Published Jan 10, 2016Angus Scrimm, most famous for terrorizing ice cream men and funeral home guests as Phantasm villain "the Tall Man," has died. The American actor passed away last night (January 9) at the age of 89.
Director Don Coscarelli, who cast Scrimm as the iconic Tall Man in 1979's Phantasm, confirmed the actor's passing over Facebook, calling his friend and collaborator "a terrific actor" that made a major impact on the world of horror movies.
"Angus Scrimm passed away peacefully tonight surrounded by his friends and loved ones," Coscarelli wrote. "He was 89 years old. His performance as the Tall Man is a towering achievement in horror film history. He was the last in a long line of classic horror movie stars. Angus was a terrific actor and an even better friend. He will be missed."
Born Lawrence Rory Guy in Kansas City, KS, in 1926, Scrimm would study theatre at USC. Offstage, he began a career as a journalist, writing for TV Guide and the Los Angeles Examiner. He would also write Capitol Records, penning liner notes for Frank Sinatra and the Beatles, and won a Grammy for his work on 1974's Korngold: The Classic Erich Wolfgang Korngold.
By the early '70s, he was starring in horror films like Sweet Kill and Scream Bloody Murder, and first hooked up with Coscarelli for 1976's Jim the World's Greatest. The director would later tap the six-foot-four Scrimm for what would be his most beloved and feared role, as Phantasm's inter-dimensional, silver death sphere-controlling baddie, the Tall Man.
Scrimm would return for four sequels, including the forthcoming Phantasm V: Ravager. You can see a selection of that character's scares from the film series via a fan-made compilation down below.