Actor Ted White passed away on Friday at the age of 96, reports Bloody Disgusting. In horror circles, White is best known for playing slasher icon Jason Voorhees in 1984’s Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter.
The news came from film producer Sean Clark, who was informed that White passed peacefully in his sleep. “I’ve had the pleasure of knowing him and working with him for close to 20 years. He was my adopted grandpa and hands down the best storyteller you could have ever met,” wrote Clark. “I am going to miss you immensely and those steak dinners we always had. […] My heart goes out to his wife Jeri and his sons. It was an absolute honor my friend. Rest easy. Love you Ted.”
Born in Snyder, Texas on January 25, 1926, Ted White originally played football at the University of Oklahoma before pursuing a career in acting. His first film would be 1949’s The Sands of Iwo Jima, where he played a random marine and served as consultant on the layout of the titular island due to his service in the military. It was that film where he met John Wayne, and he would become a stunt double for the actor beginning in 1952. His resume as a stuntman includes films such as 1968’s Planet of the Apes and 1973’s Soylent Green, along with 1981’s Escape from New York and 2000’s Gone in 60 Seconds.
White’s onscreen roles consisted mainly of bit parts in movies like Tron or Romancing the Stone, and many of these were uncredited. When he signed on to play Jason, he admitted it was because he needed the money at the time. When asked to reprise the role for A New Beginning and Jason Lives, White turned them down. He wouldn’t return to the Friday the 13th franchise, though he was featured in two documentaries about the series that respectively released in 2009 and 2013. In 2017, writer Larry K. Meredith published Cast a Giant Shadow, a biography of about White’s career.
Our thoughts go out to the White family at this time.
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