The Tall Man from the film Phantasm has passed on at the age of 89.
Entertainment Weekly reported the news of Scrimm’s passing. “Angus Scrimm passed away peacefully tonight surrounded by his friends and loved one,” director Don Coscarelli wrote in an e-mail to EW. “[His] performance as the Tall Man is a towering achievement in horror film history. He was the last in a long line of classic horror movie stars. He was a terrific actor and an even better friend. He will be missed.”
Born Lawrence Rory Guy, he pursued acting for most of his life (he portrayed Abraham Lincoln in an Encyclopedia Brittanica short that appears on Shout! Factory’s PHANTASM II Blu-ray), but found steadier employment for many years as a journalist and author of liner notes for Capitol Records, winning a Grammy for the latter. He appeared in the early-’70s fright films SWEET KILL and SCREAM BLOODY MURDER, but the seeds of his greatest success were sown when he took the role of an abusive father in the 1976 drama JIM THE WORLD’S GREATEST. That movie marked the directorial debut of Coscarelli, whom he referred to, upon his induction into the FANGORIA Hall of Fame at our 1994 Chainsaw Awards ceremony, as “a magician of filmmaking, a man without whom there would be no PHANTASM, no Tall Man, and no ‘Angus Scrimm,’ ” the name he adopted for the 1979 hit.
Sure, they were cheesy movies, but tell me you weren't horrified the first time you saw one of those flying steel balls in Phantasm impale a man's head and drill into his brain?
So long, "Angus." Thanks for all the frights!