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Marilyn Burns, heroine of 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,' dies at age 65 at Houston-area home

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HOUSTON - Actress Marilyn Burns, perhaps best known as the heroine in the 1974 horror classic "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," has died at her Houston-area home. She was 65.

Her manager, Chris Roe, confirmed Wednesday that Burns was found unresponsive by a family member on Tuesday. The Harris County medical examiner's office has not determined a cause of death.

Burns' career included roles in several horror films spanning 40 years, including last year's "Texas Chainsaw 3D." The 3-D version debuted at No. 1 at the box office when it was released, a testament to the continuing popularity of the franchise.

In the 1974 film, her character was the only one among a group of friends to escape the rampage of the chainsaw-wielding maniac Leatherface.

Burns appeared in another horror film, "Sacrament," that was released this year.

Roe said Burns played an important role in establishing that women could play the hero in film.

"What made Marilyn stand out in my mind is that she was an incredibly gracious and giving person," Roe said. "She always had a smile, no matter what. I don't think you can find a person who had a negative thing to say about her."

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