Actor Robert Z’Dar, a familiar face in B-movies who played the psychotic murderer at the center of the “Maniac Cop” series, died Monday in Pensacola, Florida. He was 64 and had been in Pensacola to appear at a convention. After experiencing chest pains, he went into cardiac arrest at a local hospital.
Robert J. Zdarsky had an enlarged jawline, caused by a rare congenital condition called cherubism, that gave him a somewhat menacing visage. He began acting professionally in 1984 and ultimately appeared in 121 films. In addition to playing Officer Matt Cordell in the “Maniac Cop” franchise, Z’Dar memorably played the villainous henchman known as Face in the Sylvester Stallone-Kurt Russell prison actioner “Tango & Cash.” The actor also appeared in the 1991 gangster film “Mobsters,” starring Christian Slater and Patrick Dempsey.
According to blog the Dissolve, Z’Dar saw his popularity increase when two of his forgotten turkeys (“Soultaker” and “Future War”) were lampooned on “Mystery Science Theatre 3000.”
At the time of his death, Z’Dar was about to shoot a sequel to 1991’s “Samurai Cop.”