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This page is about the original film. For the remake, see Laurie Strode (Remake).
Was it the boogeyman?
― Halloween (1978)

Laurie Strode is the protagonist of John Carpenter's original Halloween (1978). Her role in the film spawned the Halloween franchise. She is a 17-year-old babysitter and high school student who lives in Haddonfield, Illinois. She is stalked and later targeted by escaped Smith's Grove patient, Michael Myers on Halloween night, 1978. He attempts to kill her, after killing four other people that night.

The role is primarily portrayed by Jamie Lee Curtis, who makes the most actor appearances in the franchise, with a total count of 7/13 appearances. Including her Remake Counterpart, Laurie makes 9 physical appearances out of all 13 films. She also appears in a photographic image in one film.

The character has a complicated history, due to multiple occurrences of retroactive continuity, effectively establishing multiple timelines (Rob Zombie's remake is also set in a separate universe). The Blumhouse Trilogy, directed by David Gordon Green (2018—2022) is regarded as the canonical successor to the original 1978 film.

In a technical sense, however, Jamie Lee Curtis still portrays three different iterations of the character. In all three timelines/continuities, the original 1978 film is apart of its continuity, with Laurie as an attacked teenage baby-sitter.

Explained timelines

Further Information: History of Revisionism section.

Summary of Differences

The original timeline/continuity eventually became known as the Thorn version, consisting of the first six films, minus the failed anthology, spin-off third film, Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982). Curtis appears in the first two films, and makes a final appearance via photographic still in the fourth film, explaining her off-screen demise.

The second iteration Curtis portrayed was the H20 version (ignoring the Thorn Trilogy, Halloween 4-6), picking up 20 years after the climax of Halloween II (1981), which concluded the 1978 massacre where Michael Myers killed thirteen people.

The most recent iteration is the third one: David Gordon Green's Trilogy, beginning 40 years after the original 1978 film. It ignores/erases all prior sequels from existence, including Rick Rosenthal's Halloween II (1981), which established Laurie as Michael Myers' sister, who was given up for adoption (an element Rob Zombie's remake also incorporated).

As such, Michael killed four people, not thirteen, in this continuity on the original 1978 night (five overall, following his sister, Judith's 1963 murder). Therefore, Laurie is completely unrelated to him, and her attack was as a result of only being stalked.

Her ultimate fates in each of the three timelines: the first timeline reveals Laurie died off-screen, age 26 in a November 1987 accident; the second timeline she is eventually killed by Michael Myers age 40 at a psychiatric hospital; the third timeline, her story concludes age 61 on Halloween night, 2022.

Canonical Timeline Biography

Early Life

Laurie Strode was born in Haddonfield, Illinois, in 1961. She is the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Strode. Her father is seen in the original film, while her mother is absent from the film. Neither parents are mentioned by name.

The Night He Came Home (1978): Full Act

Meet the babysitters: Laurie Strode (left), and her friends, Lynda (center) and Annie (right)

Events of Halloween (1978): The 17-year-old Laurie is a high school student who has plans to babysit Tommy Doyle (Brian Andrews) on Halloween night, 1978.

However, throughout the day, she keeps seeing a mysterious masked man watching her wherever she goes; unbeknownst to her, he is Michael Myers (Nick Castle), an escaped mental patient who murdered his sister, Judith Myers (Sandy Johnson), 15 years before in 1963. At the time, he was only 8 years old.

Now, Michael has begun stalking her. Laurie notices Michael watching her and becomes increasingly worried, though her best friends Annie (Nancy Loomis) and Lynda (P. J. Soles) casually dismiss these concerns.

As Laurie babysits Tommy, Myers kills Annie and Lynda in the house across the street. Growing concerned when they fail to call her, Laurie goes to investigate and sees their corpses laid out for her to find, before being attacked by Michael.

Michael stalks his sister Laurie Strode from the shadows.

Barely escaping, Laurie races back to the Doyle house. Michael follows, but Laurie manages to fend him off long enough for Tommy and Lindsey (whom Laurie's friend was to babysit) to escape. Laurie is saved by Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence), Michael's psychiatrist, who shoots him off the balcony; when Loomis goes to check Michael's body, he finds it missing.

