Over three decades later and he’s probably still best remembered as the seemingly unstoppable T-1000 of 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day, but these days HBO Max’s Peacemaker features Robert Patrick as a completely different kind of villain. Patrick plays Auggie Smith aka White Dragon — a white supremacist supervillain, and the titular vigilante’s father — and his new role is proving a lot more disturbing than his time as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s liquid metal rival. Related to that iconic film, a new story points out that Patrick claims a unique honor. Robert Patrick is the only actor to be killed by all three action heavyweights of the ’80s and ’90s — Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Bruce Willis.
It’s Screen Rant who reported on this strange distinction. It’s not an easy thing to catch either, for one reason: while it’s true that Schwarzenegger, Stallone, and Willis have all played characters who have killed Patrick’s characters — and while all three actors are known for their big budget action spectacles — one of the deaths isn’t in an action flick.
Believe it or not, the death of the T-1000 in Terminator 2 wasn’t the first screen snuffing on Patrick’s Big Three Kill List. Long before Peacemaker tapped Robert Patrick to play the despicable Auggie Smith, the actor made his first screen appearance in the direct-to-video Vietnam War flick, Eye of the Eagle. Three years later, he would suffer his first Big Three death in 1990’s Die Hard 2. Patrick played a mercenary named O’Reilly — one of a group that had taken over LA’s Dulles International Airpoirt. He’s about to execute airport engineer Leslie Barnes (Art Evans) when Bruce Willis’ John McClane — always finding himself in ventilation systems — distracts him with a vent cover and then blows him away.
Arnold would take him out the following year. Peacemaker‘s Robert Patrick was the new and improved Terminator who could withstand any amount of bullets or explosives with his malleable, liquid metal form. He could also transform the metal in his body into different shapes, including mimicking the appearances of humans. But the most memorable thing about the character was his intense stare as he ceaselessly pursued the young John Connor (Edward Furlong). As per usual in pretty much any Terminator film, the final battle takes place in a factory. The T-1000 is finally killed by Schwarzenegger’s T-800 when the latter blasts the former into a vat of molten steel, melting him.
Sylvester Stallone had to wait until 1997 to get his shot at Peacemaker’s Robert Patrick. Rather than an action flick, 1997’s Cop Land was a crime drama in which Stallone acted way against type. The Rocky actor played Freddy Heflin, a sheriff in a New Jersey suburb where corrupt members of the NYPD make their homes. Patrick plays one of the heads of the dirty cops, as does Harvey Keitel. Freddy’s position as sheriff is largely ceremonial and for much of the film he struggles with the notion of rocking the boat. But by the end of the flick he goes full-blown Taxi Driver on the dirty cops, killing most of them, including Robert Patrick’s character Jack.
It’s a unique honor Robert Patrick enjoys, and we certainly hope some esteemed organization thinks to give him a trophy for it. It’s similar to the distinction given to the late Bill Paxton, who was the only actor to play characters killed by a Terminator (The Terminator, 1984), one of the xenomorphs from the Alien franchise (Aliens, 1986), and one of the alien hunters of the Predator films (Predator 2, 1990).