Frank Doubleday, the actor who played the creepy wild-haired villain Romero in John Carpenter’s Escape From New York, died on March 3, his wife and companion of 40 years Christina Hart confirmed in a Facebook post. He was 73.
Doubleday died March 3 of complications from esophageal cancer at his home in Los Angeles, Hart told The Hollywood Reporter.
“This cool, confident, intelligent looking man, was my partner for 40 years,” Hart wrote on Facebook. “He was always the smartest man in any room that I was in. Could probably boast being among the most talented as well. The most interesting dinner guest, the funniest at the table. He encouraged and fostered me to be anything and everything I wanted to be.”
She added: “The loss is immeasurable.”
Prior to playing Romero in Carpenter’s 1981 sci-fi masterpiece Escape From New York, Doubleday appeared in Carpenter’s second film, the 1976 base-under-siege film Assault on Precinct 13, in which he played a gang member who shoots a young girl (Kim Richards) eating ice cream. (The following clip is NSFW.)
Frank Doubleday was born on Jan. 28, 1945, in Norwich, Connecticut. When he was 6, he moved to Los Angeles with his family. After seeing a production of Waiting for Godot at Los Angeles Pierce Junior College while working for the U.S. Postal Service, he decided to become an actor.
Doubleday then worked in an industrial film and in local theater productions before first appearing on television in episodes of Police Story and Lucas Tanner in 1975. He made his film debut in The First Nudie Musical (1976), starring Cindy Williams. He later appeared in Avenging Angel (1985), Space Rage (1985), Nomads (1986), Broadcast News (1987), and Dollman (1991).
Doubleday also acted on the shows Police Story, T.J. Hooker, Charlie's Angels, Starsky & Hutch, Hill Street Blues, and Sledge Hammer!
He is survived by Hart, his daughters, actresses Portia Doubleday (Mr. Robot) and Kaitlin Doubleday (Nashville, Empire), and his mother, Jane.