Sid Haig, known to horror fans around the world as Captain Spaulding, has died. He was 80 years old.
His wife, Susan L. Oberg, posted the news to Instragram on Saturday, September 21st. Oberg had posted the week before that Haig had been admitted to the hospital following a bad fall, and while it initially appeared he was recovering, he developed a lung infection which led to his death Saturday.
Haig was born Sidney Eddie Mosesian, on July 14th, 1939, in Fresno, California. He began performing as a child, dancing professionally by the time he was seven years old, and performing in vaudeville revivals. By twelve he was doing theater, and had become a talented drummer proficient in a variety of styles, including swing, blues, and rock and roll. While Haig found some success as a musician – he played drums on the T-Birds 1958 #4 hit “Full House” – Haig found he didn’t enjoy the music business as much as enjoyed acting, and after encouragement by both his acting teacher, former Broadway actress Alice Merrill, and actor Dennis Morgan (21 Beacon Street, Kitty Foyle), he enrolled in the Pasadena Playhouse.
He moved to Hollywood, and by 1962 he had begun what would be a very prolific film and television career. His first credited film was The Host, a short by Jack Hill – which influenced Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now – and would mark the beginning of several films Haig and Hill would work on together, such as Blood Bath, Spider Baby, and the 1974 blaxploitation classic Foxy Brown, starring Pam Grier.
While Haig is perhaps best known to horror audiences for his work in Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects and the recently-released 3 from Hell, horror was far from the only genre Haig worked in. His television career included Star Trek’s “The Return of the Archons”, and multiple episodes of Gunsmoke, Get Smart, The Man from U.N.C.L.E, and Alias Smith and Jones. He had roles in Laredo, Here’s Lucy, Shaft, The Six Million Dollar Man, and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, and was memorably the villain of Jason of Star Command, appearing in all the episodes of its 1978-1979 run.
His long film career included George Lucas’ THX 1138, the James Bond film Diamonds are Forever, and Galaxy of Terror, produced by Roger Corman, among others. By 1992 though, Haig had tired of the roles he was getting, feeling that he was only being considered for what he called “stupid heavies”, and he left acting and became a certified hypnotherapist.
He would return to acting in 1997’s Jackie Brown, in a role written specifically for him by Quentin Tarantino, who had wanted Haig to play Marcellus Wallace in Pulp Fiction. In 2003, Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses marked the full revival of Haig’s acting career, and he would work with Zombie on not only the sequels, but also on his 2007 remake of Halloween, his 2009 animated film The Haunted World of El Superbeasto, and 2012’s Lords of Salem.
In all, Haig appeared in nearly 80 feature films, with over 30 of them following his return to acting in 1997. He had roles in over 70 different TV shows, in every genre imaginable. At the time of his death he had completed filming his roles in the upcoming films Hanukkah and Abruptio, both scheduled for release in 2020.
Haig is survived by his wife of 12 years, Susan L. Oberg, his considerable body of work, and his many, many fans.
It is with huge sadness we hear of the death of Sid Haig. Initially making his mark in the films of Jack Hill he'll be best remembered as Captain Spaulding in Rob Zombie's House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/0F79gzJQ9m
— Legend (@Legend__Channel) September 23, 2019
We're sad to hear of the death of #SidHaig (1939–2019).
From TV shows like #Batman66 and #StarTrek, to action films like FOXY BROWN (1974), to his role as Captain Spaulding in HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES (2003) and its sequels, there was nobody better.https://t.co/4zOZqDfjM7
— Sony Movies (@SonyMoviesTV) September 23, 2019
R.I.P. SID HAIG! We had the pleasure of having him in our Full Moon film HAUNTED CASINO. So we leave you with one of our favorite scenes! #sidhaig #CaptainSpaulding #3FromHell pic.twitter.com/bgl06Lov0q
— Full Moon Features (@fullmoonhorror) September 23, 2019