Robert Englund is 71 years old, which even he thinks makes him too old to play Freddy Krueger. But as it turns out, he’s wrong. The actor’s signature character requires hours upon hours of elaborate make-up, so really, he can play him now and look about the same as he did in 1984.
For proof, check out the ad for the upcoming Halloween episode of The Goldbergs, which will guest-star Robert as Freddy:
This is a no-brainer for The Goldbergs, a show set in the 1980s. But it’s still a coup: Englund hasn’t played Freddy, at least onscreen, in 15 years. The last time Englund embodied the role was in 2003’s Freddy vs. Jason. (Spoiler: Neither won, neither lost. These “vs.” movies — Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, King Kong vs. Godzilla, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever — always end in a draw.)
Freddy was briefly reborn in the 2010 A Nightmare on Elm Street reboot, in which he was played by Jackie Earl Haley. There were, however, no sequels.
Englund was in his mid-30s when he started playing the role. Before that he’d been a character actor and bit player, specializing in unsavory characters, like a stick-up man in the 1975 Burt Reynolds-Catherine Deneuve vehicle Hustle, a rowdy sort in the 1976 A Star is Born, and one of the victims in the nasty Alien ripoff Galaxy of Terror.
Englund has played Krueger, a slain child murderer-turned-boogeyman in his signature red-and-black-striped sweater, in eight movies, plus a handful of TV appearances, including the anthology horror series Freddy’s Nightmares.