'Escape from New York' star Frank Doubleday dies at 73

Rodolfo Vieira
May 31, 2018
09:45 A.M.
Share this pen

Frank Doubleday, the actor who became famous for his specialty playing villainous roles, died of complications from esophageal cancer at the age of 73.


Doubleday passed away at his home in Los Angeles on March 3, 2018, but his death was only revealed this week by his wife of 40 years, actress Christina Hart.

It is unknown why Hart decided to share her husband's death almost three months later, but what is known is that he has left behind quite a unique legacy, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Doubleday, who is survived by his daughters, Portia and Kaitlin, both actresses,  became known for his particularly creepy performances in John Carpenter's Escape From New York and Assault on Precinct 13.

In Escape From New York, Doubleday played the role of Romero, the Duke's spooky and spikey-haired right-hand man. The actor was quite proud of the character, especially because he had been given creative freedom to mold it.


According to Doubleday, the famous hissing sounds made by Romero came to him after watching The Wizard of Oz. The character's trait was based on the sound of the Wicked Witch of the West, portrayed by Margaret Hamilton.

His performance in Assault of Precinct 13 was nearly as good as in Escape From New York, but his character didn't have the same impact; the actor impersonated a member of Los Angeles' Street Thunder gang, appearing alongside Kim Richards.

In the following years, Doubleday also played criminal roles in several movies, such as Space Rage, Dollman, Nomads, Avenging Angel and Broadcast News.

His leap to the small screen didn't change his characters' mischievous nature, having portrayed villainous roles in Hill Street Blues, Sledge Hammer and Charlie's Angels.

Being an actor wasn't Doubleday's first aspiration, but he tried his luck in the industry while working for the U.S. Postal Service, which was when he noticed a production of Waiting for Godot taking place in Los Angeles.