Betsy Palmer: ‘Friday The 13th’ Actress Dies At 88

Betsy Palmer, famous for her role in the horror flick Friday the 13th, has passed away at the age of 88.

According to her longtime manager, Brad Lemack, Palmer died from natural causes on Friday, May 29, in a Connecticut hospice care center, the Associated Press reports.

While Betsy Palmer is best known for her character Pamela Voorhees, the mother of crazed serial killer Jason Voorhees in the 1980s film Friday the 13th, she was playing other characters on television and movies for decades before she became known for the cult classic.

Palmer’s other notable works include The Long Gray Line,Queen Bee, Mr. Roberts, The Tin Star, Wheel of Fortune (as the original letter turner), The Today Show, Newhart, Kraft Theatre,Playhouse 90, Murder, She Wrote, and Studio One. Betsy also starred in several Broadway plays, including Same Time, Next Year and Cactus Flower.

Friday the 13th Betsy Palmer
Betsy Palmer, Friday the 13th

As the Inquisitr previously reported, Betsy Palmer didn’t take on the role of Ms. Voorhees to become a horror film icon. However, she recalled to Movieweb that she simply wanted to make enough money to purchase a car.

“I said, ‘Wonderful, I just saw a car that I want to buy. That sounds just perfect.’ And he says, ‘Well, there is a drawback.’ And I asked, ‘What do you mean?’ He says, ‘It’s a horror film.’ And I said, ‘Ooooooh, no! No, no, no, no! It’s bad enough that I’m an actress that wants to be recognized as an actress. Instead I am known for doing game shows. And now I am going to add a horror film to my list of credits?

No, no! I don’t want to do that.’ But then I started thinking about that ten thousand dollars. I said, ‘Send me the script.’ They sent it over and I read it. And I said, ‘What a piece of s***! Nobody is ever going to see this thing. What an awful thing this is.’ It was only ten days work, so I thought, ‘I’ll do it so I can get my car.’ “

While she wasn’t originally a fan of Friday the 13th, Palmer said she was excited about the opportunity to change her image.

“The image always was of me was that I was this girl next door, and of course I’ve always said that there wasn’t a gal that ever lived next door to me that I wanted to be like,” Palmer said in the documentary Return to Crystal Lake in 2008, according to CNN. “I was always trying to prove that I wasn’t the girl next door.”

Betsy Palmer is survived by her daughter, Melissa Merendino.

[Photo via YouTube screenshot]

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