Known for movies

Short Info

SpouseNancy Hare
MarkOften works with George A. Romero
FactAided the special effects department during shooting Django Unchained.

Tom Savini is an American actor, director, producer, and special effects and makeup artist. He is best known for his work on the horror films Friday the 13th (1980), Dawn of the Dead (1978), and Creepshow (1982).

Savini was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on November 3, 1946. His parents, Tony and Maria Savini, were Italian immigrants. He has two brothers, Frank and Joe. Savini was raised Catholic and attended St. Peter’s School in Pittsburgh.

He began his career as a professional makeup artist in 1964, working on the Pittsburgh-based TV show Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. He later moved to New York City, where he worked on the soap opera The Guiding Light.

Savini’s big break came in 1978, when he was hired to work on George A. Romero’s horror classic Dawn of the Dead. He created many of the film’s iconic zombies, including the “Flyboy” zombie and the “Tarman” zombie.

Savini’s work on Dawn of the Dead led to him being hired to work on another horror classic, Friday the 13th (1980). He created the now-famous “death scene” of Jason Voorhees’ mother, Mrs. Voorhees.

Savini’s most recent work includes a role in the hit TV show The Walking Dead, as well as the horror films Machete (2010) and Django Unchained (2012).

Savini is married to Lori Cardille, with whom he has two daughters, Gina and Olivia. He currently resides in Pittsburgh.

General Info

Full NameTom Savini
Height1.69 m
ProfessionPhotographer, Make-up artist, Author, Film director, Film producer, Stunt Performer, Television Director, Special Effects Artist
EducationCarnegie Mellon University


SpouseNancy Hare
ChildrenLia Savini, Lon Savini


MoviesDawn of the Dead, From Dusk till Dawn, Creepshow, Maniac, Django Unchained, Machete, Planet Terror, Creepshow 2, Knightriders, Machete Kills, Land of the Dead, Grindhouse, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Night of the Living Dead, The Theatre Bizarre, Children of the Living Dead, Sea of Dust, Zack a...

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#Marks / Signs
1Often cast by Robert Rodriguez
2Often works with George A. Romero
4Realistic blood and gore effects, done with no preparations


1My grandson is five years old and he knows who Frankenstein (1931) is. One day I will show him my bust of Jack P. Pierce and say, "You've seen what Grandad does and he made these monsters and that's why I make my monsters now."
2Film is a truly magical medium. You can create illusions of reality, make people think they've seen things that they really haven't -- like blowing a guy's head off with a shotgun.
3Everyone thinks Tom Savini doesn't like something unless there's blood and gore. That's stupid. My favorite movies are love stories.
4I actually turned down Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) to do The Burning (1981) because Jason was running around in "Part 2" and as you know, there is no Jason. Jason was a kid that died in the first movie. If you watch a "Friday the 13th" movie past "Part One", you're stupid. 'Cause there's no Jason. There shouldn't be a Jason.
5[asked if his Vietnam experiences influence his makeup effects) I get asked that question a lot. I did see a lot of first-hand anatomically correct gore and I think the most important part of that was if we create a dead body or situation there's a certain feeling you get from seeing the real thing. If I'm creating a gory effect and I don't get the same feeling when I saw the real stuff, I'm not satisfied.


