09/30/1991 at 01:00 AM EDT
It's one thing to grow a set of fangs or sprout lupine facial hair. It's another to make a transition from horror-movie monster back to straight acting. Now the Nightmare on Elm Street series and his Freddy character are history, and Robert Englund is hanging up his manicure from hell. More power to him. True, Fredric March and Spencer Tracy survived playing Dr. Jekyll, James Arness got past his Thing thing, and Michael Landon outgrew being a teen werewolf. But nobody who appeared as a serial monster has ever returned from that land of the cinematic living dead. So Englund is going where Lugosi, Karloff, Christopher Lee and fellow fiends never managed to tread. (The closest anyone came was probably Lon Chaney Jr., who was strong in Of Mice and Men and High Noon.) Maybe the list of things man wasn't meant to tamper with includes actors switching film genres.