PLEASENCE FAN TRIBUTES


Donald Pleasence as Davies in the 1991 revival of THE CARETAKER



This section is a place for fans to formally pay tribute to Donald Pleasence. You can discuss how you became a Pleasence fan and/or what his work has meant to you. These personal tributes can be as long or as short as you want, but they must be well thought out...not silly gibberish. Leave statements like Pleasence is God! for the guestbook. I reserve the right to refuse any tributes that are submitted.

E-mail tributes (with the subject labeled as "tribute") and/or questions to pleasence@yahoo.com





FAN TRIBUTES SUBMITTED

 

DANIEL CARPENTER --- I have seen most of Mr. Pleasence's work. I work in a video store, so I obviously have a lot of free time on my hands and consider myself something of an expert when it comes to movies. You know, I've seen actors come and go, affecting our lives and touching our hearts with the characters they portray and the stories they tell, but never has there been such a man as Donald Pleasence. He seemed to have a presence on the screen that you could really feel, and you felt for the characters that he played. Probably the most distinct feeling I can remember was in Halloween 4. That terrible scream he let out in the end...seeing little Jamie in the clown costume with the scissors in her hand. It may seem unusual for me to remember out of all of his fantastic work, this particular scene in such in otherwise mediated film, but, it struck a chord in me that I will always remember. You could actually feel his pain in that one moment, like everything in your life you'd ever worked for was suddenly torn away from you, and in such a violent way too. I always loved his work, it's incredible to see him form characters so timid as in The Great Escape to such an authoritarian figure as Dr. Sam Loomis in the Halloween series. What I will always remember about Donald Pleasence is his smile, that great big smile that he seldom wore in his work, but when he did, you always felt it, as if he were smiling at you. The world has lost a great actor, one of the few that could master the link between himself and the audience. God Bless you Donald for what you were and what you are. Take a bow.

 

CATERINA --- Hi, my name is Caterina, (better known as Michael Myers Girl), and I'd like to say a short tribute to THE MAN...DONALD PLEASENCE. I was so sad to see him go, he was a BIG part of the Halloween movies. That's all I really got to see him in is the Halloween series. Even though I never met him, I know he was a good person, like he was Great actor!! We will miss him dearly, the Halloween movies won't be the same without him. But somewhere in heaven, I know he's keeping an eye on Michael Myers!!!! We will miss him, and NEVER NEVER forget him. Right now, let's just enjoy what he has left us with, and that is GREAT MOVIES!!!. May he rest in Peace.

 

CHEROKEE --- I've played Laurie Strode in an annual "Haunted House" for the past 18 years, and we've enjoyed incredible success over the years. But as a fellow Donald Pleasence fan, I wanted to share something with you that I think you'll find very heartwarming. Last Halloween, those of us who participate in the haunted house put out flyers ahead of time announcing that our performance would be dedicated to the memory of Donald Pleasence... and the turnout last year totally *smashed* all previous attendance records. I was so touched to realize that so many people truly loved that dear, gentle soul. And at our wrap party at the end of the run, the man who portrays our Michael Myers stood up, raised his wine glass, and made this toast: "To Donald Pleasence... our inspiration, our mentor, and the very soul of Halloween. You gave us so much, and we'll be eternally grateful. We love you, Dr. Loomis, and we'll miss you. Thank you for the memories." And as the saying goes, there wasn't a dry eye in the house.

 

J. DAVIES --- In a business so overcrowded with incompetent thespians and superficial talent, Donald Pleasence seems to skulk in the shadows. But from there, we, the audiences of the world, observe him in complete fascination, while his riveting presence and extraordinary talent eclipses those around him in such a delightfully subtle way. It is actors such as the great Donald Pleasence who manage to etch themselves so deeply into our memories, and make a bolder mark on cinematic history. The same can be said of his hypnotic peers; late-arriving superstar, Anthony Hopkins, and the legend of French and international cinema, Michael Serrault.

 

JON HODGES --- How did I become a Pleasence fan? It started out probably as it did for other fans. I had come to know him as "that guy" that I would see in various films as a child. While watching You Only Live Twice or Fantastic Voyage, I would see him and say "Hey, it's that guy" never quite remembering his name. I especially noticed him in Halloween 4, when it came out in theatres, and Prince of Darkness. I'm a big horror/sci-fi fan, so it was always a treat to see Donald whenever he popped up in a film. Pleasence, Peter Cushing, and Christopher Lee were some of my favorites to watch for.