1Older brother of Joe Savini.
2One of his favorite horror films is the original Black Christmas (1974).
3Lives in Bakersfield, California.
4Never intended to become a stuntman, it happened on the set of Dawn of the Dead when a stunt crew wasn't hired.
5He is of Italian descent.
6Terrified of spiders and razors.
7Favorite performed special effect is the helicopter zombie from Dawn of the Dead.
8Thinks highly of Robert Rodriguez.
9Aided the special effects department during shooting Django Unchained.
10Appeared as himself in the 2008 novel "Bad Moon Rising" by Jonathan Maberry. Savini is one of several real-world horror celebrities who are in the fictional town of Pine Deep when monsters attack. Other celebrities include Ken Foree, Brinke Stevens, James Gunn, Stephen Susco, Debbie Rochon, John Bloom (aka Joe Bob Briggs) and bluesman Mem Shannon.
11Huge fan of Professional Wrestling.
12Has a son named Lon and a granddaughter named Chaney in tribute to his hero Lon Chaney.
13Provided his voice to the horror game "City of the Dead" - a spin-off to George A. Romero's Dead films, but the game's distributer Hip Interactive went bankrupt, and the game was never released (2006).
14Was originally supposed to be a special effects make-up artist on Night of the Living Dead (1968), but was drafted to Vietnam just before filming began.
15Is a skilled fencer.
16Is the only actor to star in three 'Dead' films; he first played the role of 'Blades', an outlaw biker in Dawn of the Dead (1978) and then in the 2004 remake of Dawn as a County Sheriff. He then reprised his 'Blades' role in Land of the Dead (2005), this time as an undead.
17Vietnam veteran.
18His role in Sea of Dust (2008) (Prester John) was written by Scott Bunt with Savini in mind.
19Was supposed to play the part of the second biker in Oliver Stone's U Turn (1997), after Stone saw him in From Dusk Till Dawn (1996). But due to scheduling conflict, Stone cast his producer Richard Rutowski in that part instead.
20Has a make-up/special effects school in Monesson, Pennsylvania (Douglas School of Business).
21Has a haunted house, Terrormania, also located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The students from the classes he has perform and work in the haunted house.
22Turned down the chance to direct Pet Sematary (1989).
23For his stunt work, his reference is action legend Jackie Chan.
24Is a close friend of stuntman Taso N. Stavrakis.
25Only man in Hollywood who can claim all four titles of stuntman, make-up artist, actor, and director. Only one man has come close: makeup artist, actor, stuntman Lon Chaney - Tom's influence and childhood idol.
26Has appeared in both the original and the remake of Dawn of the Dead (1978).
27Turned down Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) to work on The Burning (1981).
28Is good friends with horror director George A. Romero. The two have worked together on many films.
29Uncle of Donna Savini and Mike Savini.
30Has his own effects company Tom Savini Ltd.
31Father of Lia Savini.




Amongst Thieves and Phantoms2017Short post-productionFather Wilton
Bad DennisannouncedRandy Buckshot
Nightmare Cityannounced
Pigboy: He Ain't No Babe!announcedPigboy's Daddy (rumored)
Road Trip of the DeadfilmingTom Savini
From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series2016TV SeriesBurt
The Sadist2015The Sadist
The Misfits: Tour Video Collection2015ShortRiot Squad Officer
LocoCycle2013Video GameHolt Ryebach
Machete Kills2013Osiris Amanapur
Cool as Hell2013The Demon Slayer
Django Unchained2012Tracker
The Perks of Being a Wallflower2012Mr. Callahan
Inhuman Resources2012Peter Bava
Robin Hood: Ghosts of Sherwood2012Sheriff of Nottingham
Death from Above2012Sheriff Raynick
The Theatre Bizarre2011Dr. Maurey (segment "Wet Dreams")
Crazy Rides a Sawhorse2010Talkin' Tom (voice)
Machete2010Osiris Amanpour
The Dead Matter2010Sebed
Aqua Teen Hunger Force2010TV SeriesPolice officer
Sea of Dust2008Prester John
Zack and Miri Make a Porno2008Jenkins
Lost Boys: The Tribe2008VideoDavid Van Etten
It's My Party and I'll Die If I Want To2007Uncle Tom
Diary of the Dead2007Man Shouting on Radio 'shoot in the Head' (voice, uncredited)
Planet Terror2007Deputy Tolo
Loaded Dice2007VideoThe Bishop
Grindhouse2007Deputy Tolo (segment "Planet Terror")
The Absence of Light2006The Higher Power
Beyond the Wall of Sleep2006Sheriff
Forest of the Damned2005Stephen
A Dream of Color in Black and White2005Cabby
Land of the Dead2005Machete Zombie
Unearthed2004Det. Victor Tonelli
Death 4 Told2004Man (segment "The Psychic")
Dawn of the Dead2004The County Sheriff
Zombiegeddon2003VideoJesus Christ
Blood Bath2002VideoStranger
Ted Bundy2002Salt Lake City Detective
Eyes Are Upon You2001Eddie Rao
Children of the Living Dead2001VideoDeputy Hughs
Web of Darkness2001VideoRouge
The Monster Man2001VideoUncle Joe
Sheena2000TV SeriesPeter Reynolds
From Dusk Till Dawn1996Sex Machine
Mr. Stitch1995TV MovieChemical / Weapons Engineer
The Demolitionist1995Roland
Innocent Blood1992News Photographer
Two Evil Eyes1990The Monomaniac (segment "The Black Cat") (uncredited)
Heartstopper1989Lt. Ron Vargo
Creepshow 21987The Creep (prologue)
Twisted Sister: Come Out and Play1986Video shortTeacher (segment "Be Chrool to Your Scuel")
The Ripper1985VideoJack the Ripper
The Boy Who Loved Trolls1984TV MovieMotorcyclist
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter1984Jason (Hitchhiker Murder Scene) (uncredited)
Creepshow1982Garbage Man #2 (segment "Epilogue")
Friday the 13th1980Man The Knife Killer (uncredited)
Maniac1980Disco Boy
Dawn of the Dead1978Motorcycle Raider

