Night Of The Living Dead star Marilyn Eastman dies at 87 amid plan to meet fans

'Oh nooo. Her NOTLD character is a touchstone of patience and kindness,' said a fan, referring to Marilyn Eastman

                            Night Of The Living Dead star Marilyn Eastman dies at 87 amid plan to meet fans
Marilyn Eastman was best known for her iconic role in 1968’s zombie classic ‘Night of the Living Dead’ (Facebook/@johneastman)

Hollywood’s renowned actress Marilyn Eastman breathed her last on Sunday, August 22, revealed by her son. She was 87. The late actress was best known for her iconic role in 1968’s zombie classic ‘Night of the Living Dead’. The film helmed by George A Romero soon became a cult classic within few years of its release. She is survived by two sons, five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

The news of Marilyn Eastman’s death was first shared by her son John Eastman on his Facebook profile. Marilyn’s son shared a picture of hers from her younger days and posted an elaborate obituary. Apart from her acting credits, the late star was also the vice president of a Pittsburgh-based industrial film firm called Hardman Associates, Inc. Speaking of celebrities passing away, we most recently lost public figures like 'Wahlburgers' fame Henry ‘Nacho’ Laun, ‘School of Rock’ actor Kevin Clark, ‘Love Boat’ actor Gevin McLeod and ‘The Wire’ actor Robert Hogan.
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Marilyn Eastman ([email protected] George A. Romero Foundation)

How did Marilyn Eastman die?

Shedding details on her death, Marilyn Eastman’s son on Facebook revealed that she died peacefully in her sleep. “I’m very sad to announce the passing of my mother, MARILYN EASTMAN on 8/22/21 in Tampa, Florida. Marilyn Marie Johnson was born in Davenport, Iowa on December 17, 1933. My mother moved to Pittsburgh in the early 60’s and eventually joined Karl Hardman at Hardman Associates. Later in life Marilyn and Karl became business and life partners until Karl’s passing in 2007.” He further said, “In addition to her iconic role as Helen Cooper in the 1968 Horror Classic “Night of the Living Dead” Marilyn was a Stage, Television and Radio performer as well as a writer and producer. More importantly, she was a hard-working single mother who raised my brother and I on her own. I cannot overstate how much she enjoyed the affection and attention shown to her by countless NOLD fans, and up until several weeks ago, was planning personal appearances.”
John Eastman concluded, “She is survived by my brother Michael and I, 5 Grandchildren and 8 Great Grandchildren. Marilyn Eastman died peacefully in her sleep at the age of 87. It was her desire to return to Pittsburgh and those plans are to be announced at a later date.” Very few people are aware that Marilyn not only took care of her acting part in ‘Night of the Living Dead’ but also helped the makers in the make-up, props and sound departments. She was later seen in movies like ‘Santa Claws’, ‘Houseguest’ and ‘Perry Mason.’ The late star worked actively with her partner film producer Karl Hardman whom she later ended up marrying. The duo was together until his death in September 2007. Marilyn held the position of vice president and creative director of Hardman Associates- a film production company that she ran alongside Hardman.

Marilyn Eastman (Everett Collection)

‘R.I.P. May God have her in his glory!’

Tributes poured in from social media users as soon as the news of Marilyn passing away hit the Internet. One user stated, “After a day of nothing but bad news...this is awful. Her memory will be honored by me whenever possible.” Whereas, another shared, “Oh nooo. Her NOTLD character is a touchstone of patience and kindness. "Don't be afraid of me, I'm Helen Cooper."
One user tweeted, “This is really sad news. Peace and love to all her family and friends. RIP Marilyn.” And, another person added, “Wow it really makes you realize the passage of time it cant believe night of the living Dead is over 50 years old.” The next one shared, “So very sad. RIP Marilyn. Godspeed on your next journey.” One fan concluded, “R.I.P. May God have her in his glory !!”







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