Cult actor, known for his roles in such films as the “Maniac Cop” trilogy and “Tango & Cash”, and also countless low-budget movies, Robert Z’Dar has died, according to Pensacola News Journal.
Z’Dar reportedly died on March 30, after being hospitalized when he came to appear at the Pensacon film festival, said Z’Dar’s friend and long-time manager Jim Decker.
Decker said Z’Dar was hospitalized after suffering chest pains during Pensacon, and was on the mend before going into cardiac arrest March 30.
Before he became an actor, Z’Dar played football for Arizona State University, was in a band called Nova Express and spent time as a Chippendale’s dancer. He was also a police officer in Chicago, according to IMDb.
Born Robert J. Zdarsky, the 6-foot-2 actor was featured in more than 121 films, including cult classics, such as “Soultaker,” “The Final Sanction” and “Samurai Cop” (the sequel to which Z’Dar had been set to join immediately after Pensacon).
“We talked every day,” Decker said. “We’ve been together through thick and thin. He was the first actor I took on in my career as an agent. We spent many weekends on the road together and a lot of time enjoying each other’s company. I miss him dearly.”
Decker said Z’Dar continued to be in demand as an actor and he continued to review scripts up until the last moments of his life. He’d been looking forward to his role in “Samurai Cop 2” and was eager to get back to work.
Pensacon Chairman Mike Ensley said he and other representatives of Pensacon have been keeping tabs on Z’Dar’s condition since the convention, and that he appeared to be improving before his heart gave out.
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