Betsy Palmer, the iconic character actress best known for her appearance in the film Friday the 13th, has died. She was 88.

Betsy Palmer Dies

Palmer died of natural causes on Friday, May 30 at a hospice care center in Connecticut, her manager, Brad Lemack, confirmed in a statement.

Palmer got her start in show business in the 1950s as a panelist on the TV game show I’ve Got a Secret. She went on to carve out a successful career in the industry, often appearing as “girl next door” characters. But, decades after landing in Hollywood, Palmer took the murderous role of Mrs. Voorhees in Friday the 13th.

“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 recalled in the documentary Return to Crystal Lake. “I was always trying to prove that I wasn’t the girl next door.”

In addition to Friday the 13th, Palmer appeared on the big screen in The Long Gray Line, Queen Bee, The Last Angry Man and Unveiled. Her small screen credits include Studio One in Hollywood, The United States Steel Hour Murder, She Wrote and Knots Landing. On stage, Palmer appeared in Roar Like a Dove, Cactus Flower and The Eccentricities of a Nightingale.

Palmer is survived by her daughter Melissa Merendino.

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