Horror film icon dies at the age of 87
In the horror film “The Night of the Living Dead”, Marilyn Eastman was not only active in front of the camera. She has now passed away at the age of 87.
Marilyn Eastman is dead. The actress, who starred in the 1968 horror cult film “The Night of the Living Dead,” died on Sunday, August 22, 2021 at her home in Tampa, Florida. Her son John Eastman gave her death known via Facebook. She died peacefully in her sleep.
In addition to being a producer or actress in film, television, radio, and theater, her son recognizes Eastman as a hard-working, single mother. She leaves behind 5 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. According to her wishes, she should be buried in Pittsburgh.
In front of and behind the camera in “The Night of the Living Dead”
Eastman founded a production company in Pittsburgh with Karl Hardman (1927-2007), whom she later married. The two helped finance a cheap horror film that would later become a cult classic: “The Night of the Living Dead” by George A. Romero (1940-2017).
In order for the film to come into being, Eastman and Hardman also took on roles in the groundbreaking zombie flick. They played the couple Helen and Harry Cooper, whose little daughter Karen becomes the undead – and her parents attack. Marilyn Eastman not only helped with “The Night of the Living Dead” as an actress and producer, she also created the mask of the undead.
After the horror hit, Eastman and her husband mainly produced industrial films and acted in theater. The follow-up stunner “Night of the Black Mass” planned by both never came about. In films she only appeared twice in front of the camera. 1995 in the comedy “Der Hausfreund” and 1996 in “Santa Claws” – of course a horror film.