15 July 2024

Donald ("The evil is here!") Pleasence has a rather deserved reputation for being somewhat over-the-top. Certainly he's unafraid to let all hell break loose in the goal of serving up the most colorful performance possible.

Nevertheless, that kind of distinction is probably not the way an actor (who had a career long before he began his obsessive pursuit of Michael Myers) would like to have been remembered for.

Pleasence was born in Nottinghamshire, England in 1919 and made his stage debut in London in 1939.

The Beachcomber (1954) was his first film and by the 1960s, he had settled into playing a variety of colorful characters, most notably the much-parodied James Bond villain, Blofeld.

Well before Halloween, he appeared in The Flesh and the Fiends (1959), the ghoulish Circus of Horrors (1960), Eye of the Devil (1966), Tales That Witness Madness and From Beyond the Grave (both 1973), and The Devil Within Her (1975).

Then came the Carpenter classic and a career resurrection. The success of Halloween led to the actor appearing almost exclusively in horror films. He would play Dr. Sam Loomis in no less than four of the sequels.

And there were many other chances for Pleasence to show off his distinct style - Alone In the Dark (1982), The Devonsville Terror (1983) and Prince of Darkness (1987), among them.

Like his fellow thespian John Saxon, Pleasence could be found in the occasional Italian production, appearing in Dario Argento's Phenomena (1984) and 1985's fashion world giallo Nothing Underneath.

Yes, he could be manic...but Donald Pleasence was never less than entertaining. He died in 1995.

Alone in the Dark 1982
The Devil Within Her 1975
The Devonsville Terror 1983
Halloween 1978
Halloween II 1981
The Monster Club 1980
Nothing Underneath (Sotto il vestito niente) 1985
Phenomena 1984
Raw Meat 1972
Tales that Witness Madness 1973
The Uncanny 1977
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