Tuesday, November 18, 2008

From The Vault - Debut Film Roles Of Today's Horror Icons - Episode 3

On the last episode of From The Vault, we took a look at Tobin Bell's first on screen appearance as a waiter in Tootsie. This time we're gonna strap ourselves into our time machines once more and head back to 1989, for the debut film role of fellow Saw star and new Jigsaw, Costas "Hoffman" Mandylor!


You probably never even heard the name Costas Mandylor until the Saw films rolled around, but he's actually had a pretty storied Hollywood past and the Australian born actor has been in some major films and television shows that you've probably seen. To give a little pre-acting background, Mandylor played professional soccer for both Greece and Australia, before he suffered stress fractures to his shins. In 1987, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career and it took just two years before he landed his first major role. That role was alongside Willem Dafoe and Edward James Olmos in the 1989 Holocaust biopic Triumph of the Spirit.


The fresh faced Mandylor portayed the real life character of enslaved Jew Avram Arouch, brother to lead character Salamo Arouch (Dafoe), who got shipped off to Auschwitz and seperated from his just married wife during the Holocaust of World War 2. Rather impressively for a big screen debut, Mandylor has a heck of a lot of screen time during the early parts of the film and he's a pretty pivotal and important character throughout and he turns in one hell of a performance.

Check out the then 24 year old Aussie in action!

In an incredibly intense scene about an hour into the film, Avram refuses to work in the ovens pulling gold teeth from those who were gassed to death and he is shot dead right on the spot. The death scene takes place entirely off screen, but its impact is felt for the remainder of the film and marks a huge turning point for Dafoe's character.

From there, Mandylor went on to have a role in 1991's The Doors as well as roles in the television shows Tales From The Crypt, The Outer Limits, Picket Fences (he starred in every episode), and most recently 7th Heaven, which i'm somewhat ashamed to admit I remember him from. Most interesting of all, Mandylor was featured as one of People Magazine's prestigious 50 Most Beautiful People In The World of 1991!

From most beautiful to the star of one of the most violent and bloody franchises in horror, Costas Mandylor's career path is certaintly an interesting one and I for one am glad to have such a talented actor in the horror world! I definetly have more of an appreciation for him now that i'm aware of his acting roots.

Check out Episodes ONE and TWO to find out where Tony "Candyman" Todd and Tobin "Jigsaw" Bell got their starts!

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