Erland van Lidth Cause of Death: The Tragic Story of a Multitalented Star

Erland van Lidth was a Dutch-American actor, opera singer, wrestler, and computer scientist who appeared in several Hollywood films in the 1980s. He was known for his imposing physique, deep voice, and gentle demeanor. He played memorable roles as a villain in movies such as The Wanderers, Stir Crazy, and The Running Man. However, despite his success and talent, his life was cut short by a sudden heart failure at the age of 34. What was the cause of his death and what legacy did he leave behind?

Early Life and Education

Erland van Lidth was born on June 3, 1953, in Hilversum, the Netherlands. He moved to the United States with his family in 1958 and settled in various places such as Orange, New Jersey; Stamford, Connecticut; Ridgefield, Connecticut; and Mont Vernon, New Hampshire. He attended Ridgefield High School and Milford Area Senior High School, where he excelled in academics, sports, and theater. He was a gifted student who learned several languages, played musical instruments, and participated in chess tournaments. He was also a formidable athlete who played football and wrestled at the state and national level.

He continued his education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he studied computer science and electrical engineering. He graduated with a B.S. degree in 1977 and worked as a computer professional in Manhattan. He also pursued his passion for wrestling and opera singing. He was an alternate for the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal as a heavyweight wrestler and won a bronze medal at the international competition in Tehran in 1978. He also sang as an operatic bass-baritone with the Amato Opera in New York and studied to become a Heldenbaritone.

Film Career

Erland van Lidth’s film career began when he was spotted by a casting director at the New York Athletic Club, where he trained as a wrestler. He was offered the role of Terror, the leader of the Fordham Baldies gang, in the 1979 film The Wanderers. He accepted the role and shaved his head for the part. He impressed the director Philip Kaufman with his acting skills and charisma.

He went on to play more roles as a villain or a henchman in other films such as Stir Crazy (1980), Alone in the Dark (1982), The Running Man (1987), and others. He often portrayed characters who were physically intimidating but also had a soft or humorous side. He showed his versatility as an actor by performing stunts, singing opera, and speaking different languages on screen. He also turned down some roles that he felt were too stereotypical or required him to shave his head again.

Personal Life and Death

Erland van Lidth married Annette Friend on September 22, 1986. They had one son, Christiaan, who was born in 1987. Erland was devoted to his family and friends and enjoyed spending time with them. He also had many hobbies such as gardening, cooking, reading, and playing video games.

Erland van Lidth died of heart failure on September 23, 1987, at his home in Manhattan. He was only 34 years old. His death was unexpected and shocking to his loved ones and fans. He had just finished filming The Running Man, where he played Dynamo, a sadistic stalker who electrocuted his victims. His death occurred one day after his first wedding anniversary.

According to Wikipedia, Erland van Lidth had a congenital heart condition that caused him to have an enlarged heart. He also suffered from high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. He was aware of his health problems and tried to control them with medication and diet. However, he did not seek proper medical attention or undergo surgery that could have saved his life.


Erland van Lidth left behind a legacy of talent, diversity, and kindness. He was a multitalented star who excelled in various fields such as computer science, wrestling, opera singing, and acting. He was also a gentle giant who was loved by his family, friends, co-stars, and fans. He inspired many people with his intelligence, creativity, humor, and generosity.

His films are still popular and appreciated by audiences today. His performances are memorable and iconic. His role as Dynamo in The Running Man is considered one of the best villains in sci-fi history. His role as Grossberger in Stir Crazy is regarded as one of the funniest scenes in comedy history. His role as Terror in The Wanderers is recognized as one of the most realistic portrayals of gang violence in cinema history.

Erland van Lidth’s life was short but remarkable. He achieved more than most people could dream of in his lifetime. He overcame many challenges and obstacles to pursue his passions and goals. He touched many lives and hearts with his presence and personality. He was a true star who shone brightly in every aspect of his life. He was Erland van Lidth, and he will never be forgotten.

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