Born Patricia Betsy Hrunek in Indiana in 1926, actress Betsy Palmer was a graduate of DePaul University. Palmer's very first acting job came in 1951 when she discovered at a party in the apartment of Frank Sutton, an actor later known for his work on the sitcom "Gomer Pyle USMC" (CBS 1964-69). At the time Palmer had only been in New York City for one week. She was soon cast in a daily soap opera called "Miss Susan," produced in Philadelphia. In 1953 Palmer developed the role of Virginia in the teleplay of Paddy Chayefsky's "Marty." The story was Chayefsky's attempt to tell the story of an honest, regular-looking everyguy looking for love. Palmer next played Kitty Carter in "The Long Gray Line" (1955), starring Maureen O'Hara. That same year she had the female lead in the World War II comedy "Mister Roberts" (1955) starring Henry Fonda and Jack Lemmon. Palmer was a longtime guest on the popular show "I've Got a Secret" (CBS 1952-1967), but, perhaps most famously Palmer was cast as Mrs. Voorhees, Jason's mother, in the original "Friday the 13th" (1980). Palmer initially derided the film as garbage and claimed she only took the job so she could afford to buy a new car. The film's wide enduring appeal was a huge surprise, and Palmer reprised her role with chagrin in the film's sequel, although she refused to appear in "Freddy vs. Jason" (2003) because of the low pay rate she was offered. In 2015 Palmer died in Danbury, CT of natural causes. She was 88.
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Played the female lead opposite Henry Fonda in the comedy "Mister Roberts."
'Joined cast of quiz show "I've Got A Secret"
Played Mrs. Voorhees in "Friday the 13th"