An unsurprised Loomis stares off into the night, while Laurie begins sobbing in terror, asking if she saw the Boogeyman, a reference to what the kids spoke about earlier.

40 Year Aftermath Summary (1978–2018)

After killing four people in 1978, and escaping, Michael Myers was later captured and institutionalized for the next 40 years in Smith's Grove Sanitarium. Despite this, Laurie's fears of the Boogeyman remained.

With no access to therapy in the time period, she develops severe post-traumatic stress disorder. False rumours spread during this time period that she is Michael's sister, and he had come back to kill her, like his own sister.

Laurie's daughter, Karen as a child.

Sometime in this forty-year period, her parents also pass away. Within the next forty years since the 1978 killings, Laurie gets married and divorced twice. Her daughter, Karen, is born in 1981, following a drunken one-night stand with Frank Hawkins when Laurie was just nineteen.

However, by 1993, when Karen is only twelve, Laurie loses custody of her due to her parenting choices. As shown in flashbacks, Laurie trained Karen with guns, to fear the Boogeyman and boobytrapped her house. Karen has a deeply troubled, but loving relationship with her mother because of this.

Laurie expresses raw emotions over witnessing Michael again, shortly before Halloween night 2018.

In 2001, Laurie became a grandmother to Allyson Nelson, her daughter Karen's only child.

Halloween, 40 Years Later (2018): Act I (October 31, 2018)

Laurie Strode, 40 years later.

Events of Halloween (2018): Exactly 40 years after the original film, on Wednesday, October 31, 2018, Laurie prepares to kill Michael. She has planned to do this since their initial encounter in 1978, believing that for 40 years, the Boogeyman will escape. Her daughter is now 37, while her granddaughter is 17, the same age she was when she was initially attacked.

Michael eventually escapes again and returns to Haddonfield for another killing spree. Michael is taken to Laurie's home by his deranged psychologist, Dr. Ranbir Sartain and engages in a showdown with Laurie, who severely injures him and severs two of his fingers, but he stabs her in the stomach and pushes her over a balcony.

When Michael goes to check Laurie's body, he finds it missing, before being attacked by a very much alive Laurie. Trapping him inside the basement safe room, Laurie, Karen and Allyson set the house ablaze, and the trio escapes in the back of a passing pickup truck.

Halloween, 40 Years Later (2018): Act II — Haddonfield Riots (October 31—November 1, 2018)

Laurie as she appears in Halloween (2018).

Events of Halloween Kills (2021): The town's own trauma is confronted on the same 2018 night, while Laurie recovers from her injuries at the hospital. She speaks to Karen's father, Frank Hawkins, as they recall their drunken one-night stand. She believes Michael to be dead at this point, until Michael's later killings are reported. Karen, having been afraid to tell her, is forced to concede and inform her the truth: Michael is still alive.

Laurie senses the loss of her daughter.

Tommy Doyle, the child Laurie once babysat, is now 48 and forms a mob to kill him. However, Laurie is adamant that they have identified the wrong person. The the mob's poor organization leads to violence and death against innocent, psychiatric hospital patients.

Tommy and the rioters fail, with Michael killing them all in the street outside the Myers home. Lindsey Wallace, also 48, is now a mother; she recognizes Michael's power and flees desperately, causing her to survive. Laurie's daughter, Karen is stabbed to death by Michael in the Myers home. Laurie gets unsettled, sensing Karen's demise due to the commotion inside the hospital, long after the mob march off to the former Myers residence to take revenge.

Halloween, 44 Years Later: Act III (2022) — Final Halloween (October 31, 2022)

Events of Halloween Ends (2022): Now a two-time killing spree survivor, Laurie spends four years dealing with the cost of being right all along. Her murdered daughter Karen, and son-in-law, Ray, leave behind an orphaned 21-year-old granddaughter, Allyson.

Allyson, having suffered an even more traumatic youth than Laurie. Allyson is now closer to her grandmother than ever. In this timespan, they are also forced to cope with a worldwide pandemic. Revenge against Michael Myers now awaits the remaining Strode women, one woman down.

