Ted White, Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter's Jason Voorhees, Dies At 96

Stuntman and actor Ted White, who played Jason Voorhees in "Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter" among other roles, has died at the age of 96. Convention owner Sean Clark confirmed the news on Facebook (via Bloody Disgusting), writing that White "passed away peacefully in his sleep at his home."

White's personal website notes that he was born on January 25, 1926, "in a small town in Texas." At the age of 17, he went into the U.S. Marine Corps, which saw him stationed in the Pacific on Iwo Jima during World War II. He attended the University of Oklahoma on a football scholarship and was also a Golden Gloves boxer before moving to California, where he assembled an impressive list of stunt credits, including "Creature from the Black Lagoon," "Giant," "Rio Bravo," "Planet of the Apes," the 1976 "King Kong," "Escape from New York," "Road House," and the 2000 "Gone in 60 Seconds" remake.

The face behind the mask

White earned his place in horror movie history when he played the man behind the hockey mask in "Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter." On the convention circuit, he later made appearances with other actors who had embodied the role of the slasher villain Jason Voorhees.

As an actor, White also showed his face, sometimes with uncredited appearances, in movies and TV shows such as "The Andy Griffith Show," the original "Mission: Impossible" series, "Kojak: The Night Stalker," "Kung Fu," "The Rockford Files," "History of the World: Part I," "TRON," "Romancing the Stone," "Starman," and "Silverado." One of his final TV appearances came in a season 6 episode of "The X-Files" in 1998, where he cameoed in the first half of the body-swap two-parter, "Dreamland," playing the grizzled station attendant at Atomic Gas in the desert near Area 51. His scenes would see him experiencing an earthquake and interacting with Fox Mulder (David Duchovny), saying sarcastically, "Wow, maybe I'll just close early," after receiving an 11-cent tip.

In an open letter on his website, White wrote of his travels across Germany, India, Paris, London, New Guinea, and Africa, and the many Hollywood legends he had worked with in his career, like John Wayne, Clark Gable, Rock Hudson, Howard Hawks, John Ford, and David Lean. He included these thoughts:

"Nothing could ever take the place of my family, my two boys and the love I have for them. Yes, I've done many things that most people will never do: I rode with the Jessie James gang. We robbed trains, stagecoaches — just about everything. Oh yeah, I went to the moon as well. I was with Robin Hood in the Sherwood Forest. Boy, what a great time we had."