DANBURY, Conn., June 2 (UPI) -- Television personality-turned-cinematic villain Betsy Palmer died under hospice care in Connecticut Friday, May 29. She was 88 years old.
Her longtime manager, Brad Lemack, released a statement Saturday saying: "She was one of the most gracious, kind, generous and loving people I have ever known."
Palmer -- born as Patricia Betsy Hrunek in Chicago in 1926 -- was best known for her role as the murderous Mrs. Vorhees in the slasher flick Friday the 13th. However, she started her career much earlier during the 1950s, starring in such films as Mister Roberts (1955) and The Long Gray Line (1955).
She worked as a reporter during the early days of NBC's Today show in 1952 and appeared on many television series and made-for-TV films before landing her famously insane role in the bloody 1980 flick.
Palmer said, in a 1991 interview with her manager, that she decided to sign on to Friday the 13th to buy a car. "I read [the script] and said 'what a piece of...chuck,'" she joked, "I said 'nobody's ever gonna see this thing.' So I figured what? Ten days' work, a thousand dollars a day -- I'll be able to buy that little [Volkswagen] Scirocco and sure enough I did."
The beloved actress, who eventually embraced her horror-fueled fame, is survived by her daughter Melissa Merendino.