Marilyn Eastman, best known for her role in George Romero’s classic Night of the Living Dead, died yesterday at the age of 87. No cause of death was given.
Ms. Eastman not only co-starred in Night of the Living Dead, she was also one producing partners of Image Ten – the company formed to finance the movie. It’s interesting to note that Marilyn Eastman played Helen Cooper, the wife of Harry Cooper played by Karl Hardman, who was her real-life business and life partner. In addition, Ms. Eastman also worked on make-up, props and assisted with the editing for Night of the Living Dead.
After filming of Night of the Living Dead, Marilyn Eastman returned to work at Hardman/Eastman, Inc., the production company she and Karl Hardman had created prior to the making of the horror classic. Ms. Eastman would continue to make and/or appear in commercials and industrial films for the rest of her career. In addition, Marilyn Eastman had roles in an episode of Perry Mason in 1960 and the movies Houseguest (1995) and Santa Claws (1996).
The only film/tv show I ever saw Marilyn Eastman act in was Night of the Living Dead. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve see it, but I do know I’ve spent more time watching Ms. Eastman on screen than many, movie/tv stars with dozens more credits.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Marilyn Eastman’s family, friends and fans.