James Winburn, the stuntman who doubled as Michael Myers in scenes from John Carpenter’s original Halloween in 1978, has died.
As Entertainment Weekly reports, Winburn’s manager confirmed the stuntman died on November 19 following an undisclosed illness. He was 85 years old.
Winburn donned the iconic white mask in Halloween for scenes that actors Nick Castle or Tony Moran – who both portrayed Myers in the original film – were unable to do. This included a scene in the film in which Donald Pleasence’s Dr. Samuel Loomis shoots Myers six times, causing him to fall off a balcony before vanishing.
Though Halloween was his arguably his best-known role, Winburn’s worked as a stunt actor on a wide array of films and TV episodes throughout his life, doubling for the likes of Stan Lee, David Hasselhoff, Peter O’Toole, Barry Bostwick and more.
Winburn’s resume as a stunt worker included other Carpenter flicks such as Escape From New York, movies like TRON and The Night Stalker, plus episodes of series including The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman. He also acted in multiple shows and films, and served as a director on three movies: 1988’s Evil Altar, 1991’s The Death Merchant and Miami Beach Cops in 1993.
Winburn was also active in the fan community, regularly attending conventions. Just last month, he was a guest at the For the Love of Horror convention in Manchester. “James was an absolute pleasure to work and shared some amazing stories with everyone over the weekend,” FTLOH tweeted yesterday (November 21). “Our sincere condolences go out to his family, friends and fans.”
We are extremely sad to learn of the passing of James Winburn, who joined us for #ForTheLoveofHorror last month
James was an absolute pleasure to work and shared some amazing stories with everyone over the weekend.Our sincere condolences go out to his family, friends and fans. pic.twitter.com/1w7zgOZCfM
— For the Love of Horror (@ftlohorror) November 21, 2022