Halloween Turns 40: 9 Actors You Didn't Know Had Roles in the Horror Franchise
Though it doesn’t look like he’s aged a day, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers was just Paul Rudd’s second feature film (Clueless was released just two months prior.) Rudd, 49, played an older version of Tommy Doyle, the child who Laurie Strode babysat on that famous night in 1978. Tommy not only survives the sixth film, but beats Michael Myers with a lead pipe until he believes Myers is dead.
Since Halloween, the Wet Hot American Summer actor has largely stayed away from horror films, choosing instead comedies such as Anchorman, I Love You, Man, and This Is 40. He also appears in the Marvel Comic Universe as Ant-Man.
Though only 17 at the time of its release, Joseph Gordon-Levitt was no stranger to the film industry when he appeared in 1998’s Halloween H20: 20 Years Later. The (500) Days of Summer actor had been acting professionally for ten years, and was starring in 3rd Rock from the Sun when he made a cameo as Jimmy Howell in the franchise’s 7th installment.
Jimmy was Marion Whittington’s (formerly Nurse Chambers) hockey-playing next-door neighbor. After Whittington’s house was broken into, Jimmy investigated, not finding anything except some alcohol he stole. Unfortunately, Gordon-Levitt, 37, never made a return appearance. Jimmy was found dead, impaled by an ice skate.
Since H20, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been nominated for two Golden Globes, and will direct and star in Wingmen with Channing Tatum.
Busta Rhymes appeared in the eighth installment of the franchise, Halloween: Resurrection. The rapper, 46, plays Freddie Harris, an entrepreneur and founder of Dangertainment who creates a reality show set in Myer’s old home. Of course, the real Michael Myers arrives and wrecks havoc.
Though Freddie is stabbed by Michael Myers, he ultimately survives and electrocutes Michael Myers.
Josh Hartnett made his film debut in 1998, with Halloween H20: 20 Years Later. Hartnett, 40, played John Tate, Laurie Strode’s (who was using the alias Keri Tate) son. Keri was protective of John, and wouldn’t let him attend a school trip to Yosemite, unintentionally putting him in the path of Michael Myers on Halloween night.
Although Myers stabbed John, both him and his girlfriend Molly survived the evening. Who played Molly? (Hint: it wasn’t Scarlett Johansson.) It was…
Michelle Williams had a few films to her name before she appeared in the seventh installment of the horror franchise. Williams, 38, plays Molly Cartwell, whose romantic plans with John (Josh Hartnett) are interrupted by Michael Myers. Though there were a few close calls, Molly ultimately survived the night, becoming one of the few female protagonists to do so.
Since then, Williams has gone on to have an illustrious career. She has been nominated for four Oscars (Brokeback Mountain, Blue Valentine, My Week with Marilyn and Manchester by the Sea) and recently married songwriter Phil Elverum.
A year before she become the host of America’s Next Top Model, Tyra Banks appeared in 2002’s Halloween: Resurrection. Banks, 44, played Nora Winston, Freddie Harris’ (Busta Rhymes) assistant on a Michael Myers reality TV show gone wrong. Though Nora is in on Freddie’s plan to dress up as Michael Myers, she was not aware of the real Michael Myers showing up, and was killed.
Sean Patrick Thomas had already appeared in Save the Last Dance, and would appear in Barbershop two months after playing Rudy Grimes in Halloween: Resurrection. Rudy was an aspiring chef and one of the college students chosen to participate in a reality-show about Michael Myers. Rudy theorizes that Michael Myers turned to killing due to his diet.
Thomas, 47, has not appeared in any Halloween film since. Rudy was killed by Michael Myers following a brief knife fight in the kitchen.
Dana Carvey’s first film with a Mike Myers was not Wayne’s World, but Halloween II. In 1981, Carvey, 63, made his feature film debut, playing assistant to a WWAR journalist (Catherine Bergstrom) outside the Wallace house. In the final cut, Carvey’s is a non-speaking role, though in the original screenplay he had more scenes and some dialogue.
Carvey survived the film, though in a deleted scene, the journalist did not. Carvey went on to star on SNL for six seasons. Well isn’t that special.
Though some may know her as the voice of Debbie Thornberry on The Wild Thornberrys, Danielle Harris got her start as a child actor in Halloween IV. Harris, now 41, celebrated her 11th birthday on set of the 1988 slasher. Playing Laurie Strode’s daughter and Michael Myer’s niece, Jamie Lloyd, Harris has a substantial role in both Halloween IV and V. Jamie Lloyd was killed in the sixth installment, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, but was played by J.C. Brandy.
Harris returned to the Halloween franchise in the 2007 Halloween reboot, playing Annie Brackett. Brackett was killed in Halloween II. Currently, Harris is pregnant with her second child.
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