While originally uncredited for his role in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, White’s performance as the hockey mask-wearing, machete-wielding horror icon is the definitive performance of Jason for most horror fans and fans of the Friday the 13th franchise. Besides Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, White did stunt work for actors like John Wayne and Clark Gable, and for films such as Creature from the Black Lagoon, Escape from New York, Giant, and Gone in 60 Seconds, as well as King Kong, Planet of the Apes, Rio Bravo, Road House, and The Manitou. As an actor, he was in Romancing the Stone, Starman, The Hidden, TRON, and the hit 90s television series The X-Files.
Those who worked with and were close to White shared touching tributes about him on social media. Tom Savini, makeup and special effects artist who worked with White on Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, wrote that White was “tough as nails with a heart of gold. Pure class. He will be missed,” paired with a picture of them on the set of Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (also called Friday the 13th: Part IV).
Sean Clark, Convention All Stars owner, wrote a touching tribute on Facebook to the man he called his “adopted grandpa.” In it, he wrote, “As I’m here setting up at Monsterpalooza I just got hit with the news that my dear friend Ted White has passed away. I was told he passed away peacefully in his sleep at his home. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing him and working with him for close to 20 years. He was my adopted grandpa and hands down the best storyteller you could have ever met.”
Kane Hodder, a fellow Jason Voorhees who donned the mantle in the movies Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, and Jason X, said he was sad to lose his “stunt brother” who was “a true film legend.”
We send our condolences to White’s family and friends during this difficult time. You can check out Savini, Clark, and Hodder’s posts down below along with White’s iconic performance as Jason Voorhees in the original trailer for Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter.