A Nightmare on Elm Street is one of the most iconic horror films ever, and its star-studded cast has gone on to do great things since its release.
- A Nightmare on Elm Street’s success can be attributed to its thought-provoking premise, skilled use of horror tropes, and a star-studded cast that helped make it one of the most engaging horror films ever.
- The film served as a career launching pad for its younger actors like Johnny Depp, who went on to achieve immense success in both independent and blockbuster films.
- The cast, including Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, Ronee Blakley, and John Saxon, continued to have diverse and accomplished careers in the film industry, solidifying their status as talented actors beyond their roles in A Nightmare on Elm Street.
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A Nightmare on Elm Street is one of the most iconic horror films ever made, and its fantastic cast has gone on to do great things since the film’s release in 1984. A Nightmare on Elm Street is a defining movie in the modern horror genre, and its incredible success sparked a series of six sequel films, a television series, and a crossover film with Friday the 13th. This famous horror flick was so impactful that it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, solidifying its status as one of the greatest movies of all time.
A Nightmare on Elm Street‘s incredible success is often credited to its thought-provoking premise and outstanding use of horror movie tropes, but this film’s star-studded cast also played an essential role in its success. The mix of young aspiring actors and seasoned veterans helped make this one of the most engaging horror film casts ever, serving as a career launching pad for some of the younger actors, including Johnny Depp. With that in mind, it’s fun to look back on what this excellent cast has gone on to do since A Nightmare on Elm Street‘s release in 1984.
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5 Heather Langenkamp As Nancy Thompson
Heather Langenkamp, who plays the 15-year-old heroine, Nancy Thompson, in A Nightmare on Elm Street, has become a hugely successful actor, writer, director, and producer since starring in this iconic horror film. She has worked primarily in the horror genre since her breakthrough role as Nancy Thompson, earning her the moniker, Scream Queen. She has also worked in several other genres as well, and has featured in numerous films and TV series since A Nightmare on Elm Street‘s release.
Langenkamp’s horror roles are what made her famous, but she has also featured in notable films from other genres, including Star Trek: Into the Darkness and My Little Pony: A New Generation. Other notable movies and TV shows she has featured in include, The Butterfly Room, Growing Pains, Just the Ten of Us, Perversions of Science, and The Midnight Club. Interestingly, Langenkamp has also worked as disc jockey for a Malibu radio station, going by the pseudonym, Sandy Bottoms. She also wrote and directed a short-film in 2019 called, Washed Away.
4 Robert Englund As Freddy Kruger
Robert Englund’s portrayal of Freddy Kruger has haunted fans for decades and solidified Englund’s status as a horror icon, but his career didn’t end after A Nightmare on Elm Street. Englund has since reprised his role as Freddy Krueger on seven different occasions, featuring in all of Wes Craven’s Nightmare on Elm Street sequels. Some of Robert Englund’s best movies aside from the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise include The Phantom of the Opera, The Mangler, and 2001 Maniacs, all of which are part of the horror genre.
Englund has also featured in several notable TV shows since A Nightmare on Elm Street‘s release, including Babylon 5; MacGyver; Masters of Horror; Sliders; Knight Rider; Walking Tall: The Series; and Walker, Texas Ranger. He has also done a significant amount of voice-over work for animated movies and series, including Justice League, The Batman, The Spectacular Spider-man, and The Superhero Squad Show. Additionally, Englund has dabbled in directing, making his directorial debut in the 1988 horror film, 976-Evil.
3 Johnny Depp As Glen Lantz
Johnny Depp, who plays Glen Lantz in A Nightmare on Elm Street, is easily the most recognizable name from the film’s cast. After making a breakthrough with his role as Lantz, Depp increased his fame with a major role in the 1990s TV series, 21 Jump Street. Depp then starred in several independent films across the 90s, including What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Dead Man, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Some of Johnny Depp’s best movies came from this stage of his career, but it wasn’t until he took on the role of Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean that he became the superstar he is today.
Depp has reprised the iconic role of Jack Sparrow on five occasions, helping to make Pirates of the Caribbean one of the biggest movie franchises of the modern era. He has also starred in notable films like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland, Public Enemies, Edward Scissorhands, Blow, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Johnny Depp’s accomplished career has made him one of the most recognizable names in all of Hollywood such that some people may not even remember his role in A Nightmare on Elm Street.
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2 Ronee Blakley As Marge Thompson
Ronee Blakley has enjoyed a successful career as an actor, singer-songwriter, composer, producer, and director since her role as Marge Thompson in A Nightmare on Elm Street. In 1985, right after A Nightmare on Elm Street‘s release, Blakley wrote, produced, directed, and starred in her own feature music docudrama, I Played it for You. She also played roles in four more films during the 1980s: Cinématon, A Return to Salem’s Lot, Student Confidential, and Someone to Love.
Blakley had several brief TV show appearances as an actor or musician in the 80s as well, including Trapper John, M.D.; Tales from the Darkside;ABC After School Special Sherman; and Hotel. Outside of her film and music career, Blakley has participated in several civil and women’s rights campaigns. She also returned to school at California State University, receiving her master’s degree in 2002. Blakley’s long career is as diverse and accomplished as it gets, proving further how talented A Nightmare on Elm Street‘s cast is.
1 John Saxon As Lt. Don Thompson
John Saxon, who plays Lt. Don Thompson in A Nightmare on Elm Street, worked on more than 200 films and television shows across his storied 60-year career. Saxon was probably the biggest name in the film’s cast when it released in 1984, having already starred in numerous films and TV shows, including Enter the Dragon in 1973. After playing Thompson in A Nightmare on Elm Street, he directed the 1987 horror film, Zombie Death House, and starred in the 1992 film, Maximum Force.
Saxon also appeared in the Quentin Tarantino-written film From Dusk till Dawn in 1996. Several years later, he made a guest appearance on CSI, as well as the horror anthology series, Masters of Horror. The Nightmare on Elm Street star died in Murfreesboro, Tennesee in 2020 following complications from pneumonia, but his legacy as an actor, director, and a human being of the highest quality will live on forever.