Editors at Entertainment Weekly report that Scrimm passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends. His friend and collaborator Don Coscarelli, who directed him in the Phantasm movies, confirmed the actor's death in an email.

"Angus Scrimm passed away peacefully tonight surrounded by his friends and loved ones," he wrote. "(His) performance as the Tall Man is a towering achievement in horror film history. He was the last in a long line of classic horror movie stars. He was a terrific actor and an even better friend. He will be missed."

Scrimm, real name Lawrence Rory Guy, was born in Kansas, and studied theatre at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

After struggling make a living as an actor, he started work at Capitol Records, where he wrote linear notes for musical acts such as Frank Sinatra and the Beatles.

As well as his role in the Phantasm series, the Hollywood veteran also starred in the 2008 film I Sell the Dead, and had a recurring role on the TV show Alias, alongside Jennifer Garner.

Scrimm recently reprised the role of the Tall Man in a fifth film, Phantasm: Ravager, which is set for release later this year (16).