Thursday, April 1, 2021

'Green Slime' actor Tom Korzeniowski Passes Away at Age 83

Tom Korzeniowski in more recent years. Photo © Tom Korzeniowski.

According to his obituary, Thomas Michael Korzeniowski, who appears as an extra in the cult classic The Green Slime (1968), passed away on February 12 of this year. He was 83. His obituary shares many details of his early life prior to his acting work in Japan:
Tom was born on March 31, 1937 in Detroit, MI to Frank and Catherine (Molenda) Korzeniowski. He was baptized in the Catholic faith, and after the untimely passing of his parents, spent his formative years with relatives and then at Boysville, after which he joined the U.S. Air Force in 1954. Deployed to Japan, he met and married Toshie Tanaka in 1956. While in the USAF, he worked in Cryptography, radio broadcasting for the Far East Network (FEN), became a Lifetime Pistol Marksman and achieved 2nd Degree Black Belt in Judo at the Kodokan in Tokyo.
On May 9, 1968, Mr. Korzeniowski was promoted to 2nd degree black belt by Kodokan Judo in Tokyo. Photo © Tom Korzeniowski.

Quoting more from his obituary:
Recognized as an Emmy Award winning Journalist (1980-1981 for coverage of the Reagan shooting), he worked for WJR radio in Detroit, WJBK, WBBM and WMAQ as a News Reporter/Anchor in Detroit and Chicago, after which he left news reporting for Communications positions for Baxter Travenol and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, was a 50 ton vessel Masters License holder from the US Coast Guard, and concluded with writing for WGN News in Chicago. An accomplished Aviator, he also loved sail boating, motorcycling, target shooting, firearms, archery, fencing, hunting, SCUBA diving, astronomy, photography, model trains, reading, watching movies, playing the alto saxophone and piano. He earned his Bachelor's degree at the University of Michigan, and his Master's degree at the University of Chicago, enjoyed Classical music and doted over his Portuguese Waterdog, Abby.
With Tom Korzeniowski in Chicago in July 2012. Photo © Brett Homenick.

I was privileged to interview Mr. Korzeniowski in 2010 about his memories of working in Japan, primarily on the The Green Slime. He not only acted in that film (under the name Tom Conrad), but he also appeared in Flight from Ashiya (1964) along with Yul Brynner, Richard Widmark, and George Chakiris. He also was a voice actor for William Ross on several movies.

I last spoke to Mr. Korzeniowski over the phone in August 2020. We caught up on a few things, and he reminisced about his work on The Green Slime. He was in great spirits, so it's hard to believe we lost him so shortly thereafter. 

Thank you for your friendship, Tom. Rest in peace.