Erich Anderson, Actor in ‘Friday the 13th’ and ‘Felicity,’ Dies at 67


The actor Erich Anderson, known for his breakout role in the “Friday the 13th” franchise and recurring appearances on television series like “Felicity” and “Thirtysomething,” died on Saturday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 67.

His brother-in-law, Michael O’Malley, said the cause was esophageal cancer.

In the late 1980s and ’90s, Mr. Anderson played a recurring love interest on “Thirtysomething,” a drama about a group of friends navigating life and love in Philadelphia; and the ex-husband of a detective on “NYPD Blue;” and the father to Keri Russell’s lead role in “Felicity,” a TV series about an introverted high school student who follows her dream guy to college in New York City.

By 2013, he had appeared in roughly 300 episodes for television shows including “Boston Public,” “The X-Files,” “CSI,” “ER,” “7th Heaven,” “Star Trek,” “Monk,” “Tour of Duty” and “Murder, She Wrote.”

But it was his first feature film role in “Friday the 13th: the Final Chapter,” the fourth film in the franchise, which follows the serial killer Jason Voorhees, that stuck with fans throughout his career.

When the film debuted in 1984, Mr. Anderson thought, “I had a good time and really enjoyed the process and learning about it,” he told a “Friday the 13th” podcast in 2013. “This is out in the world now.”

But over the years, especially as he began attending fan conventions, Mr. Anderson came to realize that his role as Rob Dier, who seeks to avenge his sister’s death only to be killed by Jason himself, was “by far the most enduring thing” that he had done.

Edward Erich Anderson was born on Oct. 24, 1956, in Sagamihara, Japan, and grew up in a military family, moving around the world as a child, a lifestyle he said helped him embrace his temporary roles.

“I think that adaptation of being able to just throw yourself into whatever situation presents itself leads you to chose professions that kind of may have a freelance thing associated with it,” he said in the 2013 interview.

He graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with degrees in biochemistry and molecular biology, and went on to work at the University of Southern California’s medical school, where he assumed he would matriculate, he said in 2013. But his interest in science began to wane, and he returned to his love of acting.

He had been acting on “Bay City Blues,” an NBC comedy about a minor-league baseball team, when he got the call that he had landed the role for “Friday the 13th.” What he didn’t know was that the last 40 pages of the script involved filming rain scenes at night. They used what he described as an insect sprayer to hose down Mr. Anderson and the actress Kimberly Beck.

“We were young; we were up for anything,” he said. “It was our first movie for a lot of people.”

Mr. Anderson would go on to play roles in dozens of small films and television series.

He married the actress Saxon Trainor, who survives him.

As he grew older, he wanted more control over the stories he was telling and turned to writing. He published three novels, including one about five evangelists setting a date for the end of the world.

“You can see my entire career is — I’ll do whatever,” he said in the 2013 interview. “I like working.”



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