It was a very sad day yesterday for horror fans the world over, as yet again we lost one of our own, genre veteran and cult icon David Hess. This has come as a shock to everyone that knew and worked with him, as Mr. Hess was only a scant 69 years old and still busy as could be in film community (he was slated to star in 4 upcoming films in pre-production and due for a 2012 release, amongst them were The House on the Edge of the Park Part II and The House that Wept Blood), and a very lively man towards his fans at conventions. The cause of death was a heart attack, but no other details were made public at the time.
David's children broke the unfortunate news to family and friends yesterday via his official Facebook page, stating that the beloved actor had passed away.
"It is with great sadness that we have said our last goodbyes to our beloved dad and friend to all. David passed away peacefully last night. The Mad Hessian lives on in his family, friends, and all of his devoted fans. Sing a song in celebration of his life."
Hess is probably best known as the slimy and villainous Krug Stillo from Wes Craven's Last House on the Left (1972), a role that landed him other, like-minded brutal movies such as The House at the Edge of the Park (1980), Hitch-Hike (1977). Mr. Hess also starred in other genre efforts such as Swamp Thing (1982), Zombie Nation (2004), Zodiac Killer (2005), Fallen Angels (2006) and Smash Cut (2009).
I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Hess once a few years ago at the Cinema Wasteland Movie and Memorabilia expo in Strongsville, Ohio. I remember him as a kind man, very approachable and generous with his time. I still have his autographed headshot from the event framed and hanging on my library's wall in fact. In movies and in person at cons across the nation, he will be missed. We here at The October Country would like to offer our heart felt condolences to David's friend and family during this trying time.
Before we go and bid Mr. Hess a final adieu, we'd like to offer up a more personal recount of his life and passing from someone who knew David better and so we suggest dropping by Eli Roth's Tumblr for a moving farewell to his friend. You may do so by clicking here.