8 Iconic Horror Characters That Have Only Been Played By One Actor

Halloween Ends will see the return of Michael Myers, one of the most iconic horror villains in film history. It's interesting to note, however, that the masked killer has been played by almost a dozen different actors throughout the franchise. Most iconic characters have been recast at some point as the franchises continue.

There are only a few distinguished actors who can say that they not only played an iconic horror character but that they're the only ones to have played them. That caliber of legacy deserves recognition.


8/8 Sidney Prescott (Scream Franchise)

Sidney wielding a gun in Scream 2022

Easily one of the most iconic final girls in slasher history, this genre-savvy heroine has only ever been played by Neve Campbell. That distinguishes her from other final girls, like Laurie Strode or Nancy Thompson, since both of those roles have been recast at least once.

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Campbell announced that she wouldn't be returning for Scream 6, meaning that this will be the first sequel to not feature Sidney Prescott. While Sidney will be certainly missed, that's certainly better than the thought of seeing anyone besides Campbell playing the role.

7/8 Captain Spaulding (The Firefly Trilogy)


Rob Zombie introduced audiences to his most famous character, Captain Spaulding, to audiences back in 2003. Ever since, this profane, backwoods clown has only ever been played by character actor Sid Haig, who sadly passed away recently. Zombie made it clear that Spaulding would be retired with Haig's passing, officially killing off the character in 3 from Hell.

While most of the rogues' from the Firefly family have earned a level of infamy with fans, Captain Spaulding is so colorful and unique of a villain that he's been elevated to an iconic status. That's largely thanks to Haig's mischievous and darkly jovial performance, to the point where it's impossible to imagine anyone else playing the character.

6/8 Chop Top (Texas Chainsaw Massacre)

There have been quite a few memorable members of the Sawyer clan over the years, particularly the infamous Leatherface. But another fan-favorite villain would be Chop Top from Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, who was famously played by Bill Mosely. While Mosely would go on to have an illustrious career in horror flicks, Chop Top is still one of his crowning jewels.

Not only is Bill Mosely the only one to have played the eccentric, metal-plated-headed character, but he only needed one film in order to make Chop Top one of the series' most famous villains. While it's a shame that sequels didn't bring the character back, fans will always continue the memory of the character alive.

5/8 Ellen Ripley (Alien Franchise)

Ellen Ripley in an astronaut suit looking up in Alien 1979

Sigourney Weaver's performance as Lieutenant Ellen Ripley is so lauded and definitive that earned an Academy-Award nomination for it. Having played the character through four films, Weaver elevated the character from a final girl to one of cinema's greatest action heroes.

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While the Alienfranchise has continued, nobody has dared recast the role. It's unclear if Weaver might ever return to the character, but it would most certainly be on her terms. She owns the character as much as Michael Jordan owns the number 23.

4/8 Patrick Bateman (American Psycho)

Patrick Bateman wielding his ax in American pyscho

After debuting in Bret Easton Ellis' novel, American Psycho, yuppie sociopath Patrick Bateman was immortalized on film by Christian Bale in one of his finest performances. He brought such unusual energy of ultra-narcissism and eccentricity that he instantly turned the character into an icon of slasher cinema.

While there was technically a sequel, it was only loosely connected and an unseen Patrick Bateman is simply killed off-screen. While it's not the best way to get rid of the character, it's also for the best that nobody tries and step into Bale's shoes.

3/8 The Tall Man (Phantasm Franchise)

A still from Phantasm

There have been many iconic quotes throughout horror history, but Angus Scrimm was able to make The Tall Man iconic but just shouting "Boy!" That's a testament to his inimitable performance as the character, who played over the course of five Phantasm films.

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Scrimm, unfortunately, passed away right after the filming of Phantasm: Ravager, and it's almost certain that nobody will ever reprise the role. With his striking features and physique, Scrimm was so perfectly cast that anybody else would likely just be in his Tall shadow.

2/8 Ash Williams (Evil Dead Franchise)

Bruce Campbell Ash WIlliams Evil Dead

Most horror franchises are defined by their villains, but the Evil Dead is defined by its main protagonist, Ash Williams. That's because Bruce Campbell has played him to perfection over the course of decades, evolving the character from a bumbling doofus to a cocky action hero with endless one-liners.

Bruce Campbell is so synonymous with the role that the Evil Deadremake didn't try to create their version of the character and even featured a cameo from Campbell as Ash towards the end. After all, he's so dedicated to the character he's played him in everything from movies to television shows to video games.

1/8 Jigsaw (Saw Franchise)

Tobin Bell as Jigsaw

Arguably the most recent horror icon, Jigsaw was famously played by Tobin Bell throughout eight films. With his commanding voice and nuanced performance, Bell took a character that barely had any screen time in the original film and turned him into a legend of horror cinema.

Bell's voice is as associated with the character as James Earl Jones' voice is with Darth Vader, and there's nobody who could take his place. Instead, the series has focused on Jigsaw's apprentices, but the series has also made sure that nobody else tries to lay a claim to the Jigsaw legacy other than Tobin Bell.