Actor and songwriter David Hess died yesterday at age 69. On his Facebook page, his children wrote: "It is with great sadness that we have said our last goodbyes to our beloved dad and friend to all. David passed away peacefully last night. The Mad Hessian lives on in his family, friends, and all of his devoted fans. Sing a song in celebration of his life."
With nearly 40 feature credits spanning as many years, Hess will likely be best remembered from Wes Craven's Last House on the Left, as Krug Stilo, the leader of the gang that kidnaps, rapes, tortures and kills two teenage girls before getting beheaded by one of the parents. Born in New York in 1942, Hess began his career as a musician and a songwriter, who wrote songs for Elvis Presley, Pat Boone, and Sal Mineo. 1972's Last House marked Hess's acting debut, and throughout his career he divided himself between the two disciplines, often contributing to the soundtracks of the films he worked on.
Hess had a number of other genre credits to his name: Craven's Swamp Thing; Ruggero Deodato's House at the Edge of the Park and Body Count, and Ulli Lommel's Zodiac Killer and Zombie Nation. His last film was 2009's Smash Cuts.