Betsy Palmer, Actress Who Played Killer Cook in ‘Friday the 13th,’ Dead at 88

The veteran character actress was best known as Mrs. Voorhees in 1980 horror film

Last Updated: May 31, 2015 @ 7:59 PM

Betsy Palmer, a veteran character actress best known for playing the homicidal cook and mother of Jason Voorhees in the 1980 horror classic “Friday the 13th,” died on Friday at age 88.

She had been in hospice care in Connecticut.

The Indiana native starred as nurse Ann Girard in 1955 movie “Mister Roberts” opposite Henry Fonda and Jack Lemmon. She was a regular on the TV quiz show “I’ve Got a Secret” in the 1950s and ’60s, and played the aunt of Joan Van Ark’s Val Ewing for two seasons of “Knots Landing” in the ’80s.

But she is best known for portraying Mrs. Voorhees in “Friday the 13th,” a campy slaughter-fest about horny teenage camp counselors who get bloodily offed in increasingly elaborate ways.

She reprised the role in the 1981 sequel, as her hockey-masked son Jason took over as the franchise’s signature psycho.

It was a classic case of a paycheck role. She later admitted that she took the role primarily to pay for a $10,000 Volkswagen after her car had broken down.

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