Howard Vernon

Howard Vernon (15 July 1908 – 25 July 1996) was a Swiss actor. In 1961, he became a favorite actor of Spanish film director Jesús Franco and began starring in many low-budget horror and erotic films produced in Spain and France. After portraying Franco's mad doctor character named "Dr. Orloff", he eventually appeared in a total of 40 Franco films, in addition to his roles for numerous other directors.[1][2]

Howard Vernon
Mario Lippert

(1908-07-15)15 July 1908
Died25 July 1996(1996-07-25) (aged 88)
Years active1945–1996

Life and careerEdit

Vernon was born Mario Lippert in Baden-Baden,[3] Germany, to a Swiss father and an American mother, and was fluent in German, English and French. Originally a stage and radio actor, he worked primarily in France and became a well-known supporting actor after 1945 by playing villainous Nazi officers in post-war French films. Jean-Pierre Melville's Le Silence de la mer, in which he played a gentle anti-Nazi German officer, made him somewhat famous but, in part due to his rough-hewn looks and Swiss accent, he was subsequently relegated to playing gangsters and heavies.[citation needed]

In the 1960s, he became a favorite actor of Spanish horror director Jesús Franco and began starring in many low-budget horror and erotic movies produced in Spain and France, often portraying a mad doctor or a sadist. He continued to make increasingly small appearances in high-profile films while often getting top billing in many Grade-Z low budget films. Horror film fans consider his three greatest horror roles to be The Awful Dr. Orloff (1961) which introduced Franco's famed mad doctor character, Dracula vs Frankenstein (1971) in which he actually played Count Dracula, and The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein (1972) in which he played the insanely evil Count Cagliostro. Franco considered Revenge in the House of Usher (1982) to be one of Vernon's greatest roles.


He remained active until his death from natural causes in 1996. He died in Issy-les-Moulineaux,[4] France, 10 days after his 88th birthday.

Selected filmographyEdit


  1. ^ Stephen Thrower, Murderous Passions: The Delirious Cinema of Jesús Franco (2015)
  2. ^ "Howard Vernon". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. 2016. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03.
  3. ^ "Howard Vernon". Historisches Lexikon der Schweiz.
  4. ^ Online death certificate from Mario Walter Lippert

External linksEdit