Thursday, February 03, 2005

"Wormer? He's a dead man!"

Sorry to hear about the death of John Vernon.

The imposing actor with the thunderous voice and sinister glare played dozens of roles — usually villainous — in the movies, but will likely be remembered most by the current generation of film fans as the authoritarian Dean Vernon Wormer, the head of Faber College and nemesis of Delta Tau Xi fraternity, in National Lampoon's Animal House and its watered-down TV series sequel, Delta House.

Vernon's was one of those voices that you immediately recognized, even if you couldn't quite place the actor's face. In addition to his successful film career, Vernon parlayed his booming baritone into a long and healthy run in commercial and animation voice work. He was the voice of both Iron Man and the Sub-Mariner in the fondly remembered Marvel Super-Heroes TV series of the mid-'60s, as well as the Prosecuting Attorney in the "Captain Sternn" segment of Heavy Metal.

Today might be a good day to tell someone, "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son."

Or, "The time has come for someone to put his foot down. And that foot is me."

Or, "As of now they're on Double-Secret Probation."

Or even, "I hate those guys."

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