|Michael Myers (Halloween, 1978)
Portrayed by Nick Castle, Tony Moran, and Will Sandin (Myers age 6)
in the horror movie starring Jamie Lee Curtis directed by John Carpenter
Michael Myers (when the mask is removed)
August 14, 1957
Birthplace: Burbank, California, USA
(starred as M.M. at the end of the movie when the mask was off)
(when the mask is on)
September 21, 1947
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA
(starred as M.M. when the mask was on)
"If one goes back and looks at Westworld, that picture involved a robot gunfighter that keeps coming back again and again. I copied a bit of that idea and added it to a horror film on Halloween night with teenagers. To make Michael Myers frightening, I had him walk like a man, not a monster." - John Carpenter, director
Tony Moran Biography (face of Michael Myers):
In the final moments of John Carpenter's 1978 classic horror movie Halloween, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) lifts Michael Myers' mask to reveal actor Tony Moran underneath. His face was only visible for several seconds, but it was enough time to make Tony Moran a cult icon among
horror movie fans. Every year he appears at numerous horror conventions, where he signs autographs and poses with adoring (and sometimes spooked) fans. Who could ask for more from there (less than) fifteen minutes of fame?
Was Tony Moran the only one who wore the mask during filming?
No. Tony only wore the mask during the final moments of the film, when the face of Michael Myers was revealed. To be exact, he wore the mask from the point where Michael Myers begins to choke Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) up until the point where he (Myers) gets shot five times by Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) in the bedroom.
In all, at least five different people are believed to have worn the Michael Myers mask during the filming of the movie. They include Tony Moran, Nick Castle (biography below), production designer Tommy Lee Wallace (portrayed Myers in the closet scene), stuntman James "Jim" Winburn (portrayed M.M. when he fell out of the window at the end), and a dog trainer who
played Myers when he killed the Wallace's family dog, Lester.
How did Tony Moran land the role of Michael Myers in the movie Halloween?
In an interview, Moran said the following, "I was starting to act when I was about nineteen-years-old. I actually started when I was about nine, but I quit after one commercial because I hated it. So I got back into acting when I was nineteen or twenty-years-old and I had an agent who was my little sister's agent. (His little sister is Erin Moran, who played Joanie on "Happy Days") She had called me up for an interview
and actually apologized. She said, "Well the only thing I got right now is this B horror flick interview for you and you would play a psycho". That was all I knew. I didn't know about a mask or anything like that."
Serious about getting into character for the audition, Tony didn't sleep, shower, or shave for three days. He wore dirty clothes and hiking boots to meet with producer Irwin Yablans and director John Carpenter.
At the beginning of the meeting, he shook their hands and then sat down and lifted his legs in the air, slamming his steel-toed hiking boots onto the desk exclaiming, "Where's the coffee?!!" The producer and director both jumped, and by that afternoon they called Tony back to tell him that he got the job.
How many takes did director John Carpenter do of Jamie Lee Curtis pulling the mask off Tony's face?
In interviews, Tony Moran has said that they did four or five takes for this scene. To make the removal of the mask less painful, Tony put Vaseline in his hair at someone else's suggestion. "The only problem with that was after I was done filming, I had to get the Vaseline out," Tony recalls, "so I used apple cider vinegar or whatever it was. It stunk like crazy."
How many different Michael Myers masks were used on the film and where are they today?
Photographic evidence from the Halloween movie set proves that at least two different masks existed, but Tony Moran believes that their may have been a third. Multiple masks were needed to fit the different head sizes of the various people playing Michael Myers in different scenes. No one seems to know where the masks are today. When asked if he had one, Moran replied by saying, "People don't understand that back then
that movie was really low budget ($300,000) and it was really low budget for a reason, so they weren't giving away anything. I wish I could have had one, but at the time I thought it was just some horror flick that would be out for a month and that would be that."
Was the Michael Myers mask really made from a William Shatner 'Captain Kirk' Mask?
