She took on a vengeful Mrs. Voorhees and nearly got pulled to her watery grave by a young, decomposed Jason. Alice Hardy would live in horror movie infamy as the first “sole survivor” of the iconic Friday the 13th franchise, but few know the real horror faced by actress Adrienne King and how her role as Alice Hardy led her to the brink of giving up acting completely.
When the original Friday the 13th premiered on May 9, 1980, the counselors of camp crystal lake had no idea the date night slasher flick would thrust them all into the limelight and that little budget horror film would come to define an entire genre. While the newfound fame was a difficult adjustment for some, King’s experience with a deranged stalker had her fearful that a real machete-wielding maniac was coming for her.
In an interview with the entertainment blog Uproxx, King said for a year and a half she was bombarded by cryptic messages and polaroid photos taken whenever she left the Marina Del Rey apartment she shared with her sister. King claims she reached out to authorities, but her cries were met with an unsympathetic, “’Well, what would you expect? Look at the movie you did.’”
With law enforcement unwilling to investigate King’s then unknown stalker and nowhere else to turn to, she thought she could escape by fleeing to Los Angeles, then London. The stalking would continue, culminating in a home invasion and the destruction of some of King’s artwork.
During this time there was talk of Alice Hardy carrying her lone survivor torch into the second Friday the 13th film. Instead, King’s role was minimalized on screen with Alice Hardy being killed off in a dream sequence at the beginning of the sequel.
“The reason my character died was, we had a meeting about it, because when Part 2 had come, a stalker was already present in my world. I couldn’t handle doing another film and dealing with what no one else seemed to want to deal with,” King told Uproxx.
Taking time off of acting to instead focus on her painting, King’s stalker would be arrested after the shooting of the second film. It was learned that the man had not been a big fan of horror movies but had gone to see Friday the 13th with some friends when he noticed King’s character. According to King, the man claimed that she reminded him of a woman who had once slighted him and the stalking of King was his means of exacting revenge.
With the arrest of her stalker, King believed her nightmare was finally over and she could return to acting without fear. It was during a screen test for the daytime soap opera All My Children that King would have her first anxiety attack. It would take years of therapy to overcome the lingering feelings that accompanied that year and a half of torment King endured.
While King has maintained a low-profile and has appeared in very few roles since shooting the original Friday the 13th, King hopes that her story serves as an inspiration to young actresses and will continue to stand for their right to choose the film roles they would like to play without the judgment.