Betsy Palmer, who starred as Mrs. Voorhees in the original Friday the 13th and its sequel, died on Friday at 88, her manager confirmed to the Associated Press.
Palmer had more than 60 film and television credits to her name, but is perhaps best remembered as Jason’s mom – a.k.a. the killer cook from the popular horror franchise. It was a role that Palmer only took, in part, to buy a new car.
“My agent called and said, ‘How would you like to be in a movie?’” she said in an interview. “I said, ‘Great, I haven’t done a movie since the 1960s.’ […] He said, ‘It’s 10 days’ work, they’ll pay you $1,000 a day.’ I said, ‘Great, I want to buy a car. It’ll just cover the car. Oh, perfect.’ He said, ‘There’s a drawback.’ I said, ‘What’s that?’ He said, ‘It’s a horror film.’ I said, Oh, no.’”
Palmer called the script for Friday the 13th a “piece of junk.”
In addition to Friday the 13th, Palmer appeared on numerous television series, including Murder, She Wrote, Knots Landing and Charles in Charge. She was also a regular panelist on the popular 1960s game show, I’ve Got a Secret, and the original letter turner on Wheel of Fortune.
“The thing that was so great about that time as far as my aspect of it was… I loved to improvise. I loved being scriptless… I was an actress,” she said in a 2011 interview about Wheel of Fortune. “I wasn’t just an announcer or something of that nature. That was another time. A naive time. We were like a bunch of kids.”
For more on Palmer’s life, head to The Huffington Post.