Englund had been considered by George Lucas for the role of Han Solo in the original Star Wars movie. At the time, his friend Mark Hamill was sleeping on his couch and Englund convinced him to come along for the audition. Although Englund was not cast, Hamill was cast in the career role of Luke Skywalker.
After being cast in Tobe Hooper's "Eaten Alive," Englund's next prominent role was the part of alien Willie in the V series. Before and after this role, he was known for playing either a nerd or dumb redneck in movies.
In 1984, Englund was cast as Freddy Krueger in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984 film), which became his career defining role. His repeated appearances as the character solidified Englund as a horror icon and led to roles in movies such as "The Mangler," "The Phantom of the Opera," and "Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer." And although Englund also appeared in comedies such as "Ford Fairlane" and TV shows such as "Charmed," Krueger remained the role that he was mostly identified with.