Friday the 13th Part 2 star Steve Dash, who was the first actor to portray Jason Voorhees as an adult on screen, died last night. Dash, AKA Steve Daskawisz, was seventy-four years old.

Dash died due to complications related to blood clots and diabetes. Approximately two weeks ago, Dash had his left leg amputated.

Although Warrington Gillette was credited for playing Jason Voorhees in the 1981 sequel, it was Dash who portrayed Jason in the bulk of the film’s scenes. In 2002, I was the first journalist to interview Dash, which led to Dash receiving the recognition he deserved.

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In October of 1980, in the midst of Friday the 13th Part 2’s filming, Dash received a frantic call from Cliff Cudney, a friend of Dash’s who served as the film’s stunt coordinator. “Cliff told me that the guy they had playing Jason was scared shitless and they were going to fire him,” recalled Dash. “Cliff told me to get my ass up to Connecticut as soon as possible. I had no money, so I had to borrow twenty-five dollars from my brother to pay for the gas it took to get up there.”

Because Gillette was originally cast in the role of Jason Voorhees, guild regulations prevented Dash from receiving his proper acting credit. Gillette’s only appearance in the film happens during the film’s climax, when Jason’s face is briefly revealed on screen. “They had to bring that guy [Gillette] back because they didn’t have the money to redo the effects with my face,” Dash said. “What was funny was that when I got there, Cliff looked at me, smiled, and then told me that the clothes would have to fit me, no matter what. The shoes they gave me were about a nine-and-a-half, and I’m a ten-and-a-half. Then there was the cover Jason wore over his face, sort of like out of The Elephant Man. Steve [Miner], Dennis [Murphy], and I nicknamed it The Bag. I had to wear The Bag over my head for the entire film.”

For the past decade, Dash was a fixture on the celebrity convention circuit and acted in several independent films. Dash’s lasting acting appearance was in the upcoming film Vengeance, which is set to be released sometime in 2019