In the last four decades, at least sixteen people have portrayed the mysterious Michael Myers in the “Halloween” Franchise, including stuntmen, crew members, and actors.
For most, Michael Meyers is a nightmare etched in their memory in the form of a mysterious white or sometimes grey mask. However, the man behind the mask is as human as could be and has been played by numerous actors through decades.
Who Is Michael Myers?
Michael Myers is the fictional psychotic villain in the American slasher franchise “Halloween.” The villainous character first graced the TV screens in 1978 on writer and producer John Carpenter’s original release of the film in 1978.
Since then, about eleven sequels have been released, with the upcoming “Halloween Ends” sated for a 2022 release being the twelfth sequel.
Aside from “Halloween III: The Season Of The Witch,” which was a massive deviation from the franchise’s storyline, Michael has remained a constant in the slasher film for over four decades.
Yet, one could hardly pinpoint who exactly played Michael Meyers, as several actors have taken the credits since the film’s release.
However, the franchise seems to have made actor Tony Moran the official face of Michael Myers, as he portrayed the character the few times we see him unmasked.
Besides Moran, which other actors have donned the mask, and snagged the privilege of scaring viewers as the mystery boogeyman?
1. Nick Castle
Nick Castle starred as Michael Myers in the original 1978 film by John Carpenter, making him the first actor to don the iconic mask.
He is also one of the actors with the most appearance as the homicidal masked man, having returned to the franchise for one scene in the 2018 reboot of the series, “Halloween 2018,” and again in 2021s “Halloween Kills.”
Castle has also appeared in three other films. He has credits for writing “Escape From New York,” and directing “Mr. Wrong,” “Dennis The Menace,” and “Major Payne.” He has been married to Charlene Nelson since 1981 and they have a son, Louis Castle.
2. Tony Moran
Tony Moran gained stardom as the official face of Michael Myers following his unmasking at the end of 1978 “Halloween.” He was one of six people who donned the mask for John Carpenter’s original movie.
The other five were Nick Castle, Tommy Lee Wallace, James Winburn, Will Sandin, and one woman, Debra Hill who co-wrote the script. However, those three seconds where Laurie Strode briefly unmasked Michael to reveal Moran’s face made him the ultimate star of the show.
He retired from acting after that and made a career hosting weddings as Michael Meyers among other gigs. He returned to the big screen in 2008 with the short film, “Lucky Break,” and has landed a few other roles since then.
3. Will Sandin
Will Sandin appeared briefly as the 6-year-old Michael Meyers in John Carpenter’s “Halloween” released in 1978.
He was eight at the time and went on to do several commercials, as well as other gigs as a child actor. He has since grown into a 52-year-old man and resides in Los Angeles.
4. Dick Warlock
Actor and Stuntman Dick Warlock took on the villainous character in the film’s first sequel, “Halloween II.” While Moran and Castle appeared briefly in recycled footage, Warlock remained the star of the reboot.
He went on to play the “Android Assassin” in “Halloween III” which had no linkage to the series or its storyline.
Following his role on the “Halloween” franchise, Warlock maintained a regular job as a stuntman for Kurt Russell, retiring in 2002 after 25 years on the job.
5. George P. Wilbur
When “Halloween III” became a box office failure, the executives were forced to resurrect Michael Myers to keep the series afloat. Hence, they introduced “Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers” with George P. Wilbur as the leading antagonist.
Sharing the iconic role with Tom Morga and Erik Preston in the reboot, he played the majority of the parts, while his counterparts took a few scenes.
Notably, Preston played the young Michael in flashbacks while Morga donned the mask in the opening ambulance sequence, the diner with Dr. Loomis, and the gas station.
He spent the rest of his career working as a stuntman and was inducted into the Hollywood Stuntmen’s Hall of Fame.
6. Don Shanks
Don Shanks donned the Michael Meyers mask in the next release, “Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers.” He also doubled as the mysterious man in black who broke Michael out of the police station.
Following his stint on the series, he went on to star in a handful of other horror movies like “The Fisherman.” He also kept up with his job as a stuntman.
7. Michael Lerner
The next installment of the franchise was titled “Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers,” and saw Wilbur return as the villainous character for most of the film.
However, the test audience disapproved of the movie, forcing the producers to swing into action urgently and reshoot most scenes.
This time, they enlisted the service of Michael Lerner in Wilbur’s stead, to depict a less-bulky Michael Myers. Observant viewers would notice this change, which ended up seeming more like a continuity error.
8. Chris Durand
Michael Myers proved himself somewhat immortal after re-emerging alive in each reboot despite seemingly reaching his end in the movies preceding it.
Hence, it was expected the mysterious villain would have aged after so many years. When the franchise introduced another sequel, “Halloween H20: 20 Years Later,” the aging effect was depicted in the greying mask, looking worn out from age.
Behind the mask, actor Chris Durand remained as agile as ever, making Michael Meyers as threatening as his 21-year-old self.
He continued working as a stuntman following that role, with credits in “Westworld,” and the Marvel franchise.
9. Brad Loree
The 2002 sequel, “Halloween Resurrection” featured Brad Loree as “the shape.” Following his rendition of the masked character, he went on to snag a role in the “X-Men” series, “Tron: Legacy,” and “The Cabin In The Woods.”
10. Tyler Mane
Wrestler-turned-actor Tyler Mane assumed Michael Myer’s character for the 2007 sequel, “Rob Zombie’s Halloween.” He returned to the screen two years later, reprising his role as the murderous villain in the 2009 reboot of the horror flick, “Rob Zombie’s Halloween II.”
Notably, two other actors have starred alongside him as the movie’s antagonist, with Daeg Faerch playing a young Michael Myers in Rob Zombie’s first installment, while Wright Vanek portrayed a young Michael on Rob Zombie’s “Halloween II.”
Aside from playing Michael Myers, Mane has appeared in movies like the original “X-Men,” “Troy,” “Jupiter’s Legacy,” and a handful of horror flicks.
11. James Jude Courtney
To depict the first face-down between Laurie Strode and The shape forty years later, the franchise installed Castle in the 2018 sequel.
However, for the remainder of 2018s “Halloween,” James Jude Courtney did the honors of portraying Michael Meyers. He also made brief appearances in “Halloween Kills.”
The actor has since appeared in a handful of hit movies and television shows, including “Far and Away,” “When A Man Loves A Woman,” “Babylon 5,” and “Buffy The Vampire Slayer.”
12. Airon Armstrong
Stunt performer and actor Airon Armstrong got his moment as Michael Meyers in the 2021 installment of the franchise titled “Halloween Kills.”
He portrayed a younger version of Michael Meyers, while his predecessors, Castle and Courtney returned as the villain in their capacity.
Aside from his role in the Halloween franchise, Armstrong has guest-starred in various movies, while also making waves with his stunt performances.
Some of his shows include “Elementary,” “Gotham,” “Loki,” “Person Of Interest” and “Jessica Jones” among others. He also has credits in “The Dark Knight Rises,” and “Noah.”
With all these actors coming together through the years to bring the mysterious boogeyman to life, it’s hard to decide which actor played it best.
However, answering the question of “which Michael Myers is the scariest?” seems less evasive, as, in the end, the character’s fury and intensity are only depicted by the mask.
After all, he remains a faceless villain for most of the film and none of the subsequent representations beats the original’s remodeled Captain Kirk’s mask.