie Thomure; three great-granddaughters, Kamryn Thomure, Olivia Jones and Zoey Asher; and three very special brothers-in-law, Richard Leroy Ratcliff, John Vernon Ratcliff and Charles David "Chuck" Ratcliff.
Hollywood Reporter
Tue, 16 Sep 2014 16:00:21 -0700

One of the characters in 108 Stitches is a Vietnamese college baseball recruit whose only English language utterances are quotes from such baseball-themed movies as Major League, Field of Dreams and A League of Their Own, among others. It's a painful ...
The Star-Ledger
Fri, 12 Sep 2014 17:00:00 -0700

Alex McGill recorded a goal and an assist and Pope John scored twice in each half en route to a 4-1 victory over Vernon in Vernon. Rebeca Frisk, Danielle Line and Lindsey Healy also hit for Pope John, which received three saves from Franki Whritenour.


Thu, 11 Sep 2014 16:37:30 -0700

In "National Lampoon's Animal House," John Vernon played Vernon Wormer, the evil university dean. In the dopey new comedy "108 Stitches," the actor's daughter, Kate Vernon, plays a villainous college president named Jennine Wormer Pratt. The character ...

Salt Lake Magazine (blog)

Salt Lake Magazine (blog)
Thu, 11 Sep 2014 11:46:50 -0700

The film even conveys the film's President Pratt (Kate Vernon) is seemingly the daughter of AH's Dean Wormer (played by her actual father, John Vernon). Unfortunately, 108 Stitches characters are not nearly as fun as the Animal House crew. They're led ...
Thu, 11 Sep 2014 08:40:44 -0700

So when an exterior shot of Dean Wormer's office in the administration building first appears at the 12 minute mark, the musical cue drops from light to ominous and low: duh duh DUH…. John Vernon is fantastic in this role. The evil dean (never the ...

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