‘Eight is Enough’ Actress Betty Buckley Worried She Might Actually Die While Filming ‘Carrie’

CARRIE, Sissy Spacek, 1976
Courtesy Everett Collection

Some horror movies are so realistic that they terrify audiences for decades. Some movies even scare the actors. Betty Buckley revealed that the terror you see in her eyes in the 1976 film Carrie was very real. Buckley played Miss Collins, the physical education teacher who tried to help Carrie White (Sissy Spacek), the teen with telekinetic powers who eventually gets back at her bullies. The film is based on Stephen King‘s popular novel of the same name.

Unfortunately, Buckley’s character faces a horrific fate. Miss Collins meets her demise after Carrie locks everyone inside the gym with her powers and an electrical fire breaks out. Buckley said that she was honestly scared she might die while filming because of the way the stunt was filmed and because it was her first death scene ever.

Carrie Betty Buckley, 1976

Everett Collection

Buckley revealed that she became nervous after a stunt coordinator became seriously injured while working on another scene. She started worrying that she would get hurt during her stunt too. She explained, “There was a mattress for him to land on, and they miscalculated the distance and he hit the ground and hurt himself badly. So we all witnessed that and we’re like, ‘What? Are we in safe hands?”

Imaginary Betty Buckley, 2024

Lions Gate Films/Everett Collection

In Buckley’s death scene, Miss Collins is pinned against the wall and crushed when the basketball blackboard falls. It was on ropes and Buckley said that there was balsa wood there to prevent injury. She added, “It was not going to crush the person in the shot. That was the safety mechanism. I’m like, ‘Are you sure?’ And so the terror you see from Miss Collins when that happened was absolutely real.”

Luckily everything worked out and Buckley was unharmed during the filming of Carrie. Now, almost 50 years later, Buckley is starring in another horror movie called Imaginary. She plays the neighbor of a woman who moves back to her childhood home and finds that a teddy bear in the basement isn’t so innocent. Imaginary is in theaters now if you’re interested.

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