James Winburn, the stunt double for Michael Myers in John Carpenter’s iconic 1978 original slasher film Halloween, has passed away. He turned 85.
The longtime Hollywood stuntman passed away over the weekend due to an undisclosed health issue. Weekly entertainment confirmed. His cause of death is unknown at this time.
The stuntman was the person wearing the Michael Myers mask Halloween‘s final sequences where the killer character is apprehended by Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance) and disappears after being shot and falling off a balcony.
Winburn returned as the iconic masked villain’s stunt double alongside recurring cast members Pleasance and Jamie Lee Curtis in 1981’s Halloween II also.
“We are extremely saddened to hear of the passing of James Winburn,” UK-based Monopoly Events wrote on Twitter after news of Winburn’s death became public on Monday. The events and exhibition company wrote that Winburn had attended the For the Love of Horror convention in October.
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“James was an absolute pleasure to work with and shared some great stories with everyone this weekend,” the company wrote. “Our sincere condolences go out to his family, friends and fans.”
Another convention organization, Monster-Mania Convention, shared a statement on Facebook Sunday which indicated that Winburn was expected to appear at one of his events in November, but pulled out due to a health issue.
“Sad to hear that James Winburn passed away today,” the organization writes. “James was an absolute pleasure to work with and we had hoped to see him again for our show in Oaks, PA, but unfortunately a health issue prevented that.”
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“James was always grateful for the Halloween fans and really enjoyed meeting everyone,” the statement read. “Our sincerest condolences go out to his family, friends and fans.”
According to IMDB, between 1970 and 2005, Winburn worked as a stunt performer or stunt coordinator in 78 movies and TV shows.
Aside from his physical appearances as Michael Myers in HalloweenNotably, Winburn also worked on director Carpenter’s 1981 film Escape from New Yorkas well as the original 1982 movie Tron.
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Although Winburn continued his work on the Halloween franchise after its sequel, his work helped launch one of horror’s longest-running franchises.
The Halloween series spawned a total of 13 films, the most recent of which, Halloween endsreleased in October, almost 44 years after the original Halloween released in theaters on October 25, 1978.