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Wife of John Saxon remembers late husband

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For decades, we’ve seen actor John Saxon’s face and enjoyed his films. His wife knew the real man behind the movies. 

“I was like, ‘oh my gosh, I know this person on a cellular level,'” said Gloria Martel.

Martel said it didn’t take long to fall in love with Saxon. 

“He started working when he was 17 in a town he didn’t know anyone,” said Martel, referring to Saxon’s long film career. 

Saxon starred in Enter the Dragon with close friend Bruce Lee. He stepped into horror with Black Christmas and three Nightmare on Elm Street films.

“They did hire John to attract money and other actors for the first Nightmare,” said Martel. 

In recent years, Saxon and Martel lived at the Heritage at Brentwood where a festival of Saxon’s films was once held. 

A few days ago, Saxon died at 83.

“Once he passed away, I got calls from all over the world,” said Martel. “I realized fans need a place to go if they wanted to see his resting place.”

Martel told News4 she reached out to Shannon Lee, daughter of Saxon’s good friend Bruce Lee.

“She said ‘yes.’ She and her mom were happy John would join Bruce and [Bruce’s late son] Brandon,” said Martel. 

Martel said Saxon’s ashes will be placed at Lake View Cemetery in Seattle, the same place Bruce Lee is laid to rest. 

“I think it’s very fitting they be together,” said Martel. “I have to say the reason I can smile and talk about John, I don’t feel that he’s gone. I can’t believe it myself.”

Martel is proud of the fact that through starring with lunch box heroes, wise-cracking horror icons, and friends like Bruce Lee, the fandom of the films her husband made ensures his career work lives forever. 

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