In Remembrance: John Phillip Law


     John Phillip Law, the actor who starred in the pair of 1968s psychedelic cult classics Barbarella and Danger: Diabolik, has passed away on May 14, 2008 in Los Angeles, CA. He was 70.


     Law saw his emergence as a leading man in 1968 courtesy of appearing in Barbarella and Danger: Diabolik, both based on European comic books. In Barbarella he played the blind, angelic Pygar who accompanies the titular Jane Fonda on a series of interplanetary adventures. Danger: Diabolik saw Law as an incredibly resourceful international thief with a taste for beautiful women. He also appeared in one other cult film from that era, director Otto Preminger’s infamous Skidoo.


     Born on September 7, 1937 in Los Angeles, CA, Law moved to New York City to pursue acting in 1960, training at the Neighborhood Playhouse. A few small Broadway roles followed, before he would be hired by director Franco Rossi for roles in a trio of films- Smog (1962), High Fidelity and Three Nights Of Love (both 1964). From there he landed a role in Norman Jewison’s 1966 Cold War comedy The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming as a young Russian sailor who falls for a wholesome American girl. He landed his first leading role opposite Lee Van Cleef in the Spaghetti western Death Rides A Horse (1967).


     Through the 1970s and 80s Law worked in numerous films including The Red Barron, The Love Machine (1971), The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad (1974),  The Cassandra Crossing (1976), Tarzan, The Ape Man (1981) and Striker (1987). He continued to act on television and in small films until 2006. In 2001, he appeared in Roman Coppola’s love letter to the 1960s European cinema scene that spawned his career, CQ.