John Savage (actor)

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John Savage
John Savage.jpg
Born John Smeallie Youngs
(1949-08-25) August 25, 1949 (age 68)
Old Bethpage, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1969–present
Spouse(s) Susan Youngs (1967–1969; divorced; 2 children)
Sandi Schultz (1993–present)
Children Jennifer Youngs (b. 1968)
Lachlan Youngs

John Savage (born John Smeallie Youngs; August 25, 1949)[1] is an American actor,[2] best known for his roles in the films The Deer Hunter,[3] The Onion Field, Hair and Salvador. He is also known for his role as Donald Lydecker in the TV series Dark Angel.[2]

Early life[edit]

Savage was born in Old Bethpage, New York, to Muriel (née Smeallie), a housewife, and Floyd-Jones Youngs, an insurance salesman who served on Guadalcanal during World War II with the Marine Corps.[4] His sisters are Boston-based radio and television personality Robin Young and actress Gail Youngs. His brother is actor Jim Youngs.[5]


His first major film role was as Steven in the 1978 film The Deer Hunter, the story of a group of Russian American steel workers during the Vietnam War. He also had a lead role in 1979's The Onion Field, the true story of policeman Karl Hettinger's personal struggle after witnessing the murder of his partner.

One of his most famous roles was as Claude Bukowski in Miloš Forman's 1979 film Hair.

John Savage discussing "Hair" at Sofia International Film Festival, March 2017.

He had a brief role in Terrence Malick's war film, The Thin Red Line. In the late 1970s, he also appeared on Broadway in David Mamet's play "American Buffalo" with Robert Duvall. In 1991 he was featured in a starring role in Italian director Lucio Fulci's final film, Door to Silence, a psychological thriller shot in Louisiana.

In more recent years he has been seen on the small as well as the big screen. He was the recurring character of Donald Lydecker in the first and second seasons of Dark Angel and portrayed Captain Ransom in the two part episode "Equinox" from Star Trek: Voyager.

Another recurring role found him as Henry Scudder in the HBO-produced television series Carnivàle. In 2005, he appeared on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. He lent his voice to a monologue on the title track of the album This Town by Steve Smith of Dirty Vegas (album released February 18, 2008). In September 2009, he appeared in the second episode of Season 2 of the Fox network drama Fringe.

He most recently starred in the western thriller The Sorrow with Kirk Harris and Michael Madsen for director Vernon Mortensen. He also played a supporting role in Hit List.



  1. ^ U.S. Public Records Index, Volume 1; at
  2. ^ a b "John Savage". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ "John Savage Uses Film To Help His Neighbors". The New York Times. February 28, 1988. 
  4. ^ John Savage profile,; accessed October 5, 2016.
  5. ^ "John Savage Biography (1949?-)". Film Reference. Retrieved 18 June 2015. 
  6. ^

External links[edit]