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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 film version of Alistair McLean,s Fear Is The Key. 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 Westwood, 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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Animal House (1/10) Movie CLIP - Double Secret Probation (1978) HD

Animal House movie clips: http://j.mp/1ux3yfL BUY THE MOVIE: http://amzn.to/rK8A7T Don't miss the HOTTEST NEW TRAILERS: http://bit.ly/1u2y6pr CLIP DESCRIPTION: Dean Wormer (John Vernon) ...

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 vessel converted into a luxury...

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

Malicious (1995) - Cast: Molly Ringwald, John Vernon [ElChNgLu Pro]

Genre: Drama, Thriller Cast: Molly Ringwald, John Vernon A Natale A Miami medical student, obsessed with her school's star baseball player, pursues him and finally manages to get him to...

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. Aliens, who look like clowns, arrive...

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Highlights from the High School Football Game between the Pope John Lions and the Vernon Vikings.

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1250 news items

Mon, 13 Apr 2015 15:41:15 -0700

George Somers went 3-for-3 with two RBI and three runs scored for Pope John in its 11-1 victory over Vernon in Sparta. Ethan Collins went 2-for-2 with a double and two RBI for Pope John and Zach Leach added two hits as well in the victory.

Albany Times Union

Albany Times Union
Mon, 13 Apr 2015 22:03:45 -0700

(Ed Cole; Arlington, Va.) A: Pay the man, Shirley. Q: I'm curious—does the cost of Duke's traveling set of referees come directly from NCAA Tournament profits or does Coach K merely get a tax break? (John Vernon; Clarksville, Md.) A: Pay this wise ...
Washington Post
Sun, 12 Apr 2015 14:06:43 -0700

I'm in the information business, my friends, which means I'm in the business of staying informed most of the day online, so you can imagine my dismay when ESPN, the worldwide leader for everything that counts in my life, recently overhauled its Web site.

The Young Folks

The Young Folks
Tue, 14 Apr 2015 18:18:45 -0700

Starring Lee Marvin, and Angie Dickinson the film follows Walker (Marvin) on his sadistic pursuit to seek revenge on his one-time friend, Mel Reese (John Vernon), who left him for dead after stealing $93,000. The neo-noir might not have had the impact ...

Montgomery Newspapers

Montgomery Newspapers
Wed, 08 Apr 2015 13:34:02 -0700

Wissahickon Valley >> Many local candidates will be able to hit the polls without much concern about the outcome May 19, as several area races will be uncontested in the primary election. The races for the Lower Gwynedd Board of Supervisors, the Upper ...

Derby Telegraph

Derby Telegraph
Sat, 11 Apr 2015 06:26:30 -0700

... late on instead of conceding one! Massive point in context of season." And Rams fans Keld Runge Olsen EB simply tweeted: "BEEEEENNNNNNTY!" Meanwhile, John Vernon posted his thoughts on Facebook. He said: "A massive, massive let off for Derby." ...

Derby Telegraph

Derby Telegraph
Thu, 26 Mar 2015 04:37:30 -0700

John Vernon, of Derwent, said: "We're going to see Ian again this week to let him know that we're all thinking of him." Ian has been nominated for the March "Parklife Star" award, where the winnner will receive a meal for four at top Derby restaurant ...
Goshen News
Fri, 20 Mar 2015 11:25:55 -0700

... Kaleb Rucker, Benito Rugelio, Kelsey Seddon, Trenton Snyder, Zackary Stauffer, Abigail Strukel, Jacquelyn Stutsman, Shelby Thompson, Cameron Troyer, Dylan Troyer, Antonio Varacalli, John Vernon, Tabitha Wallace, Bethany Watson, Christopher White, ...

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