Robert Z’Dar, Cult ‘Maniac Cop’ Actor, Dead at 64

Actor was also known for roles in “Tango & Cash,” “Growing Pains” and “Mobsters”

Last Updated: April 1, 2015 @ 12:48 PM

“Maniac Cop” star Robert Z’Dar died on Monday night in Pensacola, Florida, after being hospitalized for chest pains and going into cardiac arrest, according to his manager. He was 64.

The cult actor was due to appear at Pensacon, the Pensacola Comic Com convention, his long-time manager and friend Jim Decker told the Pesacola News Journal.

Born Robert J. Zdarsky in Chicago, Z’Dar appeared in 121 films, including the first three “Maniac Cop” movies, “Soultaker,” “The Final Sanction” and “Samurai Cop.” He also had roles in “Tango & Cash,” “Growing Pains” and 1990 series, “The Flash.”

In 1991, he appeared with Christian Slater and Lara Flynn Boyle in “Mobsters.”

“We talked every day,” Decker said. “We’ve been together through thick and thin. He was the first actor I took on in my career as an agent. We spent many weekends on the road together and a lot of time enjoying each other’s company. I miss him dearly.”

“Everyone at Pensacon is very saddened,” Pensacon Chairman Mike Ensley said. “But we are glad he was here and that he didn’t pass away alone.”

Z’Dar was known for his large face with a huge jutting jaw, and his sinister appearance usually landed him roles as villains.

The hardworking actor appeared in at least one film a year for 27 out of the past 29 years, despite suffering a serious back injury on a movie set in 2002.

Before becoming an actor, Z’Dar played football for Arizona State University and performed as a Chippendale’s dancer.

He is survived by a brother, Billy Zdarsky, and a nephew, Matthew.