Halloween, which came out in 1978, was the original horror slasher movie. It was, and will always be, the most important one.
Now, some might argue the first movie in the genre was actually Black Christmas, which came out four years earlier (and was directed by Bob Clark, who later did the comedy A Christmas Story, oddly enough).
Others can make the case that Freddy Krueger or even Jason Voorhees drew even more mainstream appeal than Michael Myers, with his weird mask that looked like William Shatner’s face (look it up!).
But, when all is said and done, unless you want to argue that Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho from 1960 was the original slasher movie, Halloween wins, hands-down (so long as none of them are cut off). Plus, the original Halloween has a 96 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes — a number unheard of among slasher flicks.
With Halloween right around the corner, and Jamie Lee Curtis finally done with the franchise — most definitely, she swears, don’t ask her about it again, she’s for real this time — here’s a check-up on where the cast of the original movie is now.
Jamie Lee Curtis (Laurie Strode)
For all intents and purposes, Curtis — playing the role of babysitter Laurie Strode — was horror’s original “scream queen.” She reprised her Halloween role tirelessly in sequels throughout her career.
Few actors can boast a consistent acting career like Jamie Lee Curtis can. Her films have appeared in theaters almost every year since she made her screen debut in 1978 with John Carpenter’s Halloween.
But with Halloween Ends, which hit theaters Friday to mediocre box office receipts and critical reviews, Jamie Lee Curtis is kissing the role goodbye. Seriously. She swears.
No, really, she does. Last week, Jamie Lee Curtis signed a contract on Jimmy Kimmel Live! promising she wouldn’t appear in the franchise ever again.
There’s even a strong case to be made that 2022 is the golden year for the actor whose official “golden years” are right around the corner.
About a month shy of her 64th birthday, Jamie Lee Curtis recently cemented her handprints and footprints near the historic TCL Chinese Theatre.
It’s an injustice that Jamie Lee Curtis not only hasn’t won an Oscar — she’s never even earned a nomination for one.
Donald Pleasence (Dr. Sam Loomis)
Curtis teamed again with Carpenter for 1980s The Fog and lent her voice to his 1981 cult classic Escape From New York. Meanwhile, British actor Pleasence not only went along for that ride — playing the President of the United States — but also portrayed the main character, a priest, in Carpenter’s horrific 1987 flick, Prince of Darkness.
So, to recap, Carpenter, cast Pleasance as a doctor, a priest, and a president. Not too shabby in terms of roles that demand a command of the camera. With his piercing blue eyes, Pleasance did just that, until he passed in February 1995 at age 75.
Pleasance’s other credits include reprising his role as Dr. Loomis in four Halloween sequels not directed by Carpenter, and taking on roles in 1963’s The Great Escape and 1967’s You Only Live Twice (for which he played the Bond villain).
1995’s Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers and Halloween H20: 20 Years Later also pay homage to Pleasance.
Nick Castle (Michael Myers/The Shape)
One of the more remarkable aspects of the Halloween franchise is that Nick Castle — who played Michael Myers in the first movie — actually didn’t return to the role until 1998. He inhabited the slasher villain for each of the three installments intended to be the franchise-closing trilogy (or, at least, the franchise-closing trilogy) with Jamie Lee Curtis as the star.
Those movies are: 2018’s Halloween, 2021’s Halloween Kills, and 2022’s Halloween Ends.
Also surprising, Castle spent his years during his Halloween project by directing a handful of movies, including — if you can believe it — Dennis the Menace in 1984 and Major Payne with Damon Wayans in 1995.
His other films The Boy Who Could Fly, Delivering Milo, and The Last Starfighter, all drew praise from critics.
Castle’s segue from acting into directing isn’t a total blind-side, though. After all, Michael Myers is actually the character from whose point of the view the audience watches the first portion of 1978’s Halloween.
P. J. Soles (Lynda Van Der Klok)
Curtis wasn’t the only actor to whom Halloween bestowed the title of “scream queen.”Thanks to her work in not just Halloween but also in another major horror classic, Carrie (which came out two years before Halloween), Soles got to wear the crown too.
Also like Curtis — who plays her best friend in Halloween — Soles continued as a reliable, working actor in the ensuing years. Other major films in which she appeared included 1979’s Breaking Away, 1980’s Private Benjamin, and 1981’s Stripes. (She almost nabbed the role of Princess Leia but lost out to Carrie Fisher, per Mandatory.com.)
In terms of her personal life, Soles was married to Dennis Quaid, her second of three husbands, from 1978 to 1983.
While Soles had a cameo voice role in 2018’s Halloween, she hasn’t notched any acting credits since 2019.
Charles Cyphers (Sheriff Leigh Brackett)
Like some of the aforementioned actors, Charles Cyphers continued to make movies with John Carpenter — who, by all accounts, treated his cast with tremendous respect — after Halloween. Cyphers appeared in Carpenter movies ranging from Assault on Precinct 13 in 1976 (which actually came out before Halloween) to The Fog to Escape From New York.
Cyphers also reappeared Halloween II, the 1981 sequel, even though Carpenter didn’t direct it.
One of the best surprises in 2021’s Halloween Kills is when Charles Cyphers shows up, once again playing the role of Sheriff Leigh Brackett. It was his first acting credit in 15 years and continues to be his most recent.
Parade notes Cyphers’ multiple TV appearances over the years as well, from Seinfeld to ER to JAG.
READ MORE: Jamie Lee Curtis Honored as ‘Halloween’ Ends