The Only Major Actors Still Alive From 1979's The Amityville Horror 

"The Amityville Horror" is one of the definitive haunted house films, a classic tale about paranormal activity terrorizing a suburban family with swarming flies, mysterious voices, and sudden illness. Even the windows resemble ominous eyes peering down on the unsuspecting victims. The movie taps into the religious undertones popularized by other 1970s releases such as "The Exorcist" and "The Omen," suggesting there is a Satanic force at work that must be destroyed.

Eventually, the new owners George and Kathy Lutz discover the horrifying history of their new home: Ronald DeFeo Jr. murdered his entire family with a rifle one year prior, a Satanic worshipper named John Ketchum once lived on the land, and the house itself was built on a Shinnecock burial ground.

Despite receiving mixed reviews for elements like the cheesy portrayal of a possessed George, "The Amityville Horror" ended up having a significant impact on the horror genre. Its success also reignited debates about the authenticity of the Lutz family's claims in real life. Were these chilling events actually true or was the Lutz clan just seeking attention and fame?

Fans of "The Conjuring" franchise would be interested in this story because it covers one of Ed and Lorraine Warren's most famous cases, although they are not included in the 1979 film. While "The Conjuring" series has only made a few references to Amityville, it has not been covered extensively because the tale is already so ingrained in our popular culture consciousness. "The Amityville Horror" has already spawned over 32 spin-offs, sequels (including one where the house is launched into space...), documentaries, and a crappy Ryan Reynolds-led remake. But none have touched the lasting power of the original film, which boasts an exceptional cast, several members of which are still living and thriving in the entertainment industry.

James Brolin (George Lutz)

After portraying the sturdy patriarch in "The Amityville Horror," James Brolin's career continued to flourish in both film and television. Some of his notable film credits include "Pee-wee's Big Adventure," "Paper Hearts," "Traffic," and "Catch Me if You Can." In 1983, he took on a starring role in Aaron Spelling's ABC prime-time soap opera, "Hotel." He has also made appearances on "Roseanne," "The West Wing," "Psych," and "Monk," to name a few.

Brolin additionally ventured into directing with films like "My Brother's War" and the Hallmark movie "I'll Be Home for Christmas." His biggest project involved both directing and starring in the television series "Pensacola: Wings of Gold" about a top-tier Marine Corps in Pensacola, Florida. The series ran for 66 episodes. Outside of Hollywood, Brolin briefly indulged in sports car racing, participating in the 24 Hours Nürburgring on the AMC Spirit team the same year "The Amityville Horror" was released.

Don Stroud (Father Bolen)

After portraying Father Bolen in "The Amityville Horror," Don Stroud continued his film career, frequently taking on tough, character-driven, or antagonistic characters. He played a James Bond villain in "License to Kill" and drummer Jesse Charles in "The Buddy Holly Story." Stroud also became a familiar face on television, making guest appearances on popular classic shows like "Charlie's Angels," "Hawaii Five-O," "The Incredible Hulk," and "The Streets of San Francisco." He even appeared in James Brolin's television series, "Pensacola: Wings of Gold." More recently, Stroud made an appearance in Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained," as well as the new version of "Magnum P.I." With over 100 films and 200 television shows under his belt, Stroud has had quite a formidable career.

Helen Shaver (Carolyn)

Known for her role as the clairvoyant Carolyn in "The Amityville Horror," Helen Shaver went on to perform in films such as "The Color of Money," Martin Scorsese's sequel to "The Hustler," and other horror titles like "Tremors II: Aftershocks," "Poltergeist: The Legacy," and "The Craft." In 1985, she gained recognition for her lead role in the groundbreaking LGBTQ+ drama "Desert Hearts." She also made countless children cry as the voice of Littlefoot's mother in "The Land Before Time."

According to her IMDb bio, it was Scorsese who encouraged her to step behind the camera, leading to a prolific directing career over the past few decades. She has directed countless episodes of both classic and contemporary favorites such as "The OC," "Medium," "The L Word," "Westworld," "Snowpiercer," "Orphan Black," "13 Reasons Why," "Maid," and many others.

In 2004, Shaver was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame. She was also awarded The Living Legend Tribute at the 23rd Women's Image Network Awards in 2021 and a DGA Award in 2023 for directing the "Station Eleven" episode "Who's There?" Shaver has clearly found her niche as a director,  as is demonstrated by her vast resume and contributions to incredible television series across the decades.

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