US actress Marilyn Burns, best known for her “scream queen” role in horror classic The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, has died aged 65. The Erie, Pennsylvania-born actress, who played teenager Sally Hardesty in Tobe Hooper’s 1974 film, was found dead at her home near Houston, Texas. Burns went on to play Linda Kasabian, a member of the Charles Manson “family”, in 1976 TV movie Helter Skelter. In later life she made cameos in other iterations of the Massacre franchise. She was an unnamed “patient on gurney” in 1994’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, a film notable for providing early roles to future Oscar winners Renee Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey. Burns also appeared briefly in 2013’s Texas Chainsaw 3D, both as a character called Verna and in footage from Hooper’s original. Her other films included Hooper’s 1977 film Eaten Alive, about a hotel owner who feeds his guests to his pet crocodile.

But she remains best known for her role in the original Chain Saw Massacre as the sole survivor of Leatherface’s psychotic rampage.

“Afterwards, I was just so grateful it was over,” she revealed in a 2004 interview. “I probably was the happiest girl alive.

“I ran through dark woods chased by someone holding a live chainsaw!” she continued. “Where was my head?

“Sure it was tough, but I enjoyed every minute of it. I wouldn’t have traded the experience for love or money.”