Erased Thorn Continuity

Early Life

Laurie Strode was born Cynthia Myers in Haddonfield, Illinois, in 1961. She is the third and youngest born child of the Myers family. Her older siblings are Judith Myers (November 10, 1947—October 31, 1963) and Michael Myers (born October 19, 1957). She was given up for adoption aged two, following her six-year-old brother killing their fifteen-year-old sister.

The Night He Came Home (1978): Act I

Laurie sees a stalker, who is secretly her brother.

Events of Halloween (1978): The 17-year-old Laurie is a high school student who has plans to babysit Tommy Doyle (Brian Andrews) on Halloween night, 1978. However, throughout the day, she keeps seeing a mysterious masked man watching her wherever she goes; unbeknownst to her, he is Michael Myers (Nick Castle), her brother. Now an escaped mental patient, having returned 15 years later, though Laurie is unaware of the lineage during this.

With Michael stalking his younger sister, Laurie gets increasingly worried, though her best friends Annie (Nancy Loomis) and Lynda (P. J. Soles) casually dismiss these concerns.

As Laurie babysits Tommy, Myers kills Annie and Lynda in the house across the street. Growing concerned when they fail to call her, Laurie goes to investigate and sees their corpses laid out for her to find, before being attacked by Michael. Barely escaping, Laurie races back to the Doyle house. Michael follows, but Laurie manages to fend him off long enough for Tommy and Lindsey (whom Laurie's friend was to babysit) to escape.

Laurie is saved by Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence), Michael's psychiatrist, who shoots him off the balcony; when Loomis goes to check Michael's body, he finds it missing. An unsurprised Loomis stares off into the night, while Laurie begins sobbing in terror, asking if she saw the Boogeyman, a reference to what the kids spoke about earlier.

More of The Night He Came Home (1978): Act II

Events of Halloween II (1981): The film picks up directly after the first film. Laurie Strode is taken to a hospital. She learns who was trying to kill her and has dreams of her mother telling her she was adopted and visiting Michael when they were children.

Thorn Timeline Reveal: Laurie is Michael's sister.

Waking up, she begins to roam the hallways of the hospital until coming face to face with The Shape, who has been killing the hospital staff in search of her. Meanwhile, Dr. Loomis discovers that Laurie is Michael and Judith's sister; she was put up for adoption after the death of their parents, with the records sealed to protect the family.

Realizing that Michael has killed one sister and now wants to kill the other, Loomis rushes to the hospital to find them. Laurie shoots Michael in the eyes, blinding him, and Loomis causes an explosion in the operating theater, allowing Laurie to escape. Michael, engulfed in flames, stumbles out of the room before finally collapsing. The traumatized Laurie is last seen being transferred to another hospital, along with another survivor, Jimmy.

1978—1987

Pre-history of Halloween 4 (1988): Laurie recovers yet again and marries Mr. Lloyd. She gives birth to a daughter, Jamie Lloyd in 1980, when she is still only 19.

Eleven months since Laurie Lloyd's death, her orphaned daughter reflects, as her foster sister, Rachel comforts her.

Death (1987)

Pre-history of Halloween 4 (1988): Laurie Lloyd dies in an unspecified accident with her husband on November 30, 1987, eleven months before the next Halloween. She is 26 at the time of her demise. She is survived by her only child, Jamie Lloyd who is later fostered by the Carruthers.

Postmortem

Events of Halloween 4 (1988) and Halloween 5 (1989): Laurie's daughter becomes a victim to Michael Myers' stalking as well on two separate, consecutive nights one year apart, Halloween 1988 and Halloween 1989, aged 8 and 9 at the time. It is revealed Michael is under the influence of the Cult of Thorn.

Events of Halloween 6 (1995): Laurie's daughter, Jamie is revealed to have been abducted by the Cult for over 6 years, eventually raped by her uncle, and gives birth to Laurie's grandson/nephew, Steven Lloyd. Later, Jamie is murdered by Michael, and Kara Strode, Laurie's adoptive cousin raises the child with Tommy Doyle, a 25-year-old man whom Laurie once babysat during the initial 1978 attacks.

