A Tribute to Sid Haig (1939-2019)

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The Captain has left the ship…

Legendary actor Sid Haig, who will forever be known for his iconic role of the devilish clown Captain Spaulding in Rob Zombie‘s Firefly saga (House of 1000 CorpsesThe Devil’s Rejects, and 3 from Hell) passed away on September 21, 2019 at the age of 80.

A veteran of television and films for over five decades, Haig was an icon not only to horror film fans, but was known as a major supporting player during the Blaxploitation era of the 1970s and despite a temporary retirement, never slowed down one bit. In other words, Haig fought and lived the dream until the end as one of cinema’s most well-respected and loved actors.

Sidney Eddie Mosesian was born on July 14, 1939 in Fresno, California in an predominately Armenian community. Growing at a rapid height, Haig (who took his stage name after his father’s first name), began taking dancing lessions and started his career as a dancer and vaudeville artist. While in high school, he was motivated by the head of the drama department to give acting a shot. After a chance meeting with musical comedy star Dennis Morgan, Haig enrolled at the Pasadena Playhouse and then make the move to Hollywood.

In 1960, Haig met Jack Hill at UCLA, who cast him in his student film The Host. The two soon became friends and when Hill would become one of the top directors in Blaxploitation in the 1970s, Haig was cast in Hill’s Spider BabyCoffy, and Foxy Brown in supporting roles. He would also appear in George Lucas‘ directorial debut THX-1138 in 1971 and it was during this time Haig made a name for himself in many television programs.

After working for over thirty years, Haig decided to retire in 1992. He was tired of playing heavies and despite a non-speaking role as a shaman turned bodyguard in 1990’s The Forbidden Dance, Haig decided to call it a day. That is, until five years later when Quentin Tarantino, who unsuccessfully attempted to get Haig out of retirement with a role in Pulp Fiction, tailor made a part for him as a judge in Jackie Brown. Haig decided to return to the industry with that role but it would be six years after his return that Haig would solidify himself as an icon.

In 2003, rock star turned director Rob Zombie cast Haig as Captain Spaulding, a maniacal clownish figure in House of 1000 Corpses, the rocker’s directorial debut. If Jackie Brown helped Haig return, then House of 1000 Corpses solidified that comeback in a whole new way as the role earned him accolades and a legion of fans. Haig would reprise the role in the 2005 sequel The Devil’s Rejects, which earned him the Best Actor award at the Fangoria Chainsaw Awards that year. Haig and Zombie would continue working together for a number of years.

3 from Hell, the third chapter of the Firefly saga, would be Haig’s final film performance. Zombie said in an interview with Bloody Disgusting that the script had to be rewritten as Haig had started to become seriously ill. Originally set to reprise the role in a main cast manner with Sheri Moon Zombie and Bill Moseley, Haig’s illness resorted to having him appear in perhaps one of the finest cameo appearances in cinema as Haig makes a hell of an impact in his only scene in the film, which can be seen in the first ten minutes.

Haig is survived by his wife of twelve years, Susan L. Oberg. World Film Geek sends its condolences to the family of Sid Haig. Here are Haig and co-star/friend Bill Moseley at CryptiCon earlier this year from YouTube user Steve Erickson.

Sid Haig…a legend who will never be forgotten. Rest in Peace, Captain Spaulding.

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