Yesterday when I saw the news, I couldn't rightfully write anything about it. I figured that I would give him a day of silence out of respect. Growing up and watching Friday the 13th: Part III on a rented VCR while living on a pig farm in rural South Carolina is among my fondest childhood memories. We had to have watched this film 6 times over the course of the weekend. One viewing I decided to watch the credits and I saw Richard Brooker as Jason in the credits. That name stuck with me because Jason literally scared the hell out of my 9 year old ass. It also made me deathly afraid of the old barn out back!
I remember being in middle school and my friend brought in some issues of Fangoria. One of them had a write-up about the Jasons and had a photo of Richard Brooker and I finally put a face to this name and read the entire article.
When the internet was in gear, I learned the Brooker had a website and could easily be contacted. So, I chose to buy an autographed photo of him and to this day it was a very special item in my collections. Later on in life I had the chance to attend a small convention that Brooker attended and got to meet the man. That meeting wasn't amazing since my time with him was merely seconds and he seemed rushed. But it did make me relive my childhood memories of Friday the 13th: Part III.
Death is always a sad thing, but we all do die and so do horror icons. My condolences to his family and those who were closest to him. Everyone knows what a huge fan I am of Part III and Brooker and needless to say, this news really hit me hard.
His commentary for Friday the 13th: Part III (on the old Manhattan to Crystal Lake box set) is great, so in his honor, please give it a listen.