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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)
Westwood, 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 1972 he appeared as a villain in the Fear Is the Key. In 1973 he appeared in One More Train to Rob and Charley Varrick.. In 1974 he co starred in the film The Black Windmill with Michael Caine and Donald Pleasance. Also 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, Dr. Stone, Ted Striker's psychiatrist, in Airplane II: The Sequel, and Sherman Krader in Ernest Goes to Camp.[3]

He also appeared in several cult exploitation and action films in the 1980s. Most notably Chained Heat and Savage Streets, both starring Linda Blair, and Jungle Warriors, opposite Sybil Danning.

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 Westwood, California. He was cremated after a private funeral service.[1]

Selected filmography[edit]


  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.

970 news items

The Press

The Press
Fri, 31 Jul 2015 10:03:45 -0700

Dr John Vernon Robinson, a pioneer of engineering and computing in New Zealand, died early in the morning on June 26. He was aged 89. Robinson was born on December 31, 1926 at the maternity home in Geraldine, 12km from his parents' farm at Four ...

Stoke Sentinel

Stoke Sentinel
Sat, 01 Aug 2015 01:03:45 -0700

NEWCASTLE: FORTY-SEVEN-YEAR-OLD John Vernon, of the Dunkirk Tavern, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to assaulting Rachel Beardmore on June 23. He will be sentenced at North Staffordshire Justice Centre on August 20. The defendant was granted bail.


Mon, 27 Jul 2015 12:07:30 -0700

... Sgt. Christopher Garibaldi (Hudson County), Sgt. John Vernon (Camden County), Kenneth Land (Union County), Tiffany Brantley (Hudson County), Duane Bona (Union County), Mary Gonzalez (Passaic County), John Oyola (Hudson County), Lokia Gaillard ...

Perry County Republic Monitor

Perry County Republic Monitor
Tue, 21 Jul 2015 10:03:45 -0700

She was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers, John Vernon Jr. and Dale Louis Vernon; one sister, MaryAnn Clifton; and one son-in-law, Randy Harrington. Memorials are preferred for family use or Southeast Hospice. Visitation will be held at ...

A.V. Club Austin

A.V. Club Austin
Sun, 26 Jul 2015 22:06:32 -0700

Finally fed up, mining executive Sherman Krader (John Vernon) takes matters into his own hands and aims a hunting rifle at Ernest. However, his faith in his camp and charges, his true courage, and his purity of heart allow him to pass the ancient ...
The Delaware County Daily Times
Sun, 12 Jul 2015 21:16:54 -0700

John Vernon, 66, who is Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus Father Donnelly chapter at St. Joseph's Church in Aston, received his First Holy Communion from the now-late Father McDermott at Holy Saviour about 60 years ago. “There's change,but the ...
The Union of Grass Valley
Thu, 09 Jul 2015 12:28:08 -0700

A celebration of life for John Vernon Taylor will be held from 4-7 p.m. Saturday, July 11, at the North Star House on Auburn Road in Grass Valley. Taylor was a longtime member of the community and served as the agricultural commissioner for Nevada ...

Savannah Morning News

Savannah Morning News
Wed, 08 Jul 2015 21:18:45 -0700

Plus, the film co-stars the “Animal House” Dean Wormer himself, John Vernon! Did I mention The Hoff? Showtime is 8 p.m., with $7 admission for immature viewers. Until the next issue, see you at the movies, and don't forget to turn off that cell phone.

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