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The Oscar nominated actress, Karen Black, died Thursday at the age of 74 after a battle with cancer. She was known for her roles as quirky or troubled women. Her biggest roles were Easy Rider, where she played a prostitute taking LSD with Dennis Hopper, and Five Easy Pieces, