Laurie Strode

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Laurie Strode
Halloween character
Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode in Halloween (1978)
First appearanceHalloween
Created byJohn Carpenter
Debra Hill
Portrayed byOriginal series: (1978–present)
Jamie Lee Curtis
Nichole Drucker (young)
Reboot series: (2007–2009)
Scout Taylor-Compton
Unaccredited baby (infant)
Voiced byCatherine Lecours
(Dead by Daylight)
In-universe information
Full nameOriginal:
Laurie Strode (née Cynthia Myers)
Laurie Strode (née Angel Myers)
TitleShe Who Will Not Die[1]
Jamie Lloyd
(daughter; deceased)
John Tate (son)
Karen Nelson
(daughter; deceased)

Laurie Strode is a fictional character in the Halloween franchise by John Carpenter and Debra Hill. She debuted in the original 1978 film as a high school student who becomes targeted by serial killer Michael Myers / The Shape on Halloween night, who also becomes her arch-nemesis. Laurie is generally considered the main protagonist of the series, with later films revealing Michael to be her older brother, although this detail is not present in the first film and disregarded by the current continuity, in which the Shape views her as She Who Will Not Die.[1] She has also appeared in various media outside of the films.

The character is primarily portrayed by Jamie Lee Curtis, who appears as Laurie in the original film and subsequent entries set in its continuity. In the films directed by Rob Zombie, she is played by Scout Taylor-Compton. Academic materials widely cite Laurie as one of the earliest and most influential examples of the "final girl" slasher film archetype.




Laurie Strode first appears in the original Halloween (1978). The 17-year-old Laurie (Curtis) is a high school student who has plans to babysit Tommy Doyle (Brian Andrews) on Halloween night, 1978. However, throughout the day, she keeps seeing a mysterious masked man watching her wherever she goes; unbeknownst to her, he is Michael Myers (Nick Castle), an escaped mental patient who murdered his sister, Judith Myers (Sandy Johnson), 15 years before and has begun stalking her. Laurie notices Michael watching her and becomes increasingly worried, though her best friends Annie (Nancy Loomis) and Lynda (P. J. Soles) brush off her concerns. As Laurie babysits Tommy, Myers kills Annie and Lynda in the house across the street. Growing concerned when they fail to call her, Laurie goes to investigate and sees their corpses laid out for her to find, before being attacked by Michael. Barely escaping, Laurie races back to the Doyle house. Michael follows, but Laurie manages to fend him off long enough for Tommy and Lindsey to escape. Laurie is saved by Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence), Michael's psychiatrist, who shoots him off the balcony; when Loomis goes to check Michael's body, he finds it missing. An unsurprised Loomis stares off into the night, while Laurie begins sobbing in terror.[2]

Halloween II (1981) picks up directly after the first film, with Laurie Strode being taken to a hospital. She learns who was trying to kill her and has dreams of her mother telling her she was adopted and visiting Michael when they were children. Waking up, she begins to roam the hallways of the hospital until coming face to face with The Shape, who has been killing the hospital staff in search of her. Meanwhile, Dr. Loomis discovers that Laurie is Michael and Judith's sister; she was put up for adoption after the death of their parents, with the records sealed to protect the family. Realizing that Michael has killed one sister and now wants to kill the other, Loomis rushes to the hospital to find them. Laurie shoots Michael in the eyes, blinding him, and Loomis causes an explosion in the operating theater, allowing Laurie to escape. Michael, engulfed in flames, stumbles out of the room before finally collapsing. The traumatized Laurie is last seen being transferred to another hospital, along with another survivor, Jimmy.[3]


In Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988), Laurie is revealed to have died prior to the film's events, with the role of protagonist taken up by her young daughter, Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris). A photograph of Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie appears in a scene where Jamie remembers her mother.[4] The character of Jamie would go on to reappear in two more Halloween sequels,[5][6] while Laurie's adopted cousin Kara (Marianne Hagan) and her family appear in Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995).[6]


Curtis returned as Laurie Strode in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), the seventh film in the series. The screenplay was based on a story by Kevin Williamson.[7] The story was conceived as a sequel to the sixth film, thereby keeping the timeline's continuity, but producers ultimately decided to go with a reboot and ignore the previous three films.[8] In this timeline, Laurie faked her death in a car accident as a way of escaping her murderous brother, whose body was not found after Halloween II. She is now living under the name Keri Tate, and works as the headmistress of a California private school, where her teenage son John (Josh Hartnett) is a student. Laurie, who by now has become an alcoholic, is still haunted by memories of her brother's rampage, and lives in fear that he will return. Although John dismisses her as paranoid, her fears become reality when Michael (Chris Durand) resurfaces on Halloween and murders two of John's classmates. After getting her son and his girlfriend to safety, Laurie decides to stop running and face her brother. She stops Michael, but, unconvinced that he is truly dead, goes on to steal his body and decapitate him.[9]