Yes. The mask that we see in the film is actually a William Shatner 'Captain Kirk' mask that was painted white by the filmmakers. The eyeholes were also cut wider and the hair was redone. Tony Moran admitted that he wasn't even aware of this piece of film trivia until years later,
after watching a horror movies special on the A&E network. An original version of the Shatner mask is pictured on the left.
What did Tony wear on his eye that made it look deformed when his face was revealed in the film?
Even though many people believe that Michael Myers' face was deformed by his left eye, it was really supposed to have represented the injury that he had sustained when Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) stabbed him in the eye with the close hanger. In an interview, Moran agreed that it looked more like a deformity than a recent injury, since the wound appeared to be healed. In reality, it was just a prosthetic that had been stretched to give
the area around his eye a droopy-like appearance.
What happened to Tony Moran after starring in Halloween with Jamie Lee Curtis?
Moran soon quit acting and disappeared from the Hollywood radar. He claims that he wasn't a fan of that kind of attention, nor did he enjoy the Hollywood grind of rehearsals, auditions and callbacks that struggling actors often have to endure. Over the years, he moved around a lot, eventually ending up in Los Angeles. He is married with several young children.
He doesn't make it a habit of telling his friends or co-workers about his notable alter-ego.
Yet, his shyness eludes him enough to appear at horror events where he meets fans and signs DVDs, fan-made artwork, action-figure boxes, masks, and other Michael Myers related items.
Nick Castle Biography (man under the mask):
Nick Castle never auditioned for the part of Michael Myers. His initial intentions were to hang out on the set of the horror movie with his friend and Halloween director John Carpenter. The two had attended film school together at the University of Southern California. With a little coaxing, John Carpenter influenced Nick Castle to wear the mask of Michael Myers. After all, how many people would ever see the film, given it had a minimal budget of only $300,000 and a star by the name of Jamie Lee Curtis, who was
not a well known actress at the time. Jamie's most recognizable role had been playing Lt. Barbara Duran on the mildly popular television series "Operation Petticoat," which premiered only a year earlier in 1977.
Since its release, Halloween has grossed more than $75 million at the box office and has spawned numerous sequels, which continue to be made today. And even though Nick Castle's notoriety from the film has been overshadowed by Tony Moran's (see above), Nick's performance behind the mask of Michael Myers
is considered by many to be one of the finest (and most frightening) performances in horror movie history. The terror that his hidden face was never able to convey; he relayed it brilliantly through his body language.
How much did Nick Castle get paid for starring in Halloween?
The Internet Movie Database states that Nick was paid $25 a day for his work on the 1978 horror film, which went on to earn over $75 million at the box office.
What did Nick Castle do after his role in the movie Halloween?
After performing under the mask of Michael Myers in his friend John Carpenter's film, Nick Castle fulfilled his dream of working in Hollywood by becoming a successful movie director and screenwriter. Some of Nick's directorial efforts
include The Last Starfighter (1984), The Boy Who Could Fly (1986), Dennis the Menace (1993), and Major Payne (1995). He also co-wrote Escape from New York (1981) and Escape from L.A. (1996) with John Carpenter, who directed both films.
Michael Myers (the child)
The six-year-old Michael Myers, who we see at the beginning of the film in the clown costume holding a knife, was portrayed by Will Sandin. We could not find much information about the actor. It appears that this was the only movie that Will Sandin ever starred in. He would be thirty-something today and it would be interesting to hear him reflect on the role. If anyone has any info on Will, please pass it along. Pictured below is a screenshot from the film featuring a young Michael Myers (Will Sandin)
after he has murdered his sister Judith Myers (Sandy Johnson) on Halloween night.
Listen to the Halloween Movie Theme
Crank up your speakers and enjoy the Halloween movie theme in MIDI format. The heart pounding beat is recognizable by horror movie fans the world over.
LISTEN - Halloween Movie Theme (midi)
the Halloween Movie Trailer: