Old Hollywood Uncovered: Classic Films Stars in Unexpected Horror Film Roles

There are stars of the horror movie genre like Vincent Price, Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Peter Lorre, John Carradine, Peter Cushing, and Christopher Lee just to name a few. And then there are Old Hollywood stars who took parts in horror films that were unexpected. Some Old Hollywood actors took the roles in horror films in desperation because they weren't being offered anything else. Others took the roles because they found it to be a different change of pace. Irregardless of the reasons why they took the roles in these films or whether it was a success or not, watching a seasoned, professional actor like Gregory Peck or Ruth Gordon act in a spooky film makes the film so much more thrilling to watch.

I put together a few films that I know Old Hollywood actors starred in but if you know of others I would love to hear about them. Some of my personal favorites from this list are; What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), The Sentinel (1977), The Changeling (1980), and Ghost Story (1981), although I found them all to be quite enjoyable. Which of these have you seen? Does it surprise you to see these Old Hollywood stars in spooky films like these?

Bette Davis in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

Bette Davis in Dead Ringer (1964)

Olivia de Havilland in Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964)

Joan Crawford in Strait-Jacket (1964)

Barbara Stanwyck in The Night Walker (1964)

Joan Fontaine in The Witches (1966)

Ruth Gordon in Rosemary's Baby (1968)

Karl Malden in The Cat o'Nine Tails (1971)

Ernest Borgnine in The Devil's Rain (1975)

Gregory Peck in The Omen (1976)

Joan Bennett in Suspiria (1977)

Burgess Meredith in The Sentinel (1977)

George C. Scott in The Changeling (1980)

Fred Astaire in Ghost Story (1981)

Roddy McDowall in Fright Night (1985)

George Kennedy and Dorothy Lamour in Creepshow 2 (1987)

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  1. Joan Bennett doesn't surprise me. I loved her in Dark Shadows!!!

  2. Great list! Stanwyck was oddly perfect for The Night Walker, in my opinion!