June Fairchild, an actress who appeared in several films throughout the 1970s, died on Tuesday at age 68.
Her friend, Dawna Sodders, told the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday that the cause was liver cancer. She died at a convalescent home in Los Angeles.
Fairchild appeared alongside Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974) and in Jack Nicholson’s Drive, He Said (1971). She also played a druggie in Cheech and Chong’s Up In Smoke (1978).
According to The Associated Press, Fairchild dated Three Dog Night singer Danny Hutton and reportedly suggested the group’s name.
However, Up In Smoke is the last film she ever appeared in. She battled drugs and alcohol during her career. She did try rehab, but she ended up living on the streets. The Times notes that she was robbed and raped during that period of her life.
The Times did a story on her in 2001, when a reporter found her selling newspapers outside a courthouse. Whatever money she earned, she spent it on hotel rooms. She served 90 days in jail that year for a drunk driving conviction. She said she had cleaned up and was able to get a contract with Paramount, allowing the studio to make bobble-head dolls based on her Up In Smoke character.
Fairchild is survived by her daughter, an infant grandson and her brother.
Deputy Editor Daniel S Levine is a longtime movie fan and a graduate of Hoftsra University.