Professor Raymond Knowby is an integral character in the Evil Dead universe, as he’s the one who discovered both the Necronomicon and the Kandarian Dagger; he’s also responsible for bringing both objects to America. Of course, he’s the man who recorded the tape that Ash and friends play when they arrive at the cabin, kick-starting the horror saga that continues to this day.
Today we’re sad to report that Evil Dead 2 star John Peakes, who played Professor Raymond Knowby in the 1987 horror-comedy sequel, passed away this week. He was 83 years old.
Including Evil Dead 2, Peakes has only four acting credits on his film and television resume, most recently appearing in the 2010 horror film 6 Souls. But Peakes was a staple on the Michigan theater scene for many decades, co-founding Lansing’s legendary BoarsHead Theatre. The theatre, as noted by The Lansing State Journal, helped launch the career of William Hurt.
It was Bruce Campbell who brought the sad news to our attention yesterday. Campbell tweeted, in response to a fan who informed him that Peakes had passed:
Sorry to hear that. He played Professor Knowby [in] Evil Dead II. Safe travels, John.
Rest in Peace, Professor.