Veteran actor Sid Haig whose career spanned James Bond, sci-fi and horror movies, has died at age 80, USA TODAY has confirmed.
His credits range from iconic '60s TV series like "Star Trek," "The Man From U.N.C.L.E" and "Get Smart" to Quentin Tarantino's "Jackie Brown" and "Kill Bill: Vol. 2" but he is perhaps best known for his collaboration with musician-turned-director Rob Zombie.
Haig played the clown Captain Spaulding in four movies, beginning with "House of 1000 Corpses" in 2003 and ending with "3 From Hell," released earlier this month and set for home release in October.
His wife, Susan Oberg, announced his death in an Instagram post early Monday morning.
"On Saturday, September 21, 2019, my light, my heart, my true love, my King, the other half of my soul, Sidney, passed from this realm on to the next," she said, captioning a photo of their clasped hands. "He has returned to the Universe, a shining star in her heavens. He was my angel, my husband, my best friend and always will be. He adored his family, his friends and his fans. This came as a shock to all of us. We, as a family, are asking that our privacy and time to mourn be respected."
Zombie posted a simple Instagram tribute to his star Monday morning, writing, "Horray (sic) for Captain Spaulding: Gone but not forgotten," alongside a photo of Haig in character as the clown.
"The Fireflies lost their patriarch," his co-star Bill Moseley wrote on Instagram, referring to the cinematic clan led by Captain Spaulding. "RIP to my great good friend Sid Haig. The road will seem empty without you. Condolences to the family."
The actor made his first major film appearance back in 1967, co-starring with Lon Chaney Jr. in the macabre cult classic “Spider Baby.” The film, one of Chaney's last and Haig's first, stars Chaney as a caretaker watching over three deranged siblings, one of whom is played by Haig.
"It’s the only horror film that I know of that there’s not one drop of blood in it,” Haig told the Asbury Park Press, part of the USA TODAY Network, in 2016. “I’m probably the last person on Earth that can say ‘My first co-starring role was with Lon Chaney, Jr.’ That idea itself just kind of blows me away."
After spending much of the early 1990s away from the camera, Haig got the call from Tarantino, who was developing "Jackie Brown," his follow-up to smash hit “Pulp Fiction.”
“(Tarantino) said, ‘I get it, you don’t want to play any more stupid heavies. I’ve written the part of a judge for you, and I won’t take no for an answer,’ " Haig said. "I said, ‘Well, OK boss,’ and so that’s how ‘Jackie Brown’ came about for me.”
According to IMDb, Haig had completed his role in the horror movie "Hanukkah," due in December 2020, and was filming another, "Abruptio," alongside co-stars Jordan Peele and Robert Englund. He had two other films in pre-production.