Since his first horror film, Eaten Alive, in 1977, Englund has made over 100 appearances on film and television. His early film roles usually typed him as a nerd or a redneck, and he first gained attention in the role of Willie, the lovably innocent alien in the 1983 miniseries V, as well as the 1984 sequel V: The Final Battle, and V: The Series.
After his huge success in A Nightmare on Elm Street, Englund became the first new horror movie star since Sir Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing in the 1960s. His association with the genre led him to top-billed roles in The Phantom of the Opera (1989), The Mangler (1995), and 2001 Maniacs (2005).
Englund is one of only two actors to play a horror character eight consecutive times, the other being Doug Bradley, who portrayed the Pinhead character eight times in the Hellraiser film series. Including Tobin Bell as the "Jigsaw Killer" from the Saw franchise,Tony Todd as the Candyman, and Brad Dorf as Chucky in every childs play movie. The five make up the only actors ever to play a horror character in each and every sequel. Englund has said that he enjoys the role of Freddy as it gives him a break from always playing the nice guy; indeed, many people who have worked with Englund attest to his congeniality. Makeup artists responsible for the Krueger makeup have commented that Englund was so friendly and talkative that it made the lengthy makeup application slightly more challenging.