Make Up Department

Nightmare Cityspecial makeup effects supervisor announced
Inhuman Resources2012special make-up effects supervisor
Ted Bundy2002special makeup effects artist
Cold Hearts1999special makeup effects supervisor
The Assassination File1996TV Movie makeup effects
Mr. Stitch1995TV Movie makeup design and effects
Necronomicon: Book of Dead1993makeup effects consultant
Killing Zoe1993special makeup effects
Trauma1993makeup artist / special makeup effects
Bloodsucking Pharaohs in Pittsburgh1991special makeup effects
Two Evil Eyes1990special makeup effects supervisor
Monkey Shines1988special makeup effects
Twisted Sister: Come Out and Play1986Video short special makeup effects artist
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 21986makeup artist
Invasion U.S.A.1985special effects makeup
Day of the Dead1985special makeup effects
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter1984special makeup effects artist
Alone in the Dark1982additional makeup effects: Toni's apparition
Xiao sheng pa pa1982special makeup effects artist
Creepshow1982special makeup effects
The Prowler1981special makeup and effects
The Burning1981special makeup and effects
Eyes of a Stranger1981special makeup effects
Friday the 13th1980special makeup effects
Maniac1980special makeup and effects
Martin1978makeup artist
Dead of Night1974makeup artist
Deranged: Confessions of a Necrophile1974makeup artist

Special Effects

Dawn of the Dead1978makeup & cosmetic special effects
Martin1978special effects
Dead of Night1974special effects - uncredited
Nightmare Cityspecial effects supervisor announced
Death from Above2012special effects technician
Web of Darkness2001Video special effects makeup / special effects supervisor
Cutting Moments1997Short special effects supervisor
Backstreet Justice1994special effects
Necronomicon: Book of Dead1993associate creator: "darkman" and resurrected "clara", Optic Nerve Studios Inc.
Two Evil Eyes1990special effects
Heartstopper1989special effects
Red Scorpion1988special effects makeup
Tales from the DarksideTV Series special effects - 1 episode, 1988 special effects makeup - 1 episode, 1985
Creepshow 21987makeup effects consultant
Maria's Lovers1984special effects makeup
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter1984special effects supervisor - uncredited
Midnight1982special effects
Nightmare1981special effects director: New York - original version
Effects1980special effects


An Experiment in Fear: The Making of Monkey Shines2014Documentary short archive materials
Cutting Moments with Bob Elmore2013Video short provider: archival footage and images
The World's End: The Making of 'Day of the Dead'2013Video documentary photography: video & images
Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th2013Video documentary archival material / behind the scenes footage: "Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter"
Blood 'n Fire Memories with Tom Savini2013Video short footage and stills
Nightmares in Foam Rubber2004Video documentary short behind-the-scenes video
Return to Crystal Lake: Making 'Friday the 13th'2003Video documentary short archival material
Savini's EFX2003Video documentary short behind-the-scenes footage
Two Masters' Eyes2003Video documentary short behind-the-scenes footage
The Many Lives of Jason Voorhees2002Video short documentary archival material
Web of Darkness2001Video fight choreographer
Mummy Dearest: A Horror Tradition Unearthed1999Video documentary short sculptor: Ardath Bay bust
Joe Bob's Drive-In Theater1995TV Series director - 1 episode
Tales from the Darkside1984TV Series creator - 1 episode
The Burning1981horror sequence designer


Nightmare Cityannounced
Red Scorpion: On-Set Behind the Scenes Footage2012Video documentary short
The Theatre Bizarre2011segment "Wet Dreams"
Deadtime Stories2009segment "House Call"
Chill Factor: House Call2004Video short
Night of the Living Dead1990
Tales from the Darkside1984-1988TV Series 3 episodes


Children of the Living Dead2001Video stunt coordinator
Two Evil Eyes1990stunts
Monkey Shines1988stunts
Friday the 13th1980stunts
Dawn of the Dead1978stunt double: Jeannie Jefferies - uncredited / stunt double: Larry Vaira - uncredited / stuntman
Martin1978stunts - uncredited


