John Vernon, a stage-trained character actor who played cunning villains in film and TV and made his comedy mark as Dean Wormer in “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” has died. He was 72.
Vernon died at home in his sleep Tuesday following complications from Jan. 16 heart surgery, his daughter, actress Kate Vernon, said Thursday.
Born in 1932 in Montreal, Vernon studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. He did repertory work in England and was heard off-screen as the voice of Big Brother in the 1956 film “1984.”
He reprised his role in “National Lampoon’s Animal House” in the TV spinoff “Delta House” (1979). Other comedy roles followed, including the part of Mr. Big in the film “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka” in 1988.