Erased H20 Continuity

Background Summary

Laurie, as a high school graduate. Class of 1978.

Keri Tate was born Cynthia Myers in Haddonfield, Illinois, in 1961. She is the third and youngest born child of the Myers family. Her older siblings are Judith Myers (November 10, 1945*—October 31, 1963, *stated explicitly to be seventeen in the H20 continuity) and Michael Myers (born October 19, 1957). She was given up for adoption aged two, following her six-year-old brother killing her seventeen-year-old sister, Judith.

Keri, age 17, then known as Laurie. She has survived the first round of attacks. (Halloween II).

[The decision to age up Laurie/Keri's older sister, Judith creates a continuity error with the original film, showing her date of birth on a tombstone, but it is an important plot point in the film, making it canon to the H20 timeline, as Keri/Laurie correctly surmises that this is why Michael will target her son, because he is now the same age Judith and Laurie were].

Between October 31—November 1, 1978, the bulk of which occurs on Halloween night, her brother Michael Myers escapes a mental institution, stalks her, hoping to kill his younger sister, but fails. He kills 13 people in the process.

20 Years In Hiding

Post-Halloween II (1981)

A newspaper seen at the beginning of H20. It has a typo, stating the year "1968" to describe the murders, rather than 1978..

Keri Tate is, of course, Laurie Strode. On public record, Laurie Strode was later considered deceased, reportedly dying in a car accident some time after surviving the October 31—November 1, 1978 massacre. She is stated in a newspaper as having died from failing to negotiate a curve, while driving 80 miles on a 45 limit. Eyewitnesses state she drove erratically before taking the curve hit.

Keri went into witness protection, believing her brother would return to kill her. As it turns out, his body was not found after the conclusion of Halloween II (1981), which is the source of her paranoia.

Halloween, 20 Years Later (1998): Full Act

The facade of Keri Tate, a short-haired brunette headmistress, living in California.

Events of Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998): Keri is the headmistress of a posh, California private school, where her teenage son John Tate is a student.

An alcoholic suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, Keri continues to struggle with the memory of twenty years ago, despite having started anew, and she does not consider it her real name. She also worries that Michael Myers may return.

Although her son, John dismisses her as paranoid, her fears become reality when Myers resurfaces on Halloween and murders John's friends. Now re-assuming her old identity, Laurie is ready to face her past. She gets her son to safety, and decides to stop running and face her brother. Laurie manages to stop Michael, but unconvinced that he is truly dead, goes on to steal his body and decapitate him.

Aftermath (2001): Laurie Dies, Michael Wins.

Laurie's appearance in Halloween: Resurrection

Events of Halloween: Resurrection (2002): Picking up three years later, it is Halloween night, 2001. The man Laurie beheaded is revealed to be a paramedic, whose larynx was crushed by Michael, before having his paramedic clothes swapped for the infamous masked killer. The conclusion of the previous film is revealed to have been a trap by Michael all along.

Michael watches as Laurie Strode falls to her death, his life's mission finally fulfilled.

The guilt-ridden Laurie is now an inmate at the Grace Andersen Sanitarium, where the nurses believe her to be catatonic. Instead, she is preparing for Michael to return, slipping her medications in a doll. and when he does, she lures him on to the institution's rooftop.

Although he falls into her trap, Laurie's fears of again killing the wrong person get the better of her, as Michael imitates a framed man once again.

To be certain, she decides to remove his mask once again, but Michael uses the opportunity to overpower her. He stabs her. Before she dies, Laurie kisses him, and says she will see him in Hell, before throwing herself from the roof. Her son, John's fate is left unknown in this timeline/continuity.

Despite this major event, the majority of the film takes place a year later, on Halloween night, 2002.

History of Timeline Revisionism

Leaving the franchise

After Curtis initially reprised the role for Rick Rosenthal's Halloween II (1981), released three years after the original, and set on the same night as the original film, Laurie and Michael Myers' battle seemingly ended with Michael's death. The failure of the stand-alone sequel, Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982), intended to kickstart an anthology series, led to Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988).

