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October 23, 2009

'Halloween' villain Michael Myers unmasked at Salem gallery

SALEM — "Halloween" is usually ranked as one of the scariest horror films of all time. Spawning seven sequels and grossing more than $50 million following its release in 1978, it has also been one of the most successful.

Tony Moran, the actor who played escaped mental patient Michael Myers in the film, was at Count Orlok's Nightmare Gallery, 285 Derby St., yesterday, and will be there today, tomorrow and next Friday from noon to 4 p.m. to sign autographs for fans.

In the film, Michael Myers never speaks. He stalks and kills his victims while wearing an eerily blank mask. Moran shared the role with actor Nick Castle, who did most of the stalking and stabbing. But Moran plays the villain in the film's climactic scene, when Michael Myers is momentarily unmasked.

He spoke to The Salem News yesterday.

How did you get the part of Michael Myers?

I had the same agent as my little sister, Erin, who played Joanie in the TV show "Happy Days." She said, "It's slow, but there's this low-budget, B film ..."

What were you doing at the time?

I had done a few things. I was sleeping on a couch at my buddy's place, typical actor.

Did you know any of the other actors?

My agent said "Jamie Lee Curtis will be in it," and I was like, who's she? But Donald Pleasance ... I was a big fan of his, I had seen him in "The Great Escape" and thought he was fabulous.

Did you audition?

I met (director John) Carpenter and (producer Irwin) Yablans in a tiny little office above some retail place off an alley. We just talked. My agent called that afternoon and said, "You've got the part."

This was before independent films were serious business?

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