Famous Actors and Actresses that Started In the Halloween Franchise
The Michael Myers Halloween films date back to 1978 and have featured some pretty radical kill scenes…however, there were some truly talented actors and actresses who got their big break from starring in one of these horror slashers. The franchise was such a success, right from the start, that it spawned success that would be experienced across a number of careers! Check out some of the biggest winners from the horror favorite that is the Halloween franchise.
Actors Made Famous From Starring in the Halloween Movies
Jamie Lee Curtis
As a horror movie icon from her time spent as Laurie Strode in 7 of the 13 Halloween movies (including the in-production 2018 film), she cannot be ignored as a clear number one winner emerging from the franchise. Jamie’s first role of any real notoriety absolutely boils down to the first Halloween movie in 1978. She put on a fantastic performance fleeing her brother back then, and has since graced the horror franchise with her presence in subsequent chases throughout the years. Jamie Lee Curtis’ character might be one of the only people able to truly understand, control, trap or otherwise kill her famed Halloween-killing brother, Michael Myers.
Josh got pretty good traction in the horror genre, and specifically was very positively received in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later. Playing John, the son of Laurie Strode, he is one of the prime targets when Michael Myers returns to wreak havoc! Josh and Jamie have a seemingly instinctual dynamic between them that makes their mother-son relationship in the movie feel extremely natural and real. Honestly, Josh does so well that it is pretty unbelievable that Halloween was his first feature film.
Jodi Lyn O’Keefe
Like Josh Hartnett, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe’s first hollywood movie credit rests well with Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998). Jodi Lyn plays Sarah, who suffers one of the most terrifying deaths of all of the Halloween movies, including the use of a dumbwaiter! Sarah’s character may not have survived the entire flick, but her death was not in vain…for Jodi Lyn’s performance would launch the successful career she enjoys today.
The first actor to play Michael Myers in the Halloween original (1978), was Tony Moran. Although he would receive a small amount of work throughout the following few decades, it seems the last few years have been much better to Tony. Perhaps he is finally getting the recognition he deserves for his stellar performance as one of the first most horrific slashers, who changed the horror genre forever!
Crazy Dr Loomis’ nurse, Marion can be found in 3 of the Halloween films. Before the 1978 Halloween hit, Nancy would only achieve success in TV…making Halloween her break out movie role! She reprises her role in Halloween II (1981) and again in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998). Unfortunately, Marion is killed off rather early in the beginning of the 1998 film, along with the explained death of Dr Loomis. Still, Nancy died with dignity and put on a heck of a show!
LL Cool J
It is true that LL Cool J had a small handful of roles before Halloween H20…however, many attribute his break out “on-screen” role to Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998). LL Cool J played a likable protagonist (Ronny), an inspiring erotic novelist working as a very convincing security guard. He almost gets murdered by Michael and narrowly escapes an almost fatal accident to end up surviving! After the experience, Ronny decides to write a romantic thriller.
Larisa also received her first feature film role in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), like many others. She played Claudia, who barely survives an encounter with Michael Myers while taking her daughter to the bathroom in the beginning of the movie. She would go on to have a small bit of success in TV, however, must have chosen to retire after 2007…despite a career seemingly on the uprise from her part in the movie.
Other Hollywood Icons and Legends Who Got Their Start in Halloween
John Carpenter is an extremely talented individual, contributing a number of credits to so many titles throughout his career. He even contributed to the Halloween soundtrack, writing the main theme song to Halloween that still makes the audience tremble today. It is more than arguable that Halloween could have been Carpenter’s true break out role as a director…as it is much more widely known than his only real prior hit, Assault on Precinct 13. And Carpenter, without a doubt, was the spine of the original Halloween movie.
Another famous director responsible for a lot of hits that are enjoyed today, Rick Rosenthal, got his big feature film break directing a Halloween film. Rosenthal was responsible for Halloween II, which is amazing considering the success of the first film and Rosenthal only having a single episode of TV as experience in directing. Regardless, he would produce an incredible scare that has been admired for years to come that is the first sequel in the hit horror franchise.
Final Notes About the Halloween Franchise
It would not be right to address famous actors and actresses getting a big break from the Halloween movies without mentioning the actor who famously played Dr Loomis. Donald Pleasence is a huge part of the story line and suspenseful drama throughout the movies. While Donald was widely known and quite famous before assuming the role of the demented killer’s mental doctor…there is no questioning his notoriety and glory living on larger and more vibrant than ever through the Halloween films.
There is absolutely no doubt that the horror franchise, especially the slasher sub-genre, would ever be the same without the influence from the Halloween franchise horror films. Each person played their part (pun intended), creating the legend the still haunts the screen on the occasional Halloween. And while Michael Myers may be immortal through his on-screen terror, he could not have done it alone. Without the collaborated effort of all the crew and cast involved in the making of the Halloween movies, these movies simply would not be the polished horror we know them as today!
Tritone’s love of horror and mystery began at a young age. Growing up in the 80’s he got to see some of the greatest horror movies play out in the best of venues, the drive-in theater. That’s when his obsession with the genre really began—but it wasn’t just the movies, it was the games, the books, the comics, and the lore behind it all that really ignited his obsession. Tritone is a published author and continues to write and write about horror whenever possible.