Betsy Palmer dies aged 88

'Friday the 13th' actress Betsy Palmer has died, aged 88.

The American star - who is best known for playing the murderous Pamela Voorhees in the first movie in the iconic 80s horror movie franchise - died of natural causes on Friday (29.05.15) in Connecticut, her manager has confirmed.

Betsy enjoyed a six-decade career that saw her assume a starring role in the 1980 slasher film and flashback appearances in the subsequent sequels, in which she appeared as the mother of Jason Voorhees - the cult hockey mask wearing killer - as well as various other major parts on stage and screen.

The actress was initially reluctant to accept the role of Mrs. Voorhees, later admitting she did so in order to pay for a car, but subsequently came to embrace the series' cult status by attending horror movie conventions and participating in TV documentaries about the frightening franchise.

She also enjoyed a successful TV career, starring in a number of popular dramas, such as 'Columbo', 'CHiPs' and 'Murder, She Wrote', as well as several Broadway plays, including 'Same Time, Next Year' and 'Cactus Flower'.

The actress was married to Vincent J. Merendino from 1954 until 1971 and is survived by her daughter, Melissa Merendino.