Actress Betsy Palmer passed away on Friday at a hospice care center in her home state of Connecticut, according to the Associated Press. The 88-year-old veteran of stage and screen died of natural causes and is survived by her daughter. While she had an incredible career that spanned six decades, Palmer’s legacy became her portrayal of Pamela Voorhees, the sadistic and vengeful mother of a child who drowned at Camp Crystal Lake in the 1980 box office hit Friday the 13th.
It was a role that she wasn’t exactly happy about taking in the first place, and after critics railed against the film and mocked her decision to take the part, she was reluctant to accept her place in horror movie history. As her Friday the 13th co-star and good friend Adrienne King recently told us, Palmer eventually realized how much horror fans grew to love her as Mrs. Voorhees, and she ultimately attended conventions and embraced it all, taking pride in the strangely endearing killer she helped create.
And as Palmer told us, acting was her passion and something that she took very seriously, from her first TV role in 1951 to Sean Cunningham’s cheesy, low budget slasher film and beyond.