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Donald Pleasence in Circus of Horrors

Donald Pleasence (1919 - 1995)

Film Deaths[]

  • The Man Inside (1958) [The Organ Grinder]: Killed in a hit and run after he shouts a warning to Jack Palance and the van runs him down. (Thanks to Brian)
  • Circus of Horrors (1960) [Vanet]: Crushed to death by the circus' bear after it steps on a broken bottle, sending it into a rage.
  • The Flesh and the Fiends (Mania) (1960) [William Hare]: Burned to death with a torch by an angry citizen.
  • A Story of David: The Hunted (1961) [Nabal]: Dies of a heart attack during an argument with Barbara Shelley. (Thanks to Gordon)
  • What A Carve Up! (1961) [Everett Sloane]: Murdered offscreen by Philip O'Flynn. He is discovered sitting on the wall of the ornamental fountain in the thunderstorm and when Kenneth Connor touches him he falls into the water. (Played for comic effect). (Thanks to Brian)
  • The Great Escape (1963) [Flight Lt. Colin 'The Forger' Blythe]: Shot in the back by a German soldier (using a rifle) after his airplane crashes, he then dies in James Garner's arms. (Thanks to Robert and Stephen)
  • Dr. Crippen (1964) [Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen]: Executed by hanging. (Thanks to Gordon)
  • Fantastic Voyage (Microscopia; Strange Journey) (1966) [Dr. Michaels]: Suffocated/devoured by a white corpuscle after being shrunk to microscopic size and sent into Jean Del Val's bloodstream. (Thanks to Stephen)
  • Kidnapped (1971) [Ebenezer Balfour]: Dies of heart failure in bed. (Thanks to Brian)
  • Barry McKenzie Holds His Own (1974) [Count Plasma]: Turned into a skeleton when Barry Crocker confronts him with a makeshift cross made from beer cans. (Played for comic effect.)
  • The Mutations (The Freakmaker) (1974) [Professor Nolter]: Partially devoured by Scott Antony after Donald transforms Scott into a "human venus flytrap." His skinless body (an obvious special-effects prop) is shown afterwards. (Thanks to Kyle)
  • The Count of Monte Cristo (1975) [Danglars]: Commits suicide (off-camera) by shooting himself in the head; we only see him preparing to shoot, then hear the sound of the gunshot from the next room. His body (just his hand) is shown afterwards when his assistant rushes into the room. (Thanks to Johan)
  • I Don't Want to Be Born (The Devil Within Her; The Monster) (1975) [Dr. Finch]: Decapitated with a shovel by the possessed baby in the garden.
  • Journey Into Fear (1975) [Kuvetli] Murdered off-screen by Ian McShane. His body is discovered by Sam Waterston.
  • The Devil's Men (Land of the Minotaur) (1976) [Father Roche]: In a vision, he is stabbed in the chest by Peter Cushing. But he survives the film in reality.
  • Telefon (1977) [Nicolai Dalchimsky]: Poisoned when Charles Bronson forces him to swallow cyanide. (Thanks to Jake and Gordon)
  • The Uncanny (1977) [Valentine De'ath]: Killed off-screen by the cat and his body (with his tongue ripped-out) is later found the next day by John Vernon.
  • Deep Cover (Blade on the Feather) (1980) [Professor Jason Cavendish]: Commits suicide (off-screen) by shooting himself, after Tom Conti encourages him to do so.
  • The Pumaman (L'Uomo puma) (1980) [Kobras]: Killed in an explosion when his helicopter crashes after a struggle with Walter George Alton.
  • The Monster Club (1981) [Pickering]: Bitten on the neck by Richard Johnson (just before Richard dies of the stake hammered through his heart by Donald), turning him into a vampire, He was later staked in the heart by Anthony Valentine.
  • Halloween II (1981) [Dr. Sam Loomis]: Sacrifices himself by lighting a lighter in a gas filled room (causing a large explosion) in order to kill Michael Myers (Dick Warlock) as he had already been stabbed with a scalpel. (Note: the filmmakers did intend this to be an actual death scene, without ever thinking they would make a sequel explaining Donald's character survived. but I'll be only listing his first "death" in the series).
  • Warrior of the Lost World (Il Giustiziere della terra perduta; Mad Rider) (1983) [Prossor]: Shot in the chest by Persis Khambatta after he orders her to shoot Harrison Muller; it's later revealed that the Donald who was killed was a clone/cyborg, and the real Donald is still alive.
  • Master of the Game (1984) [Salomon Van der Merwe]: Commits suicide by shooting himself. (Thanks to Gordon)
  • Treasure of the Amazon (Greed) (1985) [Klaus von Blantz]: Hanged by a hook through his tongue by Emilio Fernández. (Thanks to Johan)
  • Specters (Spettri) (1987) [Professor Lasky]: Fatally injured (off-screen) by the monster in the catacombs; he dies shortly after John Pepper discovers him. (Thanks to Johan)
  • American Rickshaw (American Tiger) (American riscio) (1989) [Reverend Mortom] Shot to death by while giving a speech.  He reverts to his monster form after he dies. 
  • The House of Usher (The Fall of the House of Usher) (1988) [Walter Usher]: Burns alive after being thrown into a fire by Oliver Reed.
  • Buried Alive (1989) [Dr. Schaeffer] Murdered by Robert Vaughn who places two strobes on his head and leaves them on to electrocute Donald.
  • Ten Little Indians (Death on Safari) (1989) [Justice Lawrence Wargrave]: Commits suicide by drinking poisoned wine. (Thanks to Johan)
  • Shadows and Fog (1992) [Doctor]: Strangled by Michael Kirby in Donald's office.
  • Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995) [Dr. Sam Loomis]: In the Theatrical cut, he is presumably killed off-screen by Michael Myers (George P. Wilbur); we only hear him scream. He survives the Producer's cut. (Donald's actual life death occured a year before the movie came out and this was what ultimately wrote his character out of the series, so this is most likely his real death in the series)
  • Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998) [Dr. Sam Loomis]: Revealed to have died (off-screen) of old age/natural causes in the years between sequels (Halloween II and this one). (since Donald died in real life before the making of this film). (Donald also appeared to die in several of the previous Halloween sequels, but always came back for the next one.)
  • Halloween (2018) [Dr. Sam Loomis]: Revealed to have died in the years between the first "Halloween" and this film. (again, as it was made 23 years after his real-life death)

TV Deaths[]

  • William Tell: The Spider (1959) ['The Spider']: Killed by Conrad Phillips who uses a specially built crossbow capable of propelling the bolt a long distance to hit Donald in the chest as he stands at the window of his castle turret. (Thanks to Brian)
  • Henry VIII and His Six Wives (1973) [Thomas Cromwell]: Executed (off-screen) by beheading; we only see him being led away. (Thanks to Johan)
  • The Ray Bradbury Theater: Punishment Without Crime (1988) [George Hill]: Executed (off-screen) in the electric chair for "killing" a robot replica of his cheating wife Lynsey Baxter. Ironically, the robot had been made to allow Donald to vent his anger without committing an actual murder.

Notable Connections[]

Father of Angela, Polly Jo, and Miranda Pleasence