In Halloween: Resurrection (2002), it is revealed that the man Laurie killed was a paramedic with whom Michael (Brad Loree) had swapped clothes. The guilt-ridden Laurie is now an inmate at the Grace Andersen Sanitarium, where the nurses believe her to be catatonic. Instead, she is preparing for Michael to return, and when he does, she lures him on to the institution's rooftop. Although he falls into her trap, Laurie's fears of again killing the wrong person get the better of her; when she tries to remove his mask, Michael stabs her and throws her off the roof, to her death.[10]

2007–2009: Remakes[edit]

A new version of Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton) appears in the Rob Zombie remake (2007). This film establishes from the beginning that Laurie (born Angel Myers) is Michael's baby sister, nicknamed "Boo", with whom young Michael (Daeg Faerch) shares a close bond. When Michael is institutionalized for killing their older sister Judith (Hanna R. Hall), their mother Deborah (Sheri Moon Zombie) is unable to cope and commits suicide. The infant Laurie is discovered by Sheriff Brackett (Brad Dourif), who omits her from the records for her own protection, and she is eventually adopted by the Strode family. The adult Michael (Tyler Mane) escapes and comes home in search of his sister, killing her adoptive parents and her friend Lynda (Kristina Klebe) before kidnapping Laurie. Michael tries to make Laurie remember him by showing her a picture of them as children. This fails, and Laurie proceeds to stab Michael with his own knife. Laurie hides as Michael hunts her down in their old childhood home; when he finds her, she shoots him in the head with a gun she took from Michael's psychiatrist Dr. Sam Loomis (Malcolm McDowell), after which she begins screaming hysterically as the scene fades to an old home video of young Michael and baby Laurie.[11]

In the sequel (2009), Laurie has moved in with Sheriff Brackett and his daughter Annie (Danielle Harris). She suffers recurring nightmares about Michael and their mother, and is seeing a therapist to deal with the trauma. Loomis later tells her that she is Michael's sister, and that she also suffers from his "illness". In the film's climax, she tells a mortally wounded Michael that she loves him, before stabbing him to death and putting on his mask. In the film's final scene, she sits in isolation in a psychiatric ward, grinning at a vision of her mother. In the director's cut of the film, Laurie picks up Michael's knife after Michael is killed and walks over to an injured and unconscious Loomis, and the police open fire on Laurie, apparently killing her too.[12]


Although Laurie supposedly died in Halloween: Resurrection, Curtis reprised the role in Halloween (2018), which ignores the previous sequels in the franchise and serves as a direct sequel to the 1978 film. Consequently, Michael and Laurie are not related in this continuity since that revelation does not exist without the 1981 sequel.[13] This film establishes that Michael (James Jude Courtney) was arrested following his killing spree in 1978, and institutionalized for 40 years in Smith's Grove Sanitarium. Similar to Halloween H20, Laurie suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of Michael's rampage, and has prepared for Michael's potential return through combat training; she has been divorced twice, became an alcoholic, and lost custody of her daughter, Karen (Judy Greer). Michael eventually escapes again and returns to Haddonfield for another killing spree. Michael is taken to Laurie's home by his deranged psychologist and engages in a showdown with Laurie, who severely injures him and severs two of his fingers, but he stabs her in the stomach and pushes her over a balcony; when Michael goes to check Laurie's body, he finds it missing, before being attacked by a very much alive Laurie. Trapping him inside the basement safe room, Laurie, Karen and Allyson set the house ablaze, and the trio escapes in the back of a passing pickup truck.

Character Appearances
Halloween Halloween II The
20 Years
Resurrection Halloween
Halloween II
Kills Ends
Laurie Strode Survivor Confirmed dead Survivor Death Survivor TBA


Laurie Strode's first literary appearance was in October 1979, in Curtis Richards' novelization of Halloween, which largely follows the events of the film.[14] She also appeared in the 1981 adaptation of Halloween II written by Jack Martin; it was published alongside the first film sequel, with the novel following the film events, with an additional victim, a reporter, added to the novel.[15]

Laurie appears in the twist ending of the comic book Halloween III: The Devil's Eyes. While examining Loomis' diaries in the hopes of finding out more about Michael Myers, an adult Tommy Doyle and Lindsey Wallace are attacked by a person dressed as Michael. They unmask the figure to reveal Laurie Strode, who has taken on her brother's mantle. At the conclusion of the book, Laurie kills Tommy (losing an eye in the process) and is subsequently incarcerated in Smith's Grove, where Dr. Terence Wynn takes an interest in her. This story follows on from Halloween H20, but is set in a non-canon timeline contradicted by the release of Halloween: Resurrection.[16][17]

