220px-Richard Crenna Luke McCoy 1961

Richard Crenna in 1961.

"The man is nuts. He's given himself things to do in this film that nobody should ask."
―Richard Crenna on Stallone in Rambo: First Blood Part II.

Richard Crenna (November 30, 1926 – January 17, 2003) was an American film actor most famous for playing the role of Rambo's only friend, Colonel Sam Trautman the first three installments of the Rambo series.


Crenna says that 'Rambo' has grown to have a negative and rebellious connotation over the years, when that's the very opposite of how the character was created. On the set, Sylvester Stallone and Crenna were jokesters, often pranking each other for fun. Crenna once pulled Stallone's pants down during an interview. Stallone later threw a cream pie in Crenna's face during his own interview. The two remained close friends until his death in 2003.

Richard Crenna, a veteran Hollywood actor, was very impressed with Stallone's acting. Crenna claimed that, in all his years, he worked with only two actors who truly knew how to play to a camera, reacting rather than acting, using their eyes, skillfully handling props. Those actors were Steve McQueen and Stallone.

Stallone says that the character of Trautman died the same day Crenna did, and the fourth film was dedicated to his memory. Rambo's father, "R. Rambo" was named after him.


Richard Crenna

Crenna in his later years

Although he was also in films such as The Sand Pebbles, Wait until Dark, Leviathan, Un Flic, Devil Dog: Hound of Hell, Body Heat, Wrongfully Accused, Sabrina, and Hot Shots! Part Deux, in which he played a parody character of Trautman, his most popular character was Sam Trautman. Tragically, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and suffered from this, but passed away due to heart failure in January of 2003.

Trautman was originally set to appear in the fourth installment however he died before production could be commenced. He was to be replaced by James Brolin, but Sylvester Stallone scrapped the idea, believing it to be disrespectful to both the actor and his character.

The fourth film is dedicated to his memory. 

Rambo FilmographyEdit

Films: First BloodRambo: First Blood Part IIRambo IIIRamboRambo: Last Blood
John Rambo on: First BloodFirst Blood Part IIRambo IIIRambo IVOn-Screen Kills
Cast: Sylvester StalloneRichard Crenna
Video games: RamboRambo: First Blood Part IIRambo (1987)Rambo IIIRambo on FireRambo (Sega)Rambo: The Video Game
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