Even though The Omen is known for being a terrifying supernatural horror film, The Omen cast members have an even more horrifying story to tell behind the scenes.
The Omen is a cult classic that was written by David Seltzer and directed by Richard Donner, the mastermind also behind films like Superman and The Goonies, and even famous television shows like The Twilight Zone! Together, Seltzer and Donner created a spooky premise for the film. The film was released in 1976, and was received so well that it even inspired three sequels as well as a remake in 2006.
A couple gives birth to a baby boy in a hospital. While the woman is resting, however, her husband is devastated to learn that their son died shortly after he was born. The hospital chaplain insists he secretly adopt an orphaned newborn, whose mother died in childbirth. The husband, Robert, decides not to tell his wife about the death of their son, and instead passes off this new baby as their own. As their son, Damien, grows up, however, increasingly disturbing incidents and deaths surround him, and the couple soon realizes that they have actually adopted the Antichrist!
Critics had somewhat mixed reviews when it came to the film, but it was a huge commercial success, raking in over $60 million at the US box office. It was also ranked one of the most successful films of the year. Furthermore, it was even nominated for two Oscars, of which it won one. Composer Jerry Goldsmith earned his first and only oscar for Best Original Score.
The film may be several decades old, but it’s aged well, and audience members today still watch the film around Halloween for a good thrill. What you may not know, however, is that behind the scenes, the film is even scarier than you might think!
In today’s video, we’re going to take a look at the horrifying circumstances surrounding The Omen cast members, as well as some of the supernatural events that took place while filming. Make sure you stick around, because we’re also going to reveal how cast members of The Omen were convinced that the film was cursed from the very beginning!
Lee Remick’s Untimely End
Lee Remick played Damien’s mother, Katherine, and was well known for her work in films like Days of Wine and Roses, A Face in the Crowd, and No Way to Treat a Lady. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her work in Days of Wine and Roses, and even won several Golden Globe Awards, as well as a Tony!
Tragically, however, Lee Remick began battling kidney cancer just a decade after The Omen was released, and she died tragically young, at just 55 years old on July 2nd, 1991.
A Series of Tragic Accidents
Lee Remick may have died tragically young, but it’s unlikely her young death had anything to do with filming The Omen. However, far more gruesome accidents took place during and shortly after filming that made many cast and crew members begin to wonder if the show was cursed. One such accident took place just a couple months after the film was released.
John Richardson worked as one of the most important special effects artists in the film, and was the mastermind behind the iconic decapitation scene. He and his faithful assistant, Liz Moore, were both driving in the Netherlands while working on another film together. On August 13th, 1976, just a few months after The Omen was released, the two got into a horrible accident. John Richardson survived, but Liz Moore did not. The worst part? The car crash was so violent that she was decapitated- just like the scene John Richardson had worked on in the film.
The Tragic Death of Gregory Peck
Gregory Peck is one of the most legendary Hollywood actors in history, having acted alongside Audrey Hepburn and Ava Gardner, and, of course, portraying the role of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. Despite his success in film, however, his life behind the scenes was far more tragic. A few years before The Omen’s production began, Gregory Peck’s son took his own life, leaving him devastated. He stopped acting for a while, and was urged to try out for the role in The Omen to try and get back on his feet.
Despite the heavy loss, Gregory Peck was still able to find joy in life, and was deeply in love with his second wife, Veronique Passani. The two stayed together until Gregory Peck’s death. He was suffering from bronchopneumonia, and died in his sleep at age 87 on June 12th, 2003.
A Surprising Silver Lining
The filming of The Omen was fraught with death and devastation, which led many of the cast and crew members to believe it was cursed. However, not every part of production was all that bad. After the film was released, it was such a huge commercial success that one of the important figures behind Star Wars, Alan Ladd Jr., was able to negotiate with Fox and get the iconic series created. Without the amazing commercial success of The Omen, the legendary Star Wars series might never have been made!
Two More Eerie Accidents
The death of Liz Moore rattled cast and crew members to the core, but it wasn’t the first creepy thing to happen in relation to the show.
During one scene in The Omen, Damien and his mother drive through a safari park, but are attacked by baboons. The baboons were handled by a professional animal trainer, who decided to place two baby baboons in the car with the actors. The adult baboons became aggravated and stressed, which is why they began attacking the car. The scene worked brilliantly, but it came with a cost. The animal trainer was mauled to death by a tiger just a day after the scene was finished.
Another eerie coincidence had an even higher death toll. The producers had originally rented a plane for filming, but switched it out at the last minute. The plane was used for a commercial flight, but crashed and killed every passenger on board.
These terrible accidents were scary enough, but another terrifying coincidence makes it even more convincing that the production of The Omen was truly cursed. Make sure you stick around until the very end, because we’re going to reveal how several high profile creators of the show nearly met their ends, all in the same way! And if you’re enjoying this video so far, please take a moment to like this video, and don’t forget to subscribe to Facts Verse for more!
The Violent Reason Harvey Spencer Stephens Was Cast as Damien
Casting a child actor in a film is difficult work, and it was even harder for the creators of The Omen. They knew they had to cast a child who was intense and could realistically portray the Antichrist. During the casting process, they asked the auditioning children to attack the filmmakers.
When it was Harvey Spencer Stephens’ turn, he didn’t hold back. Immediately, he rushed forward and began hitting producer Harvey Bernhard hard in the balls. Even after the filmmakers asked him to stop, Harvey Spencer Stephens kept on hitting! That was when the filmmakers knew they had found just the right actor, and he ended up being the perfect choice.
The Death of Billie Whitelaw
Billie Whitelaw played Damien’s replacement nanny after his first nanny hung himself during his fifth birthday party. The twist, however, is that Billie Whitelaw’s character was actually a disciple of Satan, sent to watch over Damien. Her role as Mrs. Blaylock was impressive, but it wasn’t the first or last time she’d appear in a famous film. She also had roles in movies like The Dark Crystal and Hot Fuzz, and even worked closely with legendary director Alfred Hitchcock! Her work in theatre is even more memorable, however, as she worked closely with one of the most famous Irish playwrights in history, Samuel Beckett.
Billie Whitelaw had a long and prolific career, but she sadly died at age 82 due to pneumonia in 2014.
Several Cast and Crew Members Were Struck by Lightning!
Eerie and tragic coincidences, like the decapitation of Liz Moore that mirrored the decapitation scene in the film, or the devastating plane crash that happened shortly after the creators decided to use a different plane, all helped to convince the cast and crew members of The Omen that some curse was behind the film. Another horrifying coincidence, however, targeted the lead actor of the film!
During filming, Gregory Peck traveled to London by plane. On the way there, however, his plane was struck by lightning. He was, of course, rattled by the experience, but eventually brushed it off. Until, that is, the same thing happened again to the film’s executive producer, Mace Neufeld. While flying to Los Angeles, Neufeld’s plane was also struck by lightning, just week’s after it happened to Gregory Peck! And then, another producer of the film named Harvey Bernhard had an extremely close call and was nearly struck by lightning during filming! Altogether, these three incidents make a very convincing case that the film was cursed.
There are a lot of horrifying circumstances surrounding the cast and production of The Omen. Do you think the film and its cast members were truly cursed by supernatural entities beyond our understanding, or do you think the horrifying deaths and accidents were all coincidences? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to subscribe to Facts Verse for more!