Born May 7, 1949 in Erie, Pennsylvania, Marilyn Burns was raised in Texas and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1971 with a degree in Drama. After a small part in Robert Altman's revisionist western "Brewster McCloud" (1970), she was cast as the lead in one of the most notorious horror films of all time. Shot over the course of a month on a shoestring budget with a cast and crew filled with non-professionals, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (1974) terrified audiences all over the world and insured that Burns would be immortalized as one of the all-time great scream queens. Her next screen role (and only further work outside of the horror genre) was as Manson acolyte turned witness Linda Kasabian, in the Emmy nominated 1975 TV mini-series "Helter Skelter." In 1977, Burns played a role in "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" director Tobe Hooper's follow up, "Eaten Alive." After lead roles in "Kiss Daddy Goodbye" (1981) and "Future-Kill" (1985), she spent the next two decades away from the big screen -- aside from an uncredited role in "Texas Chainsaw: The Next Generation" (1994), and a small role in "Butcher Boys" (2012) -- before returning for a starring role in "Sacrament" (2014), directed by first-timer Shawn Ewert. Marilyn Burns was found dead in her home of apparent natural causes on August 5, 2014. She was 65.
Starred in Tobe Hooper's "Texas Chainsaw Massacre."