Marilyn Burns is an actress in the horror film industry that I can never forget after seeing her as Sally Hardesty in the very first intense cult classic slasher flick The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. She will leave all you horror fans an impression I'm sure. I couldn't shake off her intensity when she was chased by Leatherface with a chainsaw as well as being kidnapped by his family in their cannibalistic farm house. This film really disturbed me a great deal watching her character perform at first and hated it the first time. But then I saw it again and now own it. Plus I find it to be one of my favouirte slasher flicks as well as a one of a kind. I looked her up in my movie guide and saw that she was in some other films too which didn't surprise me as someone like her would be high in demand for the cult film industry. She deserves to be reviewed here and Racks & Razors is the best place. I hope to interview her soon.

Marilyn Burns was born in Erie, Pensylvania on July 5, 1956 but was mainly raised down in Houston, Texas. She became very interested in the arts when she was a child taking acting and dance lessons. She did dress up as well as performed in plays in her school including Shakespeare in the seventh grade called A 'Mid Summer Night's Dream'.

When she was in highschool she was an extra playing a tour guide in Robert Altman's 1970 film 'Brewster McCloud' and then was offered a part in a motion picture titled 'Lovin Molly' but however her agency told the director to replace her with Susan Sarandon who was new in the industry at the time so instead Marilyn was her stand in and the flick was released in 1974. She also had a small role in George Roy Hill's 'The Great Waldo Pepper' and helped cast some of the extras and became involved with the movie business in Texas.

Marilyn was attending the University of Texas while she landed the part of Sally Hardesty in 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' and became one of the original scream queens. Of course Sally was a young lady who decided to go on a summer cruise with her boyfriend Jerry, her other friends and her crippled brother Franklin while their van is low on gas. They pick up a strange hitchhiker who cuts Franklin's arm and after they throw him off he leaves his own blood on their van. Sally and her friends stop for gas but there isn't any at the station so they go to Sally's grandparents abandoned house bout nothing is what it seems anymore as nearby theres a creepy farmhouse and Sally's friends disappear one by one when they trespass there leaving Sally alone there with her brother and then the real terror begins for Sally. During the second half of the shooting Marilyn found it a hellish but interesting experience as Jim Siedow's characters whacked her with a broomstick and really hurt her and gave her a black eye, not only that, it was very hot and the room where she was kidnapped reaked of a real dead chicken. plus Gunnar Hansens's character Leatherface really cut her finger when there was a scene that he did so. It was little pay but Marilyn was a student at the time and was happy to get a cheque. The film went to theatre's in 1974 and many hated it and screamed at the theatre owners for having it which drew others to see it. It became an instant cult classic.

Due to her fame in the film she had a special appearance playing a Mansonite follower in the fact based TV-movie 'Helter Skelter' in 1976 named Linda Kasabian who was being questioned in the court room and she freaks out explaining what stuff Charlie was doing to brainwash the hippies to commit such gruesome slaughterings and how it was disturbing her and helping the law lead to the convictions of the cult leader Charlie and his followers.

Tobe Hooper also recast her in his follow up titled 'Eaten Alive' in 1977 as Faye which starred some familiar faces like Neville Brand, Mel Ferrer, Carolyn Jones, Stuart Whitman and Robert Englund. The story was of a run down hotel manager who has a pet crocodile that he feeds his clients to and her character becomes a victim like in 'TCM' as she is smacked around by the hotel manager and then tied to a bed while her husband was killed by his crocodile and her little girl trying to hide from him when they were only asking for directions to a place they were travelling to but their dog is killed by the crocodile and shaken up by it so they stayed there. The film had similar intensity.

She also played Nora Dennis in another horror film titled 'Kiss Daddy Goodbye' as a nice counsellor to two telekinetic twins who experience their father being killed by a biker gang but keeps it a secret from her as before he died he made sure to tell no one about their powers else they would do experiments on them. Meanwhile they use their father to kill off the biker gang one by one and then eventually Nora is in trouble with the gang too. The film was made in 1981 but supposedly was shelved away for a while till around the late 1980's and then put to video.

Also she reunited with Edwin Neal in the 1985 film 'Future Kill' which she plays his wife in the future named Dorothy Grim as Edwin plays the vicious killer Splatter. Some troublemaking teens tried to torment Dorothy which enrages Splatter to have them tracked down with his gang of people and to destroy them. In the end Dorothy saves the teens. Although this was categorised as a horror film cause of Marilyn and Edwin's participation in it the film was more of a sci-fi/action/thriller flick.

In 1994 Marilyn had an uncredited cameo as a patient on a gurney in a bad remake titled 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation'

Today Marilyn directs and works on theatre plays in Texas and is union so it is difficult for her to take acting gigs. She does however go to many 'TCM' reunion conventions with the cast she worked with like Edwin Neal and Gunnar Hansen whom she stays in contact with.