Frank Doubleday, ‘Escape From New York’ Villain, Dies at 73

Actor is best known as playing Romero in John Carpenter’s sci-fi cult classic

Frank Doubleday Escape From New York
Courtesy of Embassy Pictures

Frank Doubleday, who played a henchman in “Escape From New York,” died on March 3, his wife and companion Christina Hart confirmed in a Facebook post. Doubleday was 73.

Doubleday is best known for playing Romero in John Carpenter’s sci-fi cult classic, which starred Kurt Russell and Lee Van Cleef. Doubleday died on March 3 of complications from esophageal cancer at his home in Los Angeles, Hart told The Hollywood Reporter.

“John gave me total creative freedom. The voice and the look were my ideas,” Doubleday said in an interview about playing Romero. “I did a lot of character work and worked on Romero through voice, costume and movement. All my behavior was improvised. Once a character is created and is in one’s skin, the behavior just comes naturally. … If the character has been internalized, it all just happens.”

Doubleday first worked with Carpenter on “Assault on Precinct 13,” where he played a member of a street gang.

Doubleday’s other film credits include “Alex & the Gypsy,” “The Big Fix,” “Butch and Sundance: The Early Days,” “L.A. Bounty,” and “Shakespeare’s Plan 12 From Outer Space.”

Doubleday is survived by his daughters, actresses Portia Doubleday (“Mr. Robot”) and Kaitlin Doubleday (“Nashville,” “Empire”), and his mother, Jane.