David Hess, 1942-2011

Word has been coming down the virtual pike that actor/songwriter David Hess recently passed away at age 69. Long known to horror fans for his unforgettable turn as Krug in Wes Craven’s THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (as well as similar roles as rapist/killers in HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE PARK and HITCH-HIKE), Hess had a number of genre roles on his resume including SWAMP THING, Ruggero Deodato’s slasher BODY COUNT, and the H.G. Lewis homage SMASH CUT. He also made appearances in several well-known TV shows like KNIGHT RIDER and THE A-TEAM. In 1980 he made his directorial debut for the Santa-centric slasher film TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT.

Hess was equally well-regarded his for his contribution to music, penning songs for the likes of Elvis Presley, Conway Twitty, and Andy Williams.

Hess had a reputation for being a warm, kind-hearted person in direct contrast to the often despicable characters he portrayed. (One gets a sense of his gentler side from the tender, somewhat incongruous ballads he provided for LAST HOUSE.) His presence in the horror genre will be missed, but not forgotten.

Here’s a recent interview in which he discusses his three most notorious roles.


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