Steve Dash Jason Voorhees
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Credit: Bobby Bank/Getty Images & Paramount Pictures

Steve Dash, sack-headed Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th Part II, dead at 74

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Dec 19, 2018, 2:59 PM EST

Steve Dash, the actor best known for his portrayal of slasher villain Jason Voorhees in 1981's Friday the 13th Part II, has passed away Tuesday at the age of 74, SYFY WIRE has confirmed.

Aside from a short appearance in a dream sequence at the end of the first film a year earlier, this was Jason's big onscreen debut as the main face (or lack thereof) of the Friday the 13th film franchise. The sequel is also notable for the fact that Jason wears a bag on his head for most of the movie — he wouldn't get his iconic hockey mask until the third installment in 1982.

In the end credits, Dash is credited as "Jason Stunt Double," while Warrington Gillette got higher billing for playing the antagonist without the bag on his head. 

"Steve was such a wonderful husband, brother, father, grandfather and friend," Chris Carbaugh, a rep for Dash, told SYFY WIRE. "Steve was always a warm and caring person and he always went out of his way to make you feel special and give you a laugh. Steve loved to travel the world meeting and bringing joy to all his Friday the 13th fans. Steve was such a fighter and he never gave up and fought hard to the end. We would like to send our deepest condolences, love and prayers out to his family, friends and fans. We will all miss "The Real Jason." Rest easy my friend."

Born Steven Daskawisz in March of 1944, Dash originally worked as a policeman before entering the film industry as a stuntman in the late 1970s. However, he had a love of show business since he was young, doing impersonations of Jerry Lewis. 

Prior to joining the production of Friday the 13th Part II, he appeared in the 1980 remake of The Jazz Singer as well as two crime thrillers, Nighthawks and Ms .45. He was tapped to play Mr. Voorhees two weeks after the sequel began filming. 

"I got a call from stunt coordinator Cliff Cudney saying 'we’ve got big problems up here…the guy they hired to play Jason can’t do the stunts he said he could, and I know you can.' I said ok and went up to Conneticut, and that’s how I got the job," the actor once remarked in an interview with

When he got to set, he practiced running in the woods with the sack over his head, only able to see out of one eyehole. When he and the rest of the crew discovered that the bag flapped around too much, double-sidded tape was used inside the hood to keep it from moving during Jason's more mobile scenes. 

A year after his turn as Jason, Dash starred in yet another slasher flick, director Jack Sholder's Alone in the Dark. He was asked to reprise his role as Jason in Part III the same year, but since production had moved to California, Dash would have had to pay for his own travel and accomodations. Being an East Coaster with not much capital, he was forced to pass on the part. 

"Had I known then what I know now, I would have paid my own way out there and probably would have been in Part 4, Part 5…like Robert Englund did with Freddy," added Dash in the above-mentioned interview. 

(biograophical info via