Englund began studying acting at age 12 in a children's theater program at California State University. He appeared in numerous children's plays before attending the American branch of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in Rochester, MI, by day and acting at the Meadowbrook Theater by night. His first big break was a role in the Cleveland company production of "Godspell" in 1972. Appearances in many other regional productions followed. In the early 70s Englund traveled to LA to audition for Terrence Malick's "Badlands," while he did not win the part, he did decided to stay in L.A. He made his feature debut in "Buster and Billie" (1974). Englund became a successful character player in films ("Stay Hungry" 1975; "Big Wednesday" 1978) TV-movies and miniseries ("Young Joe, the Forgotten Kennedy" ABC, 1977; "North and South, Book II" ABC, 1986), and episodic TV. He had his first taste of cult celebrity playing Willie, a sympathetic alien visitor who joins the human resistance, in the three incarnations of "V" (1983 two-part NBC TV-movie; 1984 miniseries sequel; and subsequent 1984-85 series). This would all pale beside the success of Freddy Krueger. Englund reprised the character for five increasingly campy sequels and a syndicated TV anthology spin-off, "Freddy's Nightmares" (1988). He also worked with creator Wes Craven on "Nightmare Cafe" (NBC, 1992), a short-lived fantasy anthology series.Englund recreated his most famous role for "Wes Craven's New Nightmare" (1994)--the unofficial and highly unconventional seventh film in the series--which postulated that Krueger was a genuine malevolent entity released into the "real" world after the demise of his movie franchise. Englund played both himself and a much meaner, tougher Freddy in this thoughtful and reflexive horror opus. The actor re-teamed with Craven for 1997's "Wishmaster" and subsequently appeared or cameoed in a long string of B thrillers and horror flicks, including "Urban Legend" (1998), "Strangeland" (1998), "Python" (2000) and "Windfall" (2001). In 1998 he also voiced an animated version of his most famous character, Freddy, as well as "Friday the 13th's" killer Jason Voorhees on an episode of "The Simpsons," paving the way for a big-screen smackdown between the two horror icons called "Freddy Vs. Jason" (2003), a surprisingly entertaining offshoot of two franchises in which Freddy invades Jason's dreamscape.