Robert Englund has played more than 60 roles in film and on TV, but to horror fans, he'll always be Freddy Krueger. And while most actors gripe about being typecast in a part, the Nightmare on Elm Street villain confesses that he long ago made peace with his cult celebrity status.

"I [decided to] just relax and enjoy it because I know you can't fight it," the 52-year-old classically trained actor-director tells TV Guide Online. "When the fans fall in love with the character, you really can't control it.

"The worst thing you can do is pull a Shelley Long and walk away," adds the spooker, who portrayed the sharp-fingered fiend in seven Nightmare films, "because they're still going to remember you from Cheers and you might alienate people."

Well, Englund certainly hasn't turned his back on Freddy. In fact, he'll slip back into his alter ego's famous striped sweater to do battle with Friday the 13th's hockey-masked hoodlum in Freddy vs. Jason (due in 2003). "The gentleman who did BladeStephen Norrington — is on board to shepherd the project," he reports. "As recently as a month ago, I heard through the grapevine that New Line Cinema chairman Robert Shaye had approved the new script. So, I think it's on the fast track."

In the meantime, Freddy followers can catch Englund's Nightmare memories on the recently released Boogeymen DVD, which features seminal moments from 17 classic horror films. Producer Gary Shenk and his staff screened "literally a thousand movies" to come up with a definitive "Who's Who" of big-screen baddies. "For the first time ever, you get Jason and Freddy and Chucky and Michael Myers and Leatherface and all these horror icons in one DVD," he points out. "It's truly an amazing experience."