Marilyn Burns, best known for her portrayal of Sally Hardesty, the lone survivor, in Tobe Hooper’s 1974 horror classic ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ was found dead today.
The reason the original Texas Chainsaw was so affecting to me was the documentary feel to the film anchored by Burn’s amazingly harrowed performance. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre still ranks as one of the films that scared me most growing up along with John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween’. Both films scared me for different reasons. Halloween, in the way that it reminded me of my own suburban neighborhood. It was familiar. It brought the scares to the places we were supposed to feel safe. Texas Chainsaw managed to be the other side of Halloween’s coin. It was somewhere unfamiliar where the heroine was alone with nobody there to help. There was no fighting back, she wasn’t trying to take down the big bad killer. She just wanted to get away.
“It is with sad news that I can officially confirm that actress Marilyn Burns passed away earlier today,” Burns’ rep said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
A cause of death has not yet been released.
Burns had also appeared in Tobe Hooper’s ‘Eaten Alive’ as well as the TV miniseries ‘Helter Skelter’
Condolences to Burns’ family and friends and all of the other film fans, like me, who are putting in Texas Chainsaw tonight to see Marilyn Burns get away and survive.