American actor and horror icon (1939-2019). He was born Sidney Eddie Mosesian in Fresno, California and started working in the entertainment business early in life. He grew fast as a child, and his coordination couldn't keep up with his growth spurts, so his parents had him take dancing lessons. He became so skilled, he was being paid as a dancer in a children's Christmas production and a vaudeville revival show at the tender age of seven. He also showed talent for the drums and recorded a single called "Full House" with his band the T-Birds in 1958.
In high school, Sid's drama teacher was a former Broadway actress named Alice Merrill who enlisted other actors to help her select her casts. One of her friends, Dennis Morgan, had been a star in musical comedies in the 1940s, and he picked Sid for a role in one of the school's plays and later encouraged him to pursue acting as a career. He enrolled in the celebrated Pasadena Playhouse a couple of years later before moving to Hollywood and adopting his father's first name as his new stage name.
His first role film was in a short student film called "The Host," directed by Jack Hill in 1960. Haig soon became a regular in Hill's movies, appearing in horror movies like "Spider Baby" and blaxploitation films like "Coffy," "Black Mama, White Mama," "The Big Bird Cage," and "Foxy Brown." The most well-known movies he appeared in back in the '70s were "Diamonds Are Forever" and "THX 1138" -- in both films, he had minor roles as heavies. He was also in Roger Corman's "Galaxy of Terror" -- he insisted on playing the role mostly silent because he thought the dialogue was so bad.
Haig appeared in more high-profile television programs -- "Batman," "Gunsmoke," "Star Trek," "Mission: Impossible," "Fantasy Island," "Get Smart," "Charlie's Angels," "MacGyver," "The A-Team," "The Dukes of Hazzard," and "Amazing Stories," among plenty of other shows. His most distinctive TV role was as the villainous Emperor Dragos in the Saturday morning space opera "Jason of Star Command" -- but for the most part, he was playing minor roles as thuggish bad guys. On the one hand, Haig definitely had a look that screamed "thuggish bad guy" -- big, bald, bearded, and belligerent -- but he was getting tired of basically playing the same characters over and over.
So he retired from acting in 1992, got certified as a hypnotherapist, and stayed away from film acting for five years. He still acted in theater productions in Los Angeles, and he managed a community theater from 1989-2004. He was Quentin Tarantino's first choice to play Marsellus Wallace in "Pulp Fiction," but fearing he was just going to be another cheap hood, he turned the part down. But Tarantino, a long-time fan of classic blaxploitation film, still wanted him in a movie, and he eventually wrote a part specifically for Haig and cast him as a judge in "Jackie Brown" in 1997. (Pam Grier, who played the lead role in "Jackie Brown," had known Haig for years from acting with him in blaxploitation flicks in the '70s, but she didn't know he'd been cast in the film, so she burst out laughing when she saw the guy who always played thugs wearing a dignified judge's robe.) Tarantino later cast him in "Kill Bill, Vol. 2."
In 2003, Haig was cast in Rob Zombie's "House of 1,000 Corpses" as the psychotic, crude, but hilarious clown Captain Spaulding. The movie was not well-received, but Haig was a certified, solid-gold hit. The horrorhounds at Fangoria awarded him Best Supporting Actor in their Fangoria Chainsaw Awards and immediately inducted him into their Horror Hall of Fame. He reprised the role in "The Devil's Rejects" in 2005 and in "3 from Hell" in 2019, as well as voice acting the role in the animated "The Haunted World of El Superbeasto" in 2009. Rob Zombie also cast Haig in his 2007 "Halloween" remake and in 2013's "The Lords of Salem."
Now considered a horror icon, Haig was getting lots of work in horror movies -- not always good movies, not always high profile, and not always plum roles, but he wasn't typecast as any specific kind of character anymore. He played serial killers and vampires, but he also played psychiatrists and police detectives. He showed up in "House of the Dead 2," "Brotherhood of Blood," "Night of the Living Dead 3D," "The Haunted Casino," "Dark Moon Rising," "Creature," "Mimesis," "The Sacred," "Zombex," "Devil in My Ride," "Bone Tomahawk," "Death House," "Cynthia," and plenty more besides. He also started showing up at horror and sci-fi conventions, where he usually donated 10% of his profits from appearances to charity.
Haig had a fall at his home in early September 2019. While hospitalized, he got a lung infection after vomiting in his sleep. He died on September 21, 2019 at the age of 80.
ADDENDUM: LaggedyAnne says: "Met him this summer. Nice guy. He was at Crypticon for his 80th birthday. We got drunk with him and he had belly dancers giving him lap dances. Dude lived a good life. :)"