John King III is an American actor – known for movies like the 1970 blaxploitation film Black Angels and the classic slasher b-movie Psycho from Texas (1975) in which he costarred along with Linnea Quigley, Herschel Mays, Janel King, Christian Feazell and Tommy Lamey.
Psycho from Texas, an iridescent b-movie gem, nonetheless struggled to see the light of day for several years. Prior to the movie’s straight-to-video release in the early 1980s it had been known in the industry by a few different names (i.e. Wheeler and The Hurting to name a couple), before settling on Psycho from Texas.
In Psycho from Texas, John King III played the role of a psychopathic killer. Deftly.
The anti-hero. A malevolent, yet charismatic, figure. A character infused with psychological and emotional subtleties. You feared him…Yet craved his approval.
A complicated character. Swinging from being physically imposing to flashing that smile. The sort of wholesome, small town…’ahh shucks‘…smile you’re likely to run across on the streets of any town USA.
John King III offered a portrait of a mad man that was conspicuously ahead of it’s time. His performance conjured up memories in my mind’s eye of James Gandolfini.
And how 24 years later he would later go on to so masterfully play Tony Soprano. I couldn’t help but see a through line between these two data points. Sadly, John King III died a number of years ago from complications arising from throat surgery.
But thankfully he was kind enough to leave us with something to remember him by.
John King III Filmography
Black Angels (1970) as Johnny Reb
Guess What Happened to Count Dracula? (1971) as Gil
Psycho from Texas (1975) as Wheeler
Alien Zone (1978)
John King III Photo Gallery
Interests include:: coffee, jackhammers, grandma’s medicine cabinet and sympathetic yawning.
John is my grandfather (mom’s dad) and i really miss him. This was a nice write up man, thanks!
I am so glad I did some justice to him.
The rippling effect of our lives…of what we do, of what we put out into the universe never ceases to amaze me.
I’m so grateful that his work somehow…across time and space…found me. Miraculously.
What he did mattered to me.
His life mattered to me.
And although I never had the pleasure of meeting your Grandfather, he will be missed, but he will never be forgotten.
I met John while he was filming Wheeler in Eldorado Arkansas back in 1973-74. I was there for quite a bit of the filming and made friends with a lot of the cast. The memories it left with a 13 yr old kid are still fondly remembered and so was John.