Best known as the only survivor of Leatherface's bloody rampage in the 1974 cult classic, Burns returned for two more “Texas Chainsaw” appearances
Marilyn Burns, who gained fame as heroine in the original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” horror film, was found dead in her home by a family member in Houston, TheWrap has confirmed. A cause of death has not been released. She was 64.
“It is with sad news that I can officially confirm that actress, Marilyn Burns passed away earlier today,” said her talent manager Chris Roe in a statement. “She was found unresponsive by a family member this morning in her Houston, TX area home. Her family asks for privacy at this time. Further details will be released later.”
After the release of the 1974 cult classic, Burns gained fame when her character, Sally, became the only survivor after the bloody rampage of Leatherface. It was her first lead role.
Coming full circle, Burns made a cameo appearance in the seventh and latest chapter in the Leatherface saga, 2013's “Texas Chainsaw 3D.” It was her third “Texas Chainsaw” appearance, and one of her final film roles. She also appeared in the 2014 horror film “Sacrament.”
Burns expressed an interest in the arts at a young age, participating in school theatrical productions. After high school, she made her first film appearance in Robert Altman‘s “Brewster McCloud” while attending college. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Drama in 1971.
She portrayed Linda Kasabian, who traded her testimony against Charles Manson and his “family” for immunity in the television miniseries “Helter Skelter” in 1976.
Burns made several other notable appearances throughout her long career as an actress, with a heavy emphasis on horror, but none would have the cultural impact of the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”