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Some of Freddy Krueger's 'Nightmare on Elm Street' victims flourished

Slasher movies have given several Hollywood stars an early career boost, including Tom Hanks in He Knows You're Alone and Kevin Bacon in Friday the 13th. • This weekend's reboot of A Nightmare on Elm Street made us wonder how many of the original Freddy Krueger victims became celebrities, or briefly rediscovered stardom. • One "corpse" became the world's favorite movie star, while another anchors a popular network television drama. Another former Freddy victim is a solid movie comedian, while a fourth's career was mostly a joke. One aging, flash-in-the-pan Oscar nominee briefly earned street cred with a new generation by crossing Freddy's blood-soaked path. • Here's the celebrity death count:

1 Johnny Depp (Glen Lantz) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Not only the biggest star Freddy ever mutilated but Depp's screen death is one of the franchise's signature moments. Falling asleep in bed, his character sinks into the mattress out of sight then — BOOM — a geyser of gore erupts, spraying gallons of blood to the ceiling. Depp also makes a cameo appearance in Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), billed as "Oprah Noodlemantra" in the credits. Freddy bashes him with a frying pan.

2 Patricia Arquette (Kristen Parker) | A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

An inauspicious movie debut for Arquette, who later worked for directors Martin Scorsese, Tim Burton and David Lynch before starring in NBC's supernatural series, Medium. Her character gets incinerated so completely in Freddy's basement boiler that only dental records identify her. You'd think a medium would see that coming.

3 Zsa Zsa Gabor (Herself) | A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

Famous only for being famous, Gabor is doing what comes naturally for her: being interviewed on a talk show. The host (Dick Cavett!) morphs into Freddy, cursing and slashing at Gabor with his signature razor glove. We don't see the death blow; it's another victim's dream. Just hearing her snooty Hungarian accent is nightmare enough.

4 Breckin Meyer (Spencer) Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)

Meyer's first film role thrusts his druggie character into an old-school video game, where an animated Freddy beats and slashes him to a pulp. Game over, but not for Meyer, who provided voices for the TV cartoons Robot Chicken and King of the Hill, in addition to live roles in Go, Road Trip and Rat Race.

5 Ronee Blakley (Marge Thompson) | A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Practically forgotten after a Nashville movie debut that earned an Academy Award nomination, Blakley's on-screen murder proved Freddy's bloodlust extends beyond teenagers. Marge tries to protect her daughter (Heather Langenkamp) from the monster and winds up burned alive. Blakley's career since has been lukewarm at best.

. A Nightmare on Elm Street

Oscar nominee Jackie Earle Haley (Little Children, Watchmen) takes over as mass-murdering monster Freddy Krueger in the remake of the 1984 hit, opening Friday. Haley reportedly has the blessing of Robert Englund, who originated the role and played it eight times. Gaining the approval of gorehounds weaned on Freddy flicks may not be as easy. The movie wasn't screened in time for Weekend. Visit entertainment,tampabay.com for a review, or Friday's Etc, Page 2B.

Some of Freddy Krueger's 'Nightmare on Elm Street' victims flourished 04/28/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 12:33am]

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