Schlock legend Robert Z’Dar sadly passed away Wednesday at age 64 of cardiac arrest, which is ironic due to his heart-wrenching role as Maniac Cop. Z’Dar had one of the most unique looks in Hollywood, with his unreal jawline stemming from a medical condition called cherubism, which sounds a lot nicer than it really is.
Z’Dar was an awesome specimen onscreen and his look made for the perfect villainous henchman. He’s probably best known for his appearance as a prison thug in Tango & Cash:
Z’Dar also proved he had leading-man chops when he starred as the titular Maniac Cop for a legendary trilogy in which he plays a cop who is also a maniac:
But of course, we here at Hard Ticket to Home Video know him best from a little picture called Samurai Cop, which is quite possibly the greatest non-Andy Sidaris schlock movie of all time. Z’Dar played lead henchman Yamashita, who was clearly Japanese, and whose sole desire in life was to cut off the Samurai Cop’s head and place it on his evil boss’s piano.
Sadly, Z’Dar passed away shortly before filming his scenes in Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance. So while we won’t get to see him come back from the grave as Yamashita, we’ll always have his stellar samurai performance from the first film. In schlock circles, his loss is as great as his jaw.