The Life of Angus Scrimm

angus obit

As a child, one of the more striking things about an initial visit to a funeral home might be seeing a mortician or undertaker for the very first time. Often, these take the shape of white-haired, older gentlemen who maintain a somber but otherwise expressionless demeanor throughout the funeral proceedings. Their age and seeming lack of emotion coupled with the fact that they watch over dead people can be unnerving things for a youngster to consider. What if a certain child were confronted with the fact that a very imposing mortician he knows of is in possession of super-human abilities and has a penchant for both killing people and turning the dead into miniature zombies? That’s what occurs in the 1979 film entitled, Phantasm. In that production the part of the mortician, otherwise known as the Tall Man, is expertly played by Angus Scrimm, who passed away on January 9 at the age of 89.

Scrimm, whose real name was Lawrence Rory Guy, came into this world on August 19, 1926. During the early days of his working career, he functioned as a journalist, writing and editing for TV Guide, Cinema Magazine and various other publications. He also wrote sleeve notes for Capital Records. His work appeared inside albums recorded by The Beatles, Frank Sinatra and other notable performers. Still, Lawrence Rory Guy’s primary interest resided in the pursuit of an acting career.

He got his break in the early 70s when he appeared in the films Sweet Kill and Scream Bloody Murder, both of which were released in 1973. His role as an alcoholic, abusive father in the film Jim The World’s Greatest however, is the part that opened the door to his future success. His involvement with this production brought him into contact with producer, director and screen writer Don Coscareli, who went on to create, produce and direct Phantasm a couple of years later.

Once Lawrence Rory Guy had been given the role of the Tall Man in Phantasm, he invented the stage name that his fans came to know him by; Angus Scrimm. The actor had a natural height of 6 feet 4 inches, which made him an imposing figure in real life, but when the production crew dressed him in platform shoes and clothing, his new persona became a frightening figure indeed.

Although Scrimm appeared in some 24 films, many of them unrelated to Phantasm, it was his superb acting in the roll of the undead Tall Man in the Phantasm series that made him a true horror icon. The sequels, Phantasm ll Phantasm lll and Phantasm IV, were released between 1988 and 1998.

Other notable productions he appeared in include The Lost Empire, Transylvania Twist, and the 2008 production, I Sell the Dead. It is note worthy that Scrimm played the Tall Man in all of the Phantasm sequels as well as in Transylvania Twist. For his many contributions to the world of horror, Angus Scrimm was inducted into the Fangoria Hall of Fame in 1994.

But fear not, horror fans, for although this last of the classic horror icons departed this world just days ago, he’s not done with us just yet. A fifth sequel, Phantasm V: Ravager is scheduled for release this year. Once again, this master of horror will thrill us as he takes on the role of that undead mortician known as the Tall Man.

In closing then, this writer asks the question, what else can be said of an actor who has left us with such an amazing legacy? How about this? “You played a good game, BOY!” #099, Writers Workshop Winner, A.D. Vick

Horror Addicts Episode# 099

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich

Intro Music by: Cancer Killing Gemini


180 days till Halloween!

writers workshop winner: a.d. vick, desillusion, dracula 2000, the twilight zone

zombieland, t-bone burnnett, fashion, goth sunscreen, black eyeliner, dracula cookbook, poppy seed flat bread, end of the world radio, desillusion, 809 jacob street, marty young, suffer the children, craig dilouie suffer, the darkest touch, joeseph sale, still water, justin macumber, evil dead musical, zombie musical?, ed pope, the heard, movie making, melanie light, victoria broom, jon campling, charlotte hunter, master of macabre challenge, writing contest, dracula 2000, gerard butler, the twilight zone, dunsmuir house, phantasm, tall man, flash fiction friday, james hoch, events, the evil of frankenstein, universal, poltergeist, dead mail, horror manga, rozen maiden, murder princess, black butler, black bird, artistic license, emerian rich, switched at birth, dawn of the deaf, a.d. vick

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Upcoming events

May 19th / Hudson Horror Show / Poughkeepsie, NY / Horror film convention includes showings of The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires, Friday The 13th, Day of the Dead and Phantasm and a secret fifth movie. For more information go to:

June 9th / MYTH Masque / Los Angeles, Ca. / High fashion meets high fantasy in a night of music, artistry and inspiration. this is a masquerade ball and artist’s bazaar with music by Angels Of Venice, Prince Poppycock, Esza Kaye and an appearance by Jeffrey Damnit for more information go to

June 8th-10th / Midwest Haunter’s Convention / Columbus, Ohio / This convention is for home haunters, haunt enthusiasts, haunt actors and haunted house owners. Included are makeup seminars, acting workshops, haunt tours, a costume contest, scaryoke and a paranormal bus tour. For more information go to:

June 15th-17th / Contamination / St. Louis, Mo. / This horror, sci-fi and pop culture convention includes a film festival, an artist’s gallery, A Munster’s reunion, a film maker’s seminar, live music and appearances by John Wesley Shipp, Ken Foree, and Michael Berryman. For more information go to:

June 22nd-24th / Monster Bash / Butler, Pennsylvania/ This is a horror convention for people who love classic horror movies. The theme is prehistoric monsters, movies being shown include Gorgo, The Witch’s Dungeon, The Creature Of The Black Lagoon and many more. There will also be an Eegah reunion and Saturday morning cartoons complete with cereal and a Q and A with UFO expert Stan Gordon. For more information go to: