February 4, 2005
John Vernon, whose deep, menacing voice was custom-made for the many bad guys he played who set new levels for a comedic role as Dean Wormer in the 1978 comedy National Lampoon's Animal House, died at his home in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2005. He was 72. The Canadian-born Vernon was a steady player in U.S. films, making his debut in director John Boorman's Point Blank in 1967 as a turncoat tossed to his death by Lee Marvin. Vernon worked with other celebrated filmmakers including Alfred Hitchcock's Topaz in 1969; Don Siegel's Dirty Harry in 1971; and Clint Eastwood's "The Outlaw Josey Wales in 1976. He reprised his role in Animal House in the TV spinoff Delta House in 1979. Other comedy roles followed, including the part of Mr. Big in the film I'm Gonna Git You Sucka in 1988. He was also the voice of Big Brother in the 1956 film 1984.