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Where in the Horror are they Now? George P. Wilbur aka "Michael Myers"

10.24.2014by: JimmyO

GEORGE P. WILBUR aka “MICHAEL MYERS”

THEN: With HALLOWEEN only one week away, we at Arrow in the Head decided to look back at another unsung hero in the world of Michael Myers. And by that, we mean one of only men that have played Michael Myers twice. And while I appreciated what Tyler Mane brought to the killing floor as the masked psycho, the focus here will be on the great George P. Wilbur. Looking back at the one time Myers, it is clear that this fine gentleman has done very well for himself outside of Haddonfield. According to his IMDB page, the actor/stuntman has 117 stunt credits plus 43 acting credits.

As much as I’d love to start off with Halloween, Wilbur began his career way back in the mid to late Sixties. His resume includes a number of small roles but much of it seems stunt related. One such entry is a pretty phenomenal credit, and that is the classic PLANET OF THE APES back in 1968. Later on he worked on CONQUEST OF THE PLANET OF THE APES in 1972 and BLACULA that same year. In fact, 1972 also put him to work in one of the coolest disaster flicks of all time. With THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE, he started working regularly in other flicks of that nature including THE TOWERING INFERNO in 1974, THE HINDENBURG in 1975 and GRIZZLY in 1976. He even returned for BEYOND THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE in 1979.

The stuntman continued to work steadily and that includes John Carpenter’s classic ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK in 1981. This is not to say that his very successful stunt career was only in genre, but let’s face it, when you are doing that kind of work in films like POLTERGEIST and STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KAHN (both in 1982), you are sure to draw some attention to horror and sci-fi filmmakers. In 1984, he worked on both FIRESTARTER and GHOSTBUSTERS and the following year, RE-ANIMATOR. Later he returned to those pesky supernatural entities on POLTERGEIST II: THE OTHER SIDE in 1986. It is also worth mentioning a little movie called DIE HARD that he worked on in 1988. This fine gentleman’s career is damn impressive.

Now while I’ve skipped over much of his acting work, and even quite a bit of stunt work, it was with his take on the legendary Michael Myers in HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS that made him a perfect choice for this year’s Halloween edition of “Where in the Horror.” Come on, the dude played the titular role! Looking back at the franchise, I’ve always respected this movie for returning the series to what it started off with – that, and my good friend Erik Preston appeared as ‘Young Michael Myers.’ Thankfully, Wilbur was able to convey the terrifying menace of Myers as he staked the lovely Ellie Cornell and little ‘Jamie Lloyd’ played by Danielle Harris. If you are going to bring this legendary horror icon to life, at least they did so with a stunt performer that was able to make Myers terrifying once again.

While Wilbur took time off from killing duty for the next installment of HALLOWEEN, he did continue to work as a stunt performer in HALLOWEEN 5 (1989), but this time however Don Shanks took on the Myers persona. And that same year he worked on A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 5: THE DREAM CHILD and he continued to consistently work in a number of other films in need of a great stunt man. In 1990 he took on TOTAL RECALL and the horror comedy REPOSSESSED. And that following year, he found himself involved in the Academy Award winning THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. Yet we weren’t about to see the last of his take on Michael Myers.

After a number of films including DR. GIGGLES in 1992 and even CASINO in 1995, he once again brandished a butcher knife and the mask for HALLOWEEN: THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS that same year. This is one strange flick that has grown on my slightly throughout the years. And yes, like many of you I am partial to the Producer’s Cut of the film – finally available on Blu-Ray and you can order here. Yet you have to give Wilbur credit, he is easily one of my favorite of the team of actors behind Michael. I enjoyed seeing this incredible stunt performer take on an iconic role such as Myers, so it’s a shame we don’t see more of him here as I’m sure he could have pulled off more seriously scary on-screen moments.

NOW: You can’t keep a good stunt man down. After a 40 year career, the man is still working. He was a stunt coordinator for THE AGGRESSION SCALE in 2012 and CHEAP THRILLS in 2013. And while it’s been a long time since Michael Myers, it is great to see this legendary fellow back in front of the camera – even if it is only briefly – in AMERICAN MUSCLE. And did I happen to mention that this uber-violent and fun flick was written by The Arrow himself, the great John Fallon, who also appears as ‘Tongues?’ Well, he did, and he is, and I highly recommend you pick up a copy! It's Halloween time and we can all be thankful that one of the guys that made Michael Myers such a badass is still kicking ass and taking names. Thank you Mr. Wilbur, we here at AITH salute you!

Extra Tidbit: Who is your favorite Michael Myers? And is it to early to say Happy Halloween?!?
Source: AITH

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