There are many facets of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) pathogenesis that are not fully understood, such as the mechanisms involved in the establishment of lifelong latency, reactivation, and development of serious conditions like postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). Virus-encoded modulation of apoptosis has been suggested to play an important role in these processes. VZV open reading frame 63 (ORF63) has been shown to modulate apoptosis in a cell-type-specific manner, but the impact of ORF63 on cell death pathways has not been examined in isolation in the context of human cells. We sought to elucidate the effect of VZV ORF63 on apoptosis induction in human neuron and keratinocyte cell lines. VZV ORF63 was shown to protect differentiated SH-SY5Y neuronal cells against staurosporineinduced apoptosis. In addition, VZV infection did not induce high levels of apoptosis in the HaCaT human keratinocyte line, highlighting a delay in apoptosis induction. VZV ORF63 was shown to protect HaCaT cells against both staurosporine- and Fas ligand-induced apoptosis. Confocal microscopy was utilized to examine VZV ORF63 localization during apoptosis induction. In VZV infection and ORF63 expression alone, VZV ORF63 became more cytoplasmic, with aggregate formation during apoptosis induction. Taken together, this suggests that VZV ORF63 protects both differentiated SH-SY5Y cells and HaCaT cells from apoptosis induction and may mediate this effect through its localization change during apoptosis. VZV ORF63 is a prominent VZV gene product in both productive and latent infection and thus may play a critical role in VZV pathogenesis by aiding neuron and keratinocyte survival.