The Shining Axe Retires From Acting

The Shining Axe Retires From Acting

by | Apr 1, 2021

In 1979, Bob Axe had one of the biggest casting events of his life. Stepping into a brightly lit RV in  the backlot of Elstree studios, he came face to face with Stanley Kubrick, who took one look at him and decide he had found his axe for his mega hit The Shining. 41 years later, two Oscar nominations, one golden globe and over 25 films under his belt, Bob has decided to step away from the lime light and retire from acting.

Gripped in the firm hands of co-star Jack Nicholson, Bob made his on screen debut smashing through a door in the adaption of Stephen King’s supernatural novel The Shining.  Whilst his brief appearance was met with lukewarm reception from film critics, with Roger Ebert’s calling his performance as “stiff and wooden”, the high profile turn led to bigger roles.

The Shining Axe Retires From Acting - Horror Land

What is little known is of Bob’s early days as a model, where he modelled for various shopping magazines such as the Argos catalogue in the UK. He also appeared in the poster of the 1978 film The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith. But bigger and better things were now afoot and he found his first Oscar nomination coming in 1991, where he starred alongside Kurt Russell and William Baldwin in the fiery blockbuster Backdraft. He famously did all his own stunts and refused a stunt axe in a few hair raising scenes.

In 1993 he tried his handle at comedy, where he starred with rising star Mike Myers in So I Married an Axe Murderer. Whilst the film flopped, Bobs performance was widely praised and caught the eye of many directors and producers.

His big moment came in 2001, where he found himself in an epic assemble cast for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy. In an almost unrecognizable performance, Bob had to undergo 6 hours of makeup and prosthetics to transform him into Gimli’s axe. The role was so highly praised it won him the Golden Globe in 2002, for Best Axe in a Movie for The Two Towers.

The Shining Axe Retires From Acting - Horror Land

In more recent years, Bob reprised a fan favorite role, where he appeared in the prequel to The Thing. His role in the original 1982 was pretty much cut, with only brief appearance in the theatrical version. However, his cameo in the newer film had fans screaming at theatre screens, with report of some getting so excited they could not hold their popcorn anymore.

The Shining Axe Retires From Acting - Horror Land

Bob is married to a his wife Jenny Spade, who had a brief acting career in the early 90’s, most famously starring in Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead. Bob has a single daughter, Angela who recently starred in Broadway production of Hatchet and apparently is a chip of the old block.

Bob is stepping down to concentrate on writing and spend more time with his family. He hopes to publish a memoir of his career called “The Cutting Edge”. Best of Luck Bob!


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