The anthology one-shot comic Halloween: 30 Years of Terror includes a Laurie Strode storyline entitled "Visiting Hours". Set between H20 and Resurrection, it shows Laurie in the Grace Anderson Sanitarium, where she wonders how her life could have been if Michael hadn't found her in 1978. In this alternate universe, she lives a happy life in which her friends are still alive, but the memory of Michael invades her fantasy world and leaves her with nothing. Laurie concludes that "I can't even dream of a normal life without [Michael] killing it", and can do nothing but wait for her brother's inevitable "visit" to set her free.[18] Laurie appears prominently in the comic book limited series Halloween: The First Death of Laurie Strode; set after Halloween II, it depicts the events which led to her faking her death.[19]

Video games[edit]

Strode made her video game debut with the 1983 Atari video game Halloween. The game is rare to find, often being played on emulators. No characters from the films are specifically named, with the goal of the game focusing on the player, who is a babysitter, protecting children from a "homicidal maniac [who] has escaped from a mental institution".[20] Laurie Strode was added as a playable character, alongside Michael Myers, in downloadable content for Dead by Daylight released in October 2016.[21] Her biography states:

"You never know what really matters in life until you've realized it might end soon. Laurie is one of those who just wants a quiet life in the suburbs, hanging out with friends, family and maybe go on a date or two. Laurie is a typical teenager. You could pass her on the street and not think twice. She does her homework and is liked by her friends, teachers and family. A simple night of babysitting turns into something that will forever change the course of her young life. A knife swooshing through the air. Screams from afar. Noises that play tricks with her mind. But not Laurie, she's made of something stronger. Something that won't give up."[22]


In 2019, NECA released an action figure based on her appearance in Halloween (2018).[23] In 2020, NECA released a figure of Strode alongside Samuel Loomis based on their appearance in Halloween II (1981).[24] The same year, Super7 released a reaction figure of her Halloween II appearance.[25]


Curtis's manager submitted a photograph of her to the filmmakers who initially didn't want to cast her as they didn't believe her to embody the looks of Laurie, Annie, or Lynda (the virgin, the smart aleck, and the cheerleader).[26] Her manager was persistent on the filmmakers meeting her. After a few meetings, she got cast in the role of the chaste Laurie. Curtis describes Laurie as a fulfilling character due to them being opposites — allowing her to act. In an interview, Carpenter admits that Curtis wasn't the first choice as he didn't know who she was at the time. He originally wanted to cast Anne Lockhart, the daughter of June Lockhart from Lassie, as Laurie. Lockhart, however, had commitments to several other film and television projects.[27] Debra Hill stated upon learning that Curtis was the daughter of Psycho star Janet Leigh, "I knew casting Jamie Lee would be great publicity for the film because her mother was in Psycho."[28]


Laurie has been compared to the character of Sally Hardesty from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre by a variety of scholars. James Rose notes the parallels between Laurie and Sally, stating:

"...for as much as both survive, each, in the end, requires male intervention to fully save them from the narrative's male antagonist: Sally is rescued by a passing driver, while Laurie is saved by Dr Loomis (Donald Pleasence). Despite this, both Sally and Laurie combine to make manifest the key attributes of the Final Girl as both struggled, endured and, in Laurie's case, attacked their aggressor until they could escape and be saved. In the slasher films that followed in the wake of Chain Saw and Halloween, the Final Girl steadily gains in strength until she herself vanquishes the male antagonist."[29]

Italian magazine editor Stefano Lo Verme, wrote that the twenty-three year old Jamie Lee Curtis was the undisputed "scream queen" of American horror in 1978. He compared Curtis' performance as Laurie to the performances of Sandra Peabody as Mari Collingwood in The Last House on the Left (1972) and Marilyn Burns as Sally in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974).[30]


