BySam Plank, writer at
"You have to be what you are. Whatever you are, you gotta be it." -Johnny Cash. Tweet a tweeter at my twitty twitter, @tw1tterintw1t
Sam Plank

If you're a fan of the movies, then no doubt you've heard of the Poltergeist curse.

A member of that cursed club was Julian Beck, who played Reverend Kane in Poltergeist II: The Other Side. Nobody wants to be in that club; death clubs suck. Which is pretty much every story that comes out of the Poltergeist curse. But Beck's is particularly nasty. In the movie, you might recall just how sickly he looked:

As kids, he terrified us. But that right there wasn't method acting at it's finest/freakiest.

It turns out, Beck was dying of stomach cancer. While he was filming the movie.

A look at the release date and the date of his death will tell you that things couldn't have been going well for him. He died on September 14, 1985, and the movie was released in the U.S. on May 23, 1986, well after his death.

According to Horror Freak News and IMDb, Beck passed away when the film was in post-production, so voice actor Corey Burton was brought in to record some of his lines. Burton's career credits include Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, several animated Star Wars, DC, and Marvel series, to name just a few of his many, many gigs. And to top it all that off, he was the voice of Reverend Kane in Poltergeist 2 & 3.

More Poltergeist reading material:

Yeesh. As if the Poltergeist movies couldn't get any creepier... But what phenomenal dedication Beck had to keep acting even as he knew he was terminal. That's one hell of a display of willpower. Hats off to Beck, who never once mailed it in and, as a result, scared an entire generation of kids with his role.


Favorite horror franchise from the '80s?


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