Actor Steve Dash, who played the adult Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th Part 2, has passed away at the age of 74 due to complications from diabetes. The actor also starred in Alone in the Dark, 13 Tzameti, and Mr. Hush.
While audiences never saw Dash's face in the Friday the 13th sequel, the film marks the first time that we actually saw Jason Voorhees as a killer in the franchise, forging a new path for the series' future.
The original film depicted a group of coeds attempting to revive a closed summer camp, only to be picked off one at a time by an unknown killer. We ultimately learned that it was Mrs. Voorhees, the mother of a boy who drowned in the lake, who was killing the potential counselors so that no future campers could die due to negligence on their part.
Mrs. Voorhees was killed in the film's finale, with the sequel depicting an adult Jason stalking the woods with a burlap bag as a mask, likely to keep his facial disfigurements a secret from anyone he encountered. It wouldn't be until the third film that Jason earned his iconic hockey mask, establishing the visage of the character indefinitely.
Friday the 13th is one of the most recognizable brands in the world of horror, though it's been nearly a decade since we've seen a new entry in the series. One reason for the series' stagnation comes down to a legal battle between the first film's writer and its director, focusing specifically on Jason himself.
Director Sean Cunningham secured rights to the original film's title and hired screenwriter Victor Miller to flesh out the slasher in the late '70s. The 1980 film became a massive success, with Cunningham retaining the rights to the title. The specifics of the legal battle centers around the notion of the mask-wearing Voorhees not being created by Miller, which could see future films having to either avoid referencing the "Friday the 13th" title or possibly being devoid of Voorhees and his famous hockey mask.
In October, a judge granted Miller ownership over the original script, with Cunningham ultimately filing an appeal to the decision, leaving fans wondering how the issue will ultimately be settled. New installments in the series began to come together as recently as last year, only for the legal hangups to cause the indefinite hiatus with the series.
Stay tuned for details on the future of Friday the 13th and Jason Voorhees.
[H/T Bloody Disgusting]