  1. ^ a b Halloween Kills: The Official Movie Novelization by Tim Waggoner — Prologue — Page 1 — “The Shape stands motionless at the foot of the stairs, looking up at the three woman who have imprisoned him in this trap. Their faces display a range of emotions: anger, disbelief, fear… but most of all, triumph. This is most prominent in the face of the oldest woman, although when the Shape looks at her, he sees a different face, a much younger one. The face of She Who Will Not Die. The Shape is incapable of feeling anything as he gazes into her eyes, but something stares inside him, a need for… what? Completion? Closure? Perhaps. Or maybe it’s simply a need to see the life fade in those eyes—those stubborn, stubborn eyes—to watch them become cold and empty, like his.”
  2. ^ Carpenter, John (Writer/Director) and Debra Hill (Writer) (1978). Halloween (DVD). United States: Compass International Pictures.
  3. ^ Rosenthal, Rick (Director), John Carpenter, and Debra Hill (Writers) (1981). Halloween II (DVD). United States: Universal Pictures.
  4. ^ Little, Dwight (Director) and Allan McElroy (Writer) (1988). Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (DVD). United States: Galaxy International Releasing.
  5. ^ Othenin-Girard, Dominique (Director), Michael Jacobs, Dominique Othenin-Girard, and Shem Bitterman (Writers) (1989). Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (DVD). United States: Galaxy International Releasing.
  6. ^ a b Chappelle, Joe (Director) and Daniel Farrands (Writer) (1995). Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (DVD). United States: Miramax Films.
  7. ^ mondozilla (2013-10-20). "Halloween H20: 20 Years Later". HORRORPEDIA. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  8. ^ "Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later: Did You Know?". Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  9. ^ Miner, Steve (Director), Robert Zapia, and Matt Greenberg (Writers) (1998). Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (DVD). United States: Dimension Films.
  10. ^ Rosenthal, Rick (Director), Larry Brand, and Sean Hood (Writers) (2002). Halloween: Resurrection (DVD). United States: Dimension Films.
  11. ^ Zombie, Rob (Writer/Director) (2007). Halloween (DVD). United States: Dimension Films.
  12. ^ Zombie, Rob (Writer/Director) (2009). Halloween II (DVD). United States: Dimension Films.
  13. ^ "'Halloween' Trailer Confirms Major Change to Michael Myers Mythology".
  14. ^ Richards, Curtis (October 1979). Halloween (novel). Bantam Books. ISBN 0553132261.
  15. ^ Martin, Jack (1981). Halloween II (novel). Zebra Publishing. ISBN 0-89083-864-X.
  16. ^ "Halloween — Michael Myers comic book titles". Chicago, Illinois: Movie Maniacs Comic Books. Retrieved May 22, 2008.
  17. ^ "Daniel Farrands interview". Icons of Fright. 2005. Retrieved 2008-06-01.
  18. ^ Stephen Hutchinson (w), Daniel Zezelj, Jim Daly, Brett Weldele, Jeffrey Zornow, Lee Ferguson, Tim Seeley (p), Nick Bell, Rob Buffalo, Jeffrey Zornow, Elizabeth John (i). Halloween: 30 Years of Terror (August, 2007), Chicago, Illinois: Devil's Due Publishing
  19. ^ Ekstrom, Steve (August 18, 2008). "Hutchinson on Halloween: The First Death of Laurie Strode". Newsarama. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
  20. ^ Matt (29 October 2004). "Halloween Atari video game". X-Entertainment. Retrieved 25 November 2007.[permanent dead link]
  21. ^ Squires, John (October 12, 2016). "Michael Myers and Laurie Strode Being Added to Slasher Game 'Dead by Daylight'". Bloody Disgusting. The Collective. Retrieved October 15, 2016.
  22. ^ "Dead by Daylight - Manual". Dead by Daylight. Archived from the original on August 17, 2016. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
  23. ^ Konrad, Jeremy (28 May 2019). "NECA Shows Off Packaged Photos for Halloween Laurie Strode Figure". Bleeding Cool News. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  24. ^ Squires, John (22 February 2020). "Super7's Upcoming Horror ReAction Figures Include Battle-Damaged Laurie Strode from 'Halloween II'". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  25. ^ Konrad, Jeremy (21 September 2020). "NECA Reveals Final Packaging For Halloween 2 Laurie & Loomis". Bleeding Cool News. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  26. ^ Collis, Clark (November 3, 2017). "Jamie Lee Curtis almost didn't get cast in Halloween". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  27. ^ John Carpenter, Entertainment Weekly interview, quoted at Archived 2006-09-26 at Archive-It; last accessed April 19, 2006.
  28. ^ Debra Hill, Fangoria interview, quoted at Archived 2006-09-26 at Archive-It; last accessed April 19, 2006.
  29. ^ Rose, James (2014). The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. New York City: Columbia University Press. ISBN 9781906733995.
  30. ^ Verme, Stefano Lo (June 25, 2016). "SCREAMING ACTRESSES: FROM VERA FARMIGA TO JAMIE LEE CURTIS, THE GREAT SCREAM QUEEN BETWEEN CINEMA AND TV". Movieplayer. Retrieved January 5, 2018.