When Halloween 6 came out in theatres, I remembered he had died, and that he was able to complete the film. It was at this point that I realized how much I had missed out on. I had only seen Halloween 4, so I really wanted to see his other Halloween movies and as many of his horror films that I could find. I couldn't find anything on the Internet until this site was created. Now, slowly but surely, I have come to see how much he had really accomplished, how many people have enjoyed working with him, etc. I think there are fans even now who flip through the channels, especially on Halloween night, and come across one of his low-budget films or John Carpenter's Halloween. Then, they'll see Pleasence doing a creepy role, and they might say to themselves "Hey, it's that guy!"

 

ROBERT KUNATH --- Hard as it is to believe, I became a Donald Pleasence fan without having seen any of his horror films. It may even be harder to believe, but, for me, Donald Pleasence is the archetypal *good* guy. You can probably guess, then, that I got started on his films with The Great Escape, in which Pleasence plays a wonderful character: mild-mannered but courageous. The film's portrayal of the growing relationship between Pleasence and James Garner seems to me to be one of the most affecting parts of that film, and I was hooked. Next would be Pleasence's role as Adrian Carsini in that great Columbo episode. Yes, he was a murderer, I admit, but one of the great things about those Columbo episodes was the way in which the murderers were often rather sympathetic people, with whom Columbo established a real relationship. That last scene in which Pleasence and Falk share a glass of wine together was great, a testament to the acting ability of both men.

I'll also never forget Pleasence saving Laurence Olivier in Dracula, or his steely, anti-Nazi General Kahlenberg in The Night of the Generals. The Night of the Generals is, alas, not as good a movie as it should have been, but, as one of my friends commented to me: "Pleasence saves that film." With all this experience of Pleasence as a good guy under my belt, you can imagine that I wasn't surprised to encounter him as the pretty heroic Dr. Loomis in Halloween.

Donald Pleasence was an exceptionally gifted actor, and I have no criticism for those who savor his ability to project evil and madness. But the brilliance with which he portrayed quiet courage and decency is what I remember most, and I believe that this is the true measure of the man. Happy 79th, Donald!

 

KEVIN LANE --- I remember seeing Halloween for the first time when I was about 12. It wasn't the action or the story or the ladies that made me love the film, it was a determined character named Dr. Sam Loomis -- played so greatly by Mr. Pleasence. As soon as I finished the film, I decided that I was going to try to see most of Donald Pleasence's films. From Escape from New York to Prince of Darkness, I loved them all and mainly because of one man. Having seen and bought most of his films, Donald Pleasence's death was very upsetting to me. Next October, when Halloween 7 comes out, I'll go see it, but it won't be the same without its greatest character! I loved seeing him play some of the most unusual characters so greatly! But I will always remember him every time I watch one of his films. I'll miss him!

 

J. MOORE --- Donald Pleasence brought something special to the characters that he played. Even though Dr. Loomis and Mr. Blofeld were not "mainstream" characters, Mr. Pleasence played them to the fullest extent of his acting abilities--which were considerable. My wife and myself affectionately refer to Mr. Pleasence as "The Psychiatrist with a Gun" (the character of Dr. Loomis is our personal favorite). I can't imagine Halloween without Donald Pleasence in the role of Dr. Loomis. The world will certainly miss one of the few talented actors willing to treat horror films seriously.

 

CHARLES E. WILLIAMS --- I think Donald Pleasence has left an indelible impression in the minds of horror film fans because his portrayal of Dr. Loomis in the Halloween films is so human. Let's face it, Dr. Loomis is not exactly Dr. Welby, the popular doctor image at the time of the first film's release. While Welby is wise, kindly, and insufferably cheerful, Loomis is unsure, crabby, and periodically paranoid. This portrait of a doctor as an admirable but definitely flawed human being was not the norm in 1978. It sets the edgy, suspenseful tone for this classic film. Repeat viewings of Halloween are necessary to truly appreciate the artistry of this gifted actor. His presence dominates the film even though his screen time is surprisingly brief. He served as the perfect counterpoint to the inhumanity of Michael Myers. I'm glad to see the Halloween franchise being revived with Jamie Lee Curtis, but the series will never be the same without Donald Pleasence.

 

 

 

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