Amongst Thieves and Phantoms2017Short executive producer post-production
Friday the 13th: The Game2017Video Game executive producer post-production
Nightmare Cityco-producer announced
Road Trip of the Deadexecutive producer filming
The Sadist2015producer
Spooky World1994Video documentary short producer


Nightmare Cityannounced


Friday the 13th: The Game2017Video Game post-production

Visual Effects

Friday the 13th: The Game2017Video Game visual effects supervisor post-production

Camera Department

Document of the Dead1985Documentary still photographer


Dylan vs. Jason2017Short special thanks pre-production
Three Wasps in a Serpent's Nestspecial thanks announced
Hell Night: Devil's Pass2015special thanks
The Dark Half: The Sparrows Are Flying Again! - The Making of the Dark Half2014Documentary short special thanks
Toys of Terror: The Making of 'Dolls'2014Video short special thanks
At All Cost2014Video special thanks
Cropsy Speaks with Lou David2013Video short special thanks
Moxina2012Short grateful acknowledgment
The United Monster Talent Agency2010Short thanks
Jason's Unlucky Day: 25 Years After Friday the 13th - The Final Chapter2009Video short special thanks
Fresh Cuts: New Tales from Friday the 13th2009Video documentary short special thanks
Erection2009Video special thanks
Can't Stop the Rock2007Video special thanks
Diary of the Dead2007very special thanks
Kottentail2007special thanks
The Dead Live2006Video thanks
Lord of the Undead2004special thanks
Savini's EFX2003Video documentary short special thanks
Hell Night2001Video special thanks
The Dead Hate the Living!2000Video special thanks
Frankenstein and Me1996special thanks
Fangoria's Weekend of Horrors1986Video documentary special thanks
Document of the Dead1985Documentary special thanks


