R.I.P. stuntman Ted White, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter’s Jason Voorhees

The Friday the 13th franchise is very important to me, so it always hits me hard when I hear that someone involved with the series has passed away… and last Friday night, the news broke that we have lost another Friday the 13th alumnus. Someone who played the hockey masked icon Jason Voorhees himself: stuntman Ted White. White had already been working in the entertainment industry as an actor and stuntman for thirty-five years by the time he was offered the chance to play Jason in 1984’s Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (watch it HERE). It’s not a job he was thrilled to do, he didn’t even want to be credited on the movie, but he accepted it because the pay was good. As years went by, White eventually realized that he had been involved in something special and started connecting with fans at conventions.

It has been reported that White passed away peacefully in his sleep at his home. He was 96 years old.

This is the third time we’ve lost one of the primary Jason performers, as White was preceded in death by Friday the 13th Part III‘s Richard Brooker and Friday the 13th Part 2‘s Steve Dash. Betsy Palmer, who played Jason’s vengeful mother in the original Friday the 13th, also passed away several years ago.

Born and raised in Texas, White (whose birth name was Alex Bayouth) joined the Marine Corps at the age of 17 and served in World War II. Resigning from the Marines after six years, he then attended the University of Oklahoma with a football scholarship and boxed in Golden Gloves and AAU. When his college days ended, he moved to California – where his World War II experience landed him a job on the 1949 film Sands of Iwo Jima, as his division had been sent to Iwo Jima and the filmmakers needed information on the layout of the island. White met the film’s star John Wayne while working on Sands of Iwo Jima, and he would go on to be Wayne’s double on multiple films.

During his decades in the industry, White did stunt work on films like Creature from the Black Lagoon, Giant, Rio Bravo, The Alamo, Point Blank, Planet of the Apes, Soylent Green, Dirty Mary Crazy Larry, Rollerball, King Kong ’76, The Manitou, 1941, Used Cars, Escape from New York, Cloak & Dagger, Short Circuit, Death Wish 4: The Crackdown, Major League, Road House, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold, Wild Wild West, Gone in 60 Seconds, 2 Fast 2 Furious, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, and many more. He played characters in several of the films he performed stunts on, and can be seen in the likes of TRON, Romancing the Stone, Against All Odds, Starman, Silverado, The Fall Guy, Wanted: Dead or Alive, The Hidden, The X-Files, and more.

White was 58 when he played Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. Despite his reluctance to play the character, his performance has made his version of Jason one of the most popular in the franchise. He was asked to return for both Friday the 13th: A New Beginning and Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI, but he turned down the offers.

Fans who met White on the convention circuit can tell you that he was a great guy and an awesome storyteller. It’s sad to know that we won’t have the chance to meet with him anymore, but his work will still be enjoyed for a long time to come. Our sincere condolences go out to his family, friends, and fans.

Ted White

Source: Facebook

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of JoBlo.com, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.