Known for his brawny build and unforgettably prominent jawline, cult film actor and star of the Maniac Cop series Robert Z’Dar has tragically passed away on March 30th, 2015 in Pensacola, Florida. The actor, who was in town to attend Pensacon, Pensacola’s annual comiccon, was hospitalized when he complained of chest pains and soon after went into cardiac arrest. passing away shortly thereafter at the young age of 64.
Born Robert James Zdarsky in Chicago on June 3rd 1950, Robert will best be remembered as the undead Matt Cordell, the titular Maniac Cop who terrorized New York city in the successful horror trilogy, but Z’Dar also had a long and storied career playing villains in such films as Mobsters, Tango & Cash, Soultaker and Cherry 2000 just to name a few. His unusually large face, caused by a rare genetic disorder called cherubism, gave Z’Dar a brusque and sinister appearance which no doubt lead to him often being cast as the bad guy, a role which the actor often admitted was much more fun to play than the hero.
In his own words: “People come up to me and say, ‘You are such a great BAD guy.’ The fact is that the antagonist in a movie is usually the most fun to play. You can stretch the role and do so much with it. You can be boisterous. You can be insane. You can have a temper. You can do nothing but sit there and give a look and still be the bad guy. It’s open to so much creativity.”
Robert Z’Dar is survived by his brother Billy Z’Dar and will be greatly missed by his countless fans across the globe.
In M. Z’Dar’s honor and for your viewing pleasure, here is my personal fave in the series, Maniac Cop 2.