Characters You HATED To See Die!! Episode 3: George “Gramps”
Having said that, every so often one of the films would present a demise that not only caught fans off guard, but we were actually sad to see them meet their maker.While we bounce around the franchise in no particular order, one cannot stop and acknowledge just such a character whom is rarely discussed and given a proper memoriam. Of course I’m speaking of the loveable caretaker of Pinehurst Youth Development Center and Grandfather to Reggie the Reckless, George aka Gramps from 1985’s Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning!
Known for numerous television appearances including roles on The Jeffersons, Hillstreet Blues and Fame, Vernon Washington brought a naturally empathetic charm to the character who not only cared for the troubled youth residing at the mental health center, but was also raising his grandson Reggie who could be more trouble than the residents he cooked and cleaned for. George was always first to provide words of wisdom and a laugh to lighten the mood during emotional dysregulation.
However, in the end his humble and caring nature was not enough to spare him the blade. While not technically a victim of Voorhees, as Part V had the twist reveal at the conclusion that Roy the paramedic was standing in to provide this chapter’s body count, George was one of the unlucky many to meet his demise this go-around.While Reggie and Pam leave George behind filled with worry to visit his other troubled grandson Demon (played by the always hilarious Miguel A Nunez Jr. from Return of the Living Dead) they return to the remaining kids reporting that George is among the missing. As Jason/Roy moves in for his final attack, the viewer and final girl Pam (Melanie Kinnaman) is shocked by George’s body being thrown through the house front window, eyes viciously gouged out; that Roy really seemed to have something against eyes, didn't he? While his actual execution was off-screen, the reveal is no soft blow to the characters or the audience who cannot help but think “why Gramps!? He was so nice!” Alas, this is a Friday flick…nice will only get you so far!
Sadly, Vernon himself passed away three years after his role as George at the too young age of 60. Still, his legacy in the Friday franchise will endure as one of those kind hearted characters we HATED to see die.
For more on Friday the 13th Part V: The New Beginning, check out the site’s page dedicated to it here: http://www.fridaythe13thfranchise.com/2011/06/friday-13th-new-beginning.html
Discuss Gramps’ role and demise more below or at Part V’s page in the forums here: http://www.fridaythe13thfanatics.com/friday-the-13th-a-new-beginning-f28.html