Ted White, the actor who portrayed Jason Voorhees in 1984’s Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, died this past week at the age of 96. White reportedly died peacefully in his sleep at his home on October 14, and the veteran star had a long career in Hollywood as a stuntman and actor. Since the news of his passing broke, tributes for the Friday the 13th actor have been pouring in online.
Tom Savini, who created the special effects and makeup for the Friday the 13th movies (including the ones made during Ted White’s time as Jason Voorhees), took to Twitter to pay tribute to the late actor. Check out how he honored his colleague:
I’m 75 and I still want to be Ted White when I grow up. Tough as nails with a heart of gold. Pure class. He will be missed. Us on set of Friday the 13th part 4. pic.twitter.com/HEd3R6rxZ8October 15, 2022
Savini shared a throwback photo of himself with the late horror icon, presumably on the set of Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. He stated that the man under Jason Voorhees’ mask had a “heart of gold” and will be “missed.” Additionally, Kane Hodder, who previously played Jason, also took to social media to say this:
Very sad to lose my stunt brother, Ted White. A true film legend. You will be missed.October 15, 2022
Kane Hodder played Jason Voorhees in four Friday the 13th films: Part VII: The New Blood, FPart VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday and Jason X along with The Game. Hodder also played Leatherface in a few Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies. He called Ted White his “stunt brother” as he paid tribute to him following his recent death.
Fangoria, an iconic horror fan magazine, took some time to remember the actor as well. As the outlet shared:
Fango mourns the passing of the legendary Ted White, who not only played Jason Voorhees in FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER but worked as a stuntman for the likes of John Wayne and Clark Gable throughout his career. Rest In Peace, sir. pic.twitter.com/lEV5e6cj4qOctober 15, 2022
Ted White was born Alex Beyouth in 1926 in Krebs, Oklahoma and eventually grew up up in Snyder, Texas. After playing football in college, he decided to pursue a career as a stuntman and actor and, ultimately, he became John Wayne’s stunt double. Throughout his career, White was a part of iconic films such as Tron, Romancing the Stone, Road House and Wild Wild West. Though as made clear through these tributes, he’s best known for playing Jason in the ’80s and contributing to some of the franchise’s most iconic kills.
After getting word of White’s death, We Are Still Here and Mohawk filmmaker Ted Geoghegan shared what The Final Chapter meant to him. Check it:
FINAL CHAPTER was my introduction to horror, having been convinced to watch it because Corey Feldman was in it. It’s sad to hear that its Jason, stuntman Ted White, has passed away, but 96 years sure is a hell of a run. pic.twitter.com/CW5NSWeFPjOctober 15, 2022
Also, one devoted horror fan, who goes by Mason Voorhees on Twitter, praised Ted White as one of the best parts of the franchise. The original Friday the 13th movie is regarded as one the best horror movies of all time, but The Final Chapter has sure made an impression on many since its release:
RIP Ted White. His portrayal of Jason in part IV was one of my favorite takes on the character. What a legend. pic.twitter.com/sLyxkRMPSDOctober 15, 2022
Friday the 13th is one of the few franchises in the horror genre that has yet to get a reboot, with its last entry dating back to 2009. The property was the subject of a lawsuit involving the original film’s director/producer Sean S. Cunningham and screenwriter Victor Miller. Since the dispute, the most recent update has come by way of entertainment lawyer Larry Zerner (via CNN), who said odds of Jason Voorhees joining the likes of upcoming horror movies at this point are “50-50”.
Regardless of the current status of the franchise, it’s clear that Ted White’s work within it will never be forgotten by his colleagues and fans. We here at CinemaBlend send our condolences to his family and loved ones during this time.