R.I.P. Betsy Palmer

Actress Betsy Palmer passed away May 29th, 2015 at the age of 88

Betsy Palmer


According to imdb, Betsy Palmer had sixty roles. She appeared in a lot of television during the formative fifties. She had roles in The Long Gray Line and Mister Roberts. She managed to score guest spots on Columbo, Murder She Wrote, Newhart, The Love Boat, Chips, and T.J. Hooker. She even had a regular role as Virginia Bullock in 29 episodes of Knot’s Landing.

In spite of this, she is typically only remembered for a role she disdained. Betsy Palmer was Mrs. Voorhees, mother of Jason, and the original killer in Friday the 13th (1980). She only took the role because she was desperate for a new car. It paid $10,000 for a ten day shoot. She turned down a chance to play Mrs. Voorhees again in Freddy vs. Jason because the part was too small. Spoilers for a thirty-five year old movie follow.

Ironically, the most iconic shot of Mrs. Voorhees isn’t Betsy Palmer. When Mrs. Voorhees gets her head chopped off, the hairy hands in shot, reaching up and grasping, are those of make-up and effects artist Tom Savini.

Rest in peace, Betsy Palmer.