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Who Played Michael Myers In The Original Halloween?

More than four decades after the franchise began, Haddonfield, Illinois, is about to be terrorized on the big screen once again with "Halloween Kills," the follow-up to the 2018 direct sequel to director John Carpenter's original horror classic "Halloween" in 1978. Playing babysitter-in-peril Laurie Strode in the original — only to become a scarred survivalist in "Halloween" 40 years later — Jamie Lee Curtis is back in her iconic role for "Halloween Kills." Curtis is not alone, though. Some of the characters who survived the carnage in the 1978 film return as well, as does one the actors who played the murderous Michael Myers.

With the exception of a few very brief reveals (and apart from his appearances as a boy at the beginning of the original "Halloween" and again as an adult at the end of the film), Myers' face has been concealed by a mask throughout the entire franchise. Not including director Rob Zombie's 2007 reboot of the franchise and its sequel, the masked identity of Myers has allowed several actors to play him in the seven sequels to Carpenter's original film over the years (Myers wasn't part of the plot of "Halloween III: Season of the Witch"). But which performer can lay claim to originally playing the infamous cinematic slasher?

Who is the real Michael Myers? The answer is complicated

Since "Halloween" first chronicles Michael Myers as a young boy, the first actor to technically play the character is Will Sandin — in his first and only appearance in a feature film. As for which actor assumes the identity of Myers thereafter, that is an issue up for debate.

Only two actors are billed as "Michael Myers" in "Halloween" — Sandin as the character as a boy, and Tony Moran (above) as an adult. That's when Myers — who has been under the psychiatric care of Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasance) at Smith's Grove Sanitarium since stabbing his sister to death more than a decade and a half earlier — escapes from the facility and returns home to Haddonfield to begin his murderous rampage. During a violent struggle in the film's third act, Laurie pulls off Myers' mask, and Moran is the actor who appears underneath it.

Complicating matters, though, is that another actor — Nick Castle — is billed as "The Shape" in the end credits of "Halloween." The Shape, as Carpenter describes the character in the documentary "Halloween Unmasked," has an intentionally obscured identity in order to make him more believable as "some sort of force of evil that is irrational, unstoppable." 

Castle reprised his role as The Shape for the 2018 version of Halloween and is billed as the character again for "Halloween Kills." But since the franchise apparently has a habit for casting more than one actor to play the villain, James Jude Courtney also played The Shape in the 2018 film and the role in sequel.

Michael Myers unmasked

One actor perhaps more associated with Michael Myers than the actors who actually played the character is "Star Trek" icon William Shatner. Legend had it that it was a Captain Kirk mask fashioned after Shatner's mug that Myers wore as he went on his murderous rampage in "Halloween" — and the story was confirmed by "Halloween" co-writer and producer Debra Hill in the documentary "Halloween Unmasked."

In the same doc, "Halloween" production designer and Tommy Lee Wallace further revealed the mystery behind the mask, claiming he actually purchased two masks to try out: the Kirk mask and another of the famous clown character created by Emmett Kelly. Shatner's likeness freaked out the crew way more than Kelly's, and so, it's Captain Kirk's gruesomely altered visage that lives on in "Halloween Kills." However, who will be under the Myers' mask when all is said and done in "Halloween Kills" remains a mystery. After all, Laurie's unmasking of Myers is teased in the final trailer for the film, but will it reveal Castle or Courtney or, perhaps in a surprise move, Moran or Sandin?

Fans will find out for sure when "Halloween Kills" opens in theaters and begins streaming exclusively on Peacock October 15.