Friday the 13th is a benchmark of horror, with the slasher franchise spawning 12 films, a TV series, and shelves of collectibles. Starting in 1980, it should be no surprise that many familiar faces spent some time at Camp Crystal Lake. After all, Jason Voorhees doesn’t need big stars to get a box office bank, so it’s a great way for actors to get their start in films. So lock your doors, turn on all of the lights, and tell your mother you love her as we take a look at some of the biggest stars that got their big-screen start in the esteemed horror series.
5. Crispin Glover, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter
That’s right, Back to the Future‘s own George McFly, Crispin Glover, appeared in the 4th installment of the franchise. Erroneously subtitled “The Final Chapter” (there would be many more sequels), Glover plays the lovelorn Jimmy. The future star of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, and Charlie’s Angels is gloriously weird and awkward in the role. He endeared himself to fans by showing off some truly bizarre dance moves before Jason shoves a corkscrew through his hand (and a cleaver to his face!).
4. Kelly Rowland, Freddy vs. Jason
Kelly Rowland established herself as a top music artist as part of Destiny’s Child. She later cut her teeth acting on the small screen with appearances in The Hughleys and American Dreams. However, her big-screen debut was in the 2003 monster mash, Freddy vs. Jason. As the confident Kia, Rowland actually manages to keep the nightmare inhabiting Freddy Krueger at bay with biting speech exposing ol’ Fred’s insecurities. However, sticks and stones don’t really bother Jason Vorhees. The Friday the 13th killing machine stomps out of nowhere and slices Kia, sending her flying several feet before slamming into a tree. Ouch.
3. Corey Feldman, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter
Before Corey Feldman became a household name in films like Gremlins and The Goonies, he appeared in 1984’s Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. Feldman originated the part of Tommy Jarvis, a character that would make multiple appearances across the series. As Tommy, Feldman plays the ultimate monster kid. At several points in the film, he shows off his homemade monster masks (actually designed by special effects wizard Tom Savini). Tommy even uses his makeup effects skills to defeat Jason at the end of the film. He donned make-up to look like the younger Jason and confused the murderous behemoth (before attacking Voorhees with his own machete!). Feldman is a rare actor who survived his encounter with Jason. He returned for a cameo in the next installment, Friday the 13th: A New Beginning.
2. Jared Padalecki, The 2009 Reboot
Before Jared Padalecki took the reigns from Chuck Norris to play Cordell Walker, he was in an altogether different kind of reboot. Padalecki already had some impressive horror chops before making his way to Camp Crystal Lake. He had popped up in fright flicks such as 2005’s Cry Wolf and House of Wax as well as starring in the long-running CW series Supernatural. However, he took top billing in 2009’s Friday the 13th. Padalecki gets to play the full-on hero role of Clay Miller. By the end of the film, Padalecki’s character not only seems to survive but is seen dumping Jason’s lifeless(?) body into Crystal Lake. However, a surprise ending sees Jason rise from the depths for another attack. There was never a sequel to this remake, so it’s up to the viewer to decide if Clay survived.
1. Kevin Bacon, Friday the 13th (1980)
Yes, before he was a headliner in films like Footloose and had his very own parlor game named after him, Kevin Bacon was a hapless victim in the original 1980 Friday the 13th. Bacon played Jack, one of the young recruits helping renovate Camp Crystal Lake. His unfortunate demise, orchestrated by Pamela Voorhees, established the recurring theme that sexual encounters often lead to death in the franchise. Jack met his fate after being intimate with his girlfriend, Marcie. He gets an arrow pierced in his throat (in a grisly effect by Tom Savini). A tease of the scene (minus the payoff) is below.
- Henry Kissinger, Former Secretary of State for Presidents Nixon and Ford, Dead at 100
- Kelly Clarkson is the Ultimate Cher Fan in Heartwarming Rockefeller Tree Lighting Video
- Scott Kempner, Guitarist and Songwriter for ‘The Dictators,’ Dead at 69
- ‘Full House’ Star Jodie Sweetin Reveals How to Avoid the Child Actor Curse
- Dennis Quaid, Julianne Moore Reunite 21 Years After ‘Far From Heaven’: See the Sweet Snap