Danny Hicks, one of the stars of Evil Dead II, Spiderman II and Darkman, has died at 68. Hicks was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer in June 2020.
A brief statement on the Facebook page of Hicks’ management company Full Empire Productions read simply, “Danny passed away at his home in CA. We love you Danny, rest easy my friend. No more pain.” Full Empire Productions had earlier said up a fundraising page for Hicks on their official website. At the time of writing, a GoFundMe page that has been set up for Hicks has raised nearly $20,000. The original goal of the page was $8,000.
Hicks was born in Pontiac, Michigan, on July 19, 1951. According to his IMDb page, he appeared in 36 movies, mainly in the horror genre. Most recently, Hicks appeared in the movies The Blood Hunter in 2020.
Evil Dead II Marked Hicks First Appearance on Screen
Hicks’ turn in Evil Dead II marked his first appearance on screen in 1987. Hicks told Starburst Magazine in a 2013 interview that Sam Raimi had come to Detroit to audition actors for the role of Jake having already searched in Los Angeles and New York. Hicks said that if they couldn’t cast the part in Detroit, Sam Raimi was going to play the role. During the same interview, Hicks said that he never saw the original Evil Dead movie until “five or six years” before the interview.
Hicks Was Supposed to Play the Role That Went to George Clooney in From Dusk till Dawn
In 2018, Hicks tried out producing working on the movie Dick Johnson & Tommygun vs. The Cannibal Cop: Based on a True Story. Hicks said in a 2013 interview with The Deadite Slayer that he was supposed to play the role of Seth in From Dusk till Dawn. The role went on to be played by George Clooney. Hicks said that after Robert Kurtzman dropped out of directing the project, he was also dropped from the role. Hicks said of this, “ou have Danny Hicks here and you’ve got George Clooney here. You know what? I would have cast George Clooney too! That’s one of the things that I don’t know if I regretted it or angry about it but I’ve since then forgiven everybody. Actually I’ve forgiven them a long time ago.”
During the same interview, Hicks said that he was turned on to acting after being asked to play a small part in a play in his hometown. Hicks said after coming off the stage, ” After the play was over this very attractive woman came up to me and said you know what? I run the YMCA down the street here and we have a beautiful hot tub. What do you say we get naked and get in the hot tub? And I thought you know I can get laid doing this stuff!”
In Announcing His Cancer Diagnosis, Hicks Made an Evil Dead II Joke
Hicks announced his cancer diagnosis in a Facebook post that read:
To all of the people that I never got to meet, and the 6,018 die-hard fans that enjoyed my work. I have some bad news. I have been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. I have approximately 1 to 3 years to live. But I gotta tell ya, I sure as hell packed a whole bunch of living into my 68 years.
I got no change coming back that’s for sure. And not too many regrets. Ok, gotta go. I’m gunna find out just what in the hell is going on down in that fruit cellar.
The “fruit cellar” is an apparent reference to Hicks’ turn in Evil Dead II when his character turns on Bruce Campbell and meets his demise in the cellar.
On June 25, the owner of Full Empire Productions, Dominic Mancini, said in a statement that he last spoke with Hicks on June 16. Mancini described Hicks as sounding “very weak and exhausted.” Mancini said that Hicks told him that he could not eat or sleep due to the pain. On June 18, Mancini said that Hicks’ stepdaughter Alicia told him that the actor had suffered a bad fall and was in the ER. Hicks was sent home with hospice care.