Karen Black - US Actress Aug 9, 2013 11:27:13 GMT 1
Post by Laurence on Aug 9, 2013 11:27:13 GMT 1
Hollywood star Karen Black, who featured in cult films such as Five Easy Pieces and Nashville, has died aged 74.
Hugely prolific, the Illinois-born actress appeared in more than 100 movies over a career spanning 40 years. She shot to fame in 1969, starring as a prostitute in Easy Rider opposite Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper. She died at a clinic in Los Angeles, three years after she was diagnosed with cancer.
Black, born 1 July 1939, who was raised in a Chicago suburb, almost always played troubled, neurotic characters. She earned an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe award for her role as Rayette Dipesto in 1970 film Five Easy Pieces, opposite Jack Nicholson, as a waitress who dates an upper-class dropout. She again starred with Nicholson a year later in Drive, He Said, which Nicholson also directed. Black went on to star with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow in 1974's The Great Gatsby, for which she won a best supporting actress Golden Globe for her role as Tom Buchanan's mistress Myrtle Wilson. She later scored a Grammy nomination in 1975 after writing and performing songs for Robert Altman's musical drama Nashville, in which she played a country singer. The actress also starred as a jewel thief in what turned out to be Alfred Hitchcock's last movie, Family Plot, released in 1976.
By the end of the 1970s, Black struggled to find quality roles and appeared mainly low-budget horror movies. In the 80s she moved into television, filming roles in series such as Miami Vice, Party of Five and Law and Order. In 1993, she acted in a film which would turn out to actor River Phoenix's last, following his death from a drug overdose. Dark Blood was finally completed last year and was shown at a number of international film festivals. Black had completed two recent projects - the drama She Loves Me Not, starring Cary Elwes and the forthcoming film The Being Experience - opposite Alan Cumming and Terrence Howard.
Despite Black's extensive filmography, she had to turn to the public to help pay her healthcare costs after she was diagnosed with cancer. Her online funding appeal raised more than $60,000 (£38,500).
Karen Black passed away on 8 August 2013