Angus Scrimm Poster

Trivia (25)

Had been nominated several times for Grammy Awards for his liner notes. He had won at least one Grammy Award. That is, he won exactly one Grammy Award as his alter-ego Rory Guy. The category was "Best Album Notes, Classical" and he won for his notes on "Korngold: The Classic Erich Wolfgang Korngold" (1974).

In playing the Tall Man, he wore suits that were several sizes too small and a pair of special boots with lifts inside to make him appear taller.

He played the Tall Man in a satirical commercial for Fangoria magazine, a horror magazine. When his real name was published by Fangoria magazine, he received some prank phone calls.

Because he was suffering from laryngitis, in the opening scene of Phantasm IV: Oblivion (1998) his usually gravelly Tall Man voice sounded more like Orson Welles.

Being a teenager, he worked as a theater usher where he learned by heart all of the dialogue of the movie playing there, Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943).

Turned up in his Tall Man costume and said "BOOYYY" when he was asked at a party thrown for a Hollywood Poster shop-owner Ron Borst. Then director Jim Wynorski, who was at this party, subsequently cast him for the role of evil Dr. Sin Do in a film he directed called The Lost Empire (1984).

Spoke French and Flemish fluently.

He was reputed to be an excellent cook.

His stage name, Angus Scrimm, he made up himself, a combination of a relative's name and a stage curtain (called a scrim).

He had done stage work in recent years with the theater company of acclaimed writer Ray Bradbury.

Don Coscarelli wrote the character of "Buddy" in his episode of Masters of Horror (2005) specifically for him, out of necessity of making the story long enough to fit in an hour slot.

He claimed he grew up admiring the works of William Powell, Cary Grant and Ronald Colman.

He was a lover of the comedy genre. His dream acting job would be playing a funny part in a parlor comedy.

He was a devoted fan of classic black and white horror films such as Frankenstein (1931) and Dracula (1931). He reportedly disliked brutality in movies and gore for gore's sake.

He played the role of a funeral director in an episode of Santa Barbara (1984).

He loved performing in live theater and had and extensive experience on stage, but nowadays, he only does it when he was asked to.

He worked for Capitol Records for nine years, writing album notes for the singers the label had under contract, such as Nat 'King' Cole, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Dean Martin, Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli.

His big screen debut role was at age 46. He played the role of "Henry" in Curtis Hanson's first movie Sweet Kill (1972), produced by Roger Corman.

After finishing studies at USC, his first professional acting job was portraying Abraham Lincoln in a series of short biographical films for the Encyclopedia Britannica (1951).

He was a schoolmate of Sam Peckinpah at USC. Peckinpah came to USC from Fresno to do a graduate job while Angus was in his junior year.

He used to do some showcase theater off campus, but William C. de Mille didn't like his students at USC to do that. Young Lawrence then created the pseudonym "Angus Scrimm" to cover his tracks. Many years later, he revived that to play The Tall Man in Phantasm (1979).

He majored in Drama at the University of Southern California under William C. de Mille, who was Cecil B. DeMille's brother.

During his first semester at USC, he contracted tuberculosis and spent two years recuperating. During that time he read both Testaments, H.G. Wells' "History", Homer's "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey", Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography, Leo Tolstoy, Charles Dickens, Erasmus, Voltaire, Gerard Willem Van Loon, Marcel Rousseau and countless other authors.

In the mid-1990s, the British Encyclopedia of Horror printed a book with a little thumbnail sketch in which Angus was alluded to as a minor American horror icon. He subsequently wrote them a letter saying the following: "I'm so grateful to be listed at all, and I realize at my age I'm not apt to attain the record of a Boris Karloff or a Bela Lugosi, but if I manage before my end to make another two or three significant horror films do you think I might be up to a middling horror icon?". He never got a reply back.

In his younger years, Angus used to be 6' 4'' at his peak height. Nevertheless, he has shrunk considerably due to his advanced age and nowadays he is reportedly not taller than 6' 1''. His imposing stature as The Tall Man in the Phantasm movies was achieved by a simple combination of wise camera angles, suits several sizes smaller and boots with lifts inside.