Laurie's photo shown in Halloween 4 (1988). This is used to identify her as Jamie's dead mother.

Curtis declined to return as Laurie, leading to her character being killed off-screen eleven months prior to the fourth film, at age 26, with her 7-year-old daughter, Jamie Lloyd being left an orphan.

Laurie's daughter is aided by Dr. Sam Loomis in the Cult of Thorn trilogy. The trilogy concludes with her daughter's murder following being raped by Laurie's killer brother Michael, and her adoptive cousin, Kara raising Laurie's grandson/nephew, Steven with Tommy Doyle.

First Return

The seventh film entry, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998) ignores the Cult of Thorn trilogy. and picks up after the conclusion of the second film, which concluded the 1978 murders. Curtis returned to the role 17 years later, but she later expressed in 2021 that she took the role for a paycheque.

Originally, the film was to be a direct sequel to Halloween 6 (1995) and feature a reference to Jamie Lloyd's death by a student conducting a powerpoint recapping the events, leading Keri/Laurie to throw up in the bathroom later. Producers decided it was best to streamline the story, ignoring previous sequels.

Keri Tate's PTSD.

She further explained it originally started with noble intentions (portraying Laurie's PTSD), a proposition made by herself. She said it was something "that had never been done before", and she wanted John Carpenter on the production, to commemorate the 20th anniversary. but it morphed into something else due to studio interference.

Picking up from Halloween II (1981) ending: Is it really over? Not quite.

She was contractually obligated for two films signing on, which included H20's critically panned sequel, Halloween: Resurrection (2002). Despite Jamie Lee Curtis being heavily promoted in the marketing, her character was killed in the opening sequence.

The small role was crafted to finish the character of Laurie Strode with no loose ends, as it had to be "one or the other" dying in the narrative's ultimatum, she stated, and she did not want to return for more. This lasted until the Blumhouse reboot trilogy (2018—2022), with Carpenter returning to co-produce its first entry.

The H20 film, the franchise's seventh entry, establishes 20 years of peace for the character (removing Jamie Lloyd from existence), but Laurie suffers from PTSD, and deals with alcoholism. She is a 37-year-old teacher at a private California prep school, and has a son, rather than a daughter. She is killed 3 years later, and her son's fate is left unknown.

Second and Final Return

Curtis was announced to return 17 years later, once again, for the David Gordon Green trilogy, beginning with the same-titled 2018 film, ignoring all Halloween sequels and picking up from the original. She agreed upon discovering John Carpenter's involvement as co-producer, Laurie's PTSD being taken seriously, and Michael Myers being re-introduced as a casual stalker.

Laurie is now 57, and has a daughter again, but a different one: her name is Karen (born approx. 1981, estimated by the dialogue in Halloween Kills) and she also has a granddaughter, Allyson (born 2001). This version of Laurie did not leave Haddonfield, and survived until a mature age. She lost custody of her daughter when Karen was 12, and also had two previous failed marriages. Her daughter and son-in-law are murdered 40 years later, leaving Laurie to mourn her daughter, and Allyson to mourn her parents.

Casting

Jamie Lee Curtis follows in her mother's footsteps with a classic horror picture on her resume.

In an interview, Carpenter admits that "Jamie Lee wasn't the first choice for Laurie. I had no idea who she was. She was 19 and in a TV show at the time, but I didn't watch TV." He originally wanted to cast Anne Lockhart, daughter of June Lockhart from Lassie, as Laurie Strode.

Lockhart, however, had commitments to several other film and television projects. Debra Hill says of learning that Curtis was the daughter of Psycho star Janet Leigh, "I knew casting Jamie Lee would be great publicity for the film because her mother was in Psycho."

Trivia

  • Laurie Strode is named after an ex-girlfriend of John Carpenter's.
  • Jamie Lee Curtis wore a wig for Halloween II (1981) so that her hair would look the same as it did in the original film, set on the same night.
  • Halloween (2018) takes place directly after Halloween (1978) erasing all previous sequels. This includes the idea that Michael and Laurie are biologically related, as screenwriter Danny McBride has gone on record saying he always disliked that aspect of the story.


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