A Brief History
On September 24, 2019, we have the sad news for our readers and fans of horror movies that actor Sid Haig died on September 21, 2019 at the age of 80. Though appearing in numerous films of all types, he is probably best remembered for his iconic performances as Captain Spaulding in the Rob Zombie horror shockers, The Devil’s Rejects, 3 From Hell and House of 1000 Corpses. (Captain Spaulding is the patriarch of the Firefly Family, the clan of weirdos that murders people for no apparent reason other than to amuse horror movie audiences!)
Born Sidney Eddie Mosesian, this Armenian American actor grew up in California, and we do mean “grew” up. His rapid growth as a child led to coordination problems, with the solution being sending the lad to dancing lessons, a fortunate circumstance as Sid took to the art and dancing was his ticket to show business. Haig’s artistic streak was not confined to dancing and acting, as he became an accomplished drummer, good enough to earn a recording contract and to have played on a record (“Full House” by the T-Birds) which went to #4 in 1958.
Sid’s next stop on the road to fame was the Pasadena Playhouse, an acting factory that boasts illustrious alumni such as Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman. Haig’s acting career on film began in 1960, or course with small parts first, and he appeared in several “blaxploitation” films of the 1960’s, as well as other genres such as sci-fi and even a James Bond film (Diamonds Are Forever) in 1971. Haig also made numerous appearances on television shows.
Cast as a “heavy” in most films, Haig tired of playing the goon or bad guy all the time and “retired” in 1992. Luckily for us fans of horror movies, Haig un-retired in 2003 to play his signature role as Captain Spaulding in House of 1000 Corpses. What a cool character! (One of our favorite movie characters of all time.) His boffo performance earned him the “Best Supporting Actor” from Fangoria magazine’s Chainsaw Awards, as well as a trip to the Fangoria Horror Hall of Fame. The sequel to House, The Devil’s Rejects, earned Haig the Best Actor Award from Fangoria and the honor as “Most Vile Villain” at the First Annual Spike TV Scream Awards. Haig also teamed up again with Rob Zombie in the remake of Halloween (2007) and in the animated and grossly underappreciated (and hilarious) The Haunted World of El Superbeasto (2009). Haig went on to appear in several more films, including 2015’s Bone Tomahawk, a film we just recently saw and enjoyed. Haig’s third and final portrayal as Captain Spaulding came in 3 From Hell which was released on September 16, 2019. (Some critics complained that 3 From Hell was more or less a repeat of the first 2 films in the series. We say, Good!)
September of 2019 did not go well for Sid Haig, as he suffered a serious fall in his home, requiring hospitalization. While recuperating from the fall, Haig accidentally ingested vomit while sleeping, which resulted in a lung infection that eventually killed the great actor. Rest easy, Captain, we will miss you.
Question for students (and subscribers): What is your favorite film Sid Haig appeared in? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see…
Jones, Stephen. The Art of Horror Movies: An Illustrated History. Applause, 2017.
Various. Videoscope Magazine #47 Summer 2003 (Sid Haig on Cover). Videoscope, 2003.
Zombie, Rob. Rob Zombie Presents: The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto (Volume 1). Image Comics, 2007.
The featured image in this article, a photograph by pinguino k from North Hollywood, USA of Sid Haig with his wife, Susan L. Oberg, at the 2007 Scream Awards, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. This image, originally posted to Flickr, was reviewed on by the administrator or reviewer RedCoat, who confirmed that it was available on Flickr under the stated license on that date.