Marilyn Burns, best known her role in the cult horror film The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, died Tuesday at her home in Houston, her manager confirmed to EW. She was 65.
Born in Pennsylvania and raised in Texas, Burns pursued acting throughout her schooling and made her film debut in Robert Altman’s Brewster McCloud while pursing a drama degree at the University of Texas at Austin. She appeared in small parts in other projects, but her breakout wouldn’t come till she landed the role of unlucky teen Sally Hardesty in Tobe Hooper’s bloody 1974 hit The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, which remains her most memorable role. Owen Gleiberman, in his review the 2003 remake, wrote of the original: “With the exception of Psycho, it’s the only modern horror movie I can think of that’s as elegant as it is relentless.”
Burns went on to star in Hooper’s Eaten Alive and as Linda Kasabian in the Charles Manson miniseries Helter Skelter. She also made cameo appearances in 1994’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation and 2013’s Texas Chainsaw 3D.
Burns’s family has requested privacy at this time.