Every Halloween, millions of people worldwide sit down in front of their TVs and get the beejeezus scared out of them by classic horror movies — like “Saw,” to “The Ring,” to, er, “Halloween.”
But what of the unsung stars of those movies, the creatures and slashers who gamely make their way through a horde of comely teenagers, sneaking up on them and chopping them to bits? What happened to those guys?
Here’s where some of your favorite spooky actors have been seen they first made a bloody splash on screen:
Tobin Bell (Jigsaw, ’Saw’)
The Queens, New York-born actor had a storied career before taking on the murderous Jigsaw in the “Saw” series. He appeared in classic movies from “Tootsie” to “Mississippi Burning.” Since “Saw” hit in 2004, though, Bell has starred in six sequels, and several other direct-to-DVD horror projects. Other than that, he hasn’t done much except hang out with his two kids and coach Little League. That brings his catchphrase, “Would you like to play a game?” to a whole other level, doesn’t it?
Linda Blair (Regan, ’The Exorcist’)
In 1973, Linda Blair played Regan, a young girl possessed by the Devil in the smash-hit “The Exorcist.” Like a lot of other horror icons, Blair wasn’t able to stray too far from the genre, appearing in “Exorcist” sequels and spoofs — and also battling drug addiction. Recently, Blair has focused more on her interests in animal rights, helping out PETA and other organizations.
Robert Englund (Freddy Kreuger, ’Nightmare on Elm Street’)
Englund, beyond reprising his role as the dream-haunting serial killer Freddy Kreuger numerous times, has been one of the most successful horror actors ever. He’s managed to spin his most famous creation into appearances on everything from “The Simpsons” to “Bones;” as well as several voice roles for Marvel’s animated shows (mostly as villains). Most recently, Englund appeared on Comedy Central’s “Workaholics.”
Nick Castle (The Shape, ’Halloween’)
Though Michael Myers, the villainous killer from the “Halloween” series has been played by several different actors, in the original movie, friend of director John Carpenter Nick Castle put on the William Shatner mask for the first time. Castle has been even more successful as a director, taking on comedies like “Dennis the Menace,” and “Major Payne.” As a writer, he’s come up with the story for “Hook” and 2007’s “August Rush.” Since 2007, though, Castle has become a bit of a recluse, retreating from the public eye and —′ for the most part — skipping horror conventions.
Daveigh Chase (Samara, ’The Ring’)
You definitely wouldn’t recognize Daveigh Chase — the ratty haired, ghostly spirit of vengeance Samara from “The Ring” — if you met her in person … or even if you heard her voice. Chase actually broke into the movie business as the voice of Lilo in Disney’s “Lilo & Stitch,” before nabbing her MTV Movie Award winning role as Samara. From there, she went on to star in “Donnie Darko” and its sequel, as well as a regular role on HBO’s “Big Love.” Since that series ended, she’s had a few projects, including the upcoming “Transference” and “American Romance.” No word on whether she still lives in a well.
Gunnar Hansen (Leatherface, ’The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’)
Gunnar Hansen is best known as the power-tool loving Leatherface from 1974’s “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and the 2013 sequel/reboot. Between those two, the Icelandic actor has been busy, appearing in dozens of direct-to-DVD horror movies. Most recently, he released a book titled “Chain Saw Confidential.”
Ari Lehman (Jason Voorhees, ’Friday The 13th’)
Fun fact: Jason Voorhees’ hockey-masked killer from the “Friday the 13th” series doesn’t even appear in the first movie; it’s his mom who goes on a murderous rampage. Still, things get kicked off when a young Jason is drowned in a lake, and that Jason was played in the original — and its sequel — by Ari Lehman. Since the films, Lehman has appeared in several horror movies, including 2012’s “Deathwoods.” But his first love is actually music, and he tours around the country playing with heavy metal band. Their name? “First Jason.”