Original Friday the 13th star Betsy Palmer, who played Jason Voorhees' mother Pamela, passed away earlier today at the age of 88. The actress passed away from natural causes while at a hospice care center in Connecticut. Her longtime manager Brad Lemack confirmed that she died earlier today.
Betsy Palmer started her career in the 1950s, appearing in a number of guest-starring roles on TV shows such as Inner Sanctum, Kraft Suspense Theatre, Studio One, Playhouse 90 and Danger. After only working sparingly throughout the 1960s and the 1970s, Betsy Palmer took on the iconic role of Pamela Voorhees in the classic horror film Friday the 13th, admitting later that she only took on the role because she needed money to buy a new car. She reprised that role just one year later in Friday the 13th Part 2.
The actress other movie credits include Mr. Roberts with Henry Fonda, The Long Gray Line with Tyrone Power and Maureen O'Hara, Queen Bee with Joan Crawford, and The Tin Star with Henry Fonda and Anthony Perkins. She also played Virginia Bullock in the hit 1980s TV series Knots Landing and her last role was as the title character in 2007's Bell Witch: The Movie. The actress is survived by her daughter, Melissa Merendino.
We interviewed Betsy back in 2009. CLICK HERE to read about how she felt about playing the mother, and the inspiration of one of the most notorious movie maniacs in slasher film history.