Remembering American horror film legend Sid Haig

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: LIONSGATE FILMS
Legendary horror movie icon Sid Haig, seen here in character as Captain Spaulding in House of 1000 Corpses, passed away September 21.

Sid Haig was an American actor who was well known for his performances as characters like Captain Spaulding in Rob Zombie’s horror trilogy (House of 1000 Corpses [2003], The Devil’s Rejects [2005] and most recently 3 from Hell [2019]). This icon of horror cinema passed away from a lung infection on Sept. 21 at the age of 80.

Haig’s wife, Susan L. Oberg took to Instagram to express her grief.

“On Saturday, September 21, 2019, my light, my heart, my true love, my King, the other half of my soul, Sidney, passed from this realm on to the next,” Oberg wrote. “He has returned to the universe, a shining star in her heavens. He was my angel, my husband, my best friend and always will be. He adored his family, his friends and his fans. This came as a shock to all of us.”

Haig’s acting legacy has branched across many genres but horror is where his name holds the most reverence. Haig was a very tall, brooding man, the perfect physique for instilling fear into audiences across the globe. Something about the bald head, scraggly beard and demonic grin of Haig’s brings an air of unsettlement to any film.

Captain Spaulding is arguably Haig’s most recognizable role; that sadistic clown still makes people quiver when they think of that Uncle Sam clown suit. However, horror is not the only genre in which the Haig name holds stock; the Blaxploitation director Jack Hill casted Haig in a number of films genre of the late ’60s and onto the ’70s also takes up a considerable portion of Haig’s acting credit, when Blaxploitation director Jack Hill casted Haig in a number of films. Along with Haig’s co-star Pam Grier, they starred in such films as, Coffy (1973) and Foxy Brown (1974), which are now considered prominent feminist works.

Interestingly enough, Haig took a break from acting due to being typecasted too many times as the big dumb thug. During this hiatus, Haig trained and became a certified hypnotherapist. Also, during this period, Tarantino offered Haig the role of Marcellus Wallace in his smash-hit film, Pulp Fiction (1994). Haig declined the role fearing that it would just be a rushed production however, he went on to regret that decision. In 1997, Haig was given the role of the judge in Tarantino’s Jackie Brown.

Haig continued a steady acting career and even linked-up with Rob Zombie for smaller roles over the years. In his early life, Haig was a gifted musician who was bitten by the acting bug. Later in life, Haig’s contributions to the craft of acting have been noted and the impact he has had on cinema is strong-felt.