Clapboard Jungle: Surviving the Independent Film Business2017Documentary post-productionHimself
Tom Savini's Behind the Scenes 'Creepshow'2016Video documentary shortHimself
House of Pain: The Make-Up Effects of 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2'2016Video documentaryHimself
Savini's Night2016Video documentary shortHimself
Bizarre Transmissions from the Bermuda Triangle2015TV SeriesHimself
Cinema 32015TV SeriesHimself
Tria332015TV SeriesHimself
Smoke and Mirrors: The Story of Tom Savini2015DocumentaryHimself
Nerd Nation TV2015TV SeriesHimself
The Walkers Among Us2015DocumentaryHimself
Inside Bryan2015Video documentaryHimself
An Experiment in Fear: The Making of Monkey Shines2014Documentary shortHimself
Creature Feature: 60 Years of the Gill-Man2014DocumentaryHimself
That $#!% Will Rot Your Brain: How the Monster Kids Transformed Popular Culture2014DocumentaryHimself
Doc of the Dead2014DocumentaryHimself
Demented Features2013TV SeriesHimself
The World's End: The Making of 'Day of the Dead'2013Video documentaryHimself
Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th2013Video documentaryHimself - Special Make-Up Effects
Blood 'n Fire Memories with Tom Savini2013Video shortHimself
The Phantom of the Opera: Unmasking the Masterpiece2013Documentary
A Date with Destiny: Tom Savini Reflects on Knightriders2013Video documentary shortHimself
Sheriff Tom Vs. The Zombies2013Himself
Dead Meat Walking: A Zombie Walk Documentary2012DocumentaryHimself
Robin Hood: Ghosts of Sherwood - Pleiten Pech und Pannen2012Video documentary shortHimself
Halloween Wars2012TV SeriesHimself - Judge
I Heart Monster Movies2012DocumentaryHimself
Red Scorpion: Scorpion Tales with Tom Savini2012Video documentary shortHimself
Face Off2012TV SeriesHimself - Guest Judge
MENTALLUSIONS: Radical Eclectic Films of Benjamin Meade2012Himself
The Return of El Topo Chico2011ShortHimself
Nightmare Factory2011TV Movie documentaryHimself
Mom I'm a Zombie2011DocumentaryHimself
Underground Entertainment: The Movie2011DocumentaryInterrupting Tom
I Want to Be Tom Savini2011Documentary shortHimself
Blob Town2010Documentary shortHimself
Guten Abend RTL2010TV SeriesHimself
The Death Dealer with Tom Savini2010Video documentary shortHimself
Saturday Nightmares: The Ultimate Horror Expo of All Time!2010VideoHimself
Tattoos: A Scarred History2009DocumentaryHimself
Jason's Unlucky Day: 25 Years After Friday the 13th - The Final Chapter2009Video shortHimself
Friday's Legacy: Horror Conventions2009Video documentary short
His Name Was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th2009TV Movie documentaryHimself - Host
A Friday the 13th Reunion2009Video documentary shortHimself
Fresh Cuts: New Tales from Friday the 13th2009Video documentary shortHimself
Starz Inside: Fantastic Flesh2008TV Movie documentaryHimself
Tom Savini: Horror Effects2008Documentary shortHimself
It's Hard Being Evil2008Video documentary shortHimself
Dead On: The Life and Cinema of George A. Romero2008DocumentaryHimself
Science of Horror2008DocumentaryHimself
He Who Made Monsters: The Life and Art of Jack Pierce2008Video shortHimself
Starz presents Zombie Mania2008TV Movie documentaryHimself
The Horrorhound2007Video documentaryHimself
Just Desserts: The Making of 'Creepshow'2007Video documentaryHimself
Blood, Boobs & Beast2007DocumentaryHimself
Chucky: Building a Nightmare2007Video documentary shortHimself
The Shark Is Still Working2007DocumentaryHimself
Horror Fans2006ShortHimself
American Scary2006DocumentaryHimself - Director
Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film2006DocumentaryHimself
It Runs in the Family2006Video documentaryHimself
Flesh Wounds: Seven Stories of the Saw2006Video documentaryHimself
Texas Frightmare Weekend 20062006Video documentaryHimself
The Witch's Dungeon: 40 Years of Chills2006Video documentaryHimself
Tom Savini: On Serial Killers, CGI, & Childhood2005Documentary shortHimself
After Effects: Memories of Pittsburgh Filmmaking2005Video documentaryHimself
Dream of the Dead: George Romero2005TV Short documentaryHimself
Friday the 13th Chronicles2004Video shortHimself
Secrets Galore Behind the Gore2004Video shortHimself
The Dead Will Walk2004Video documentaryHimself
Chill Factor: House Call2004Video shortHimself
Tom Savini: The Early Years2004Video documentary shortHimself
Creature Feature: 50 Years of the Gill-Man2004Video documentaryHimself
Behind the House: Anatomy of the Zombie Movement2004Video documentary shortHimself
Crystal Lake Victims Tell All2004Video documentary shortHimself
The 100 Scariest Movie Moments2004TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
The Many Days of 'Day of the Dead'2003Video documentary shortHimself
Savini's EFX2003Video documentary shortHimself
Two Masters' Eyes2003Video documentary shortHimself
The Midnight Movie2002TV SeriesHimself
The Simpsons2001TV SeriesHimself
Dario Argento: An Eye for Horror2000TV Movie documentaryHimself
Scream and Scream Again: A History of the Slasher Film2000TV Special documentaryHimself
Hollywood Goes to Hell2000TV Short documentaryHimself
The American Nightmare2000DocumentaryHimself
The Dead Walk: Remaking a Classic1999Video documentary shortHimself
A-Z of Horror1997TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
Halloween... The Happy Haunting of America!1997DocumentaryHimself
Il mondo di Dario Argento 3: Il museo degli orrori di Dario Argento1997Video documentaryHimself
Movie Magic1995TV Series documentaryHimself
Spooky World1994Video documentary shortHimself
Zombie Jamboree: The 25th Anniversary of Night of the Living Dead1993Video documentaryHimself
Dario Argento: Master of Horror1991DocumentaryHimself
The Incredibly Strange Film Show1989TV Series documentaryHimself
Drive-In Madness!1987DocumentaryHimself
Late Night with David Letterman1985-1987TV SeriesHimself
Scream Greats, Vol. 1: Tom Savini, Master of Horror Effects1986Video documentaryHimself
Document of the Dead1985DocumentaryHimself
Il mondo dell'orrore di Dario Argento1985DocumentaryHimself
Livewire1980TV SeriesHimself (1982)

Archive Footage

Heroes Manufactured2016DocumentaryHimself
Missing Reel2014TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
Cinemassacre's Monster Madness2007-2013TV Series documentaryMotorcycle Raider / Man Shouting on Radio 'shoot in the Head / Himself / ...
Nightmares in Foam Rubber2004Video documentary shortHimself


Won Awards

2012SDFCS AwardSan Diego Film Critics Society AwardsBest Ensemble PerformanceThe Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)
2003Lifetime Achievement AwardNew York City Horror Film FestivalLifetime Achievement Award
1986Saturn AwardAcademy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USABest Make-UpDay of the Dead (1985)

Nominated Awards

1980Saturn AwardAcademy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USABest Make-UpDawn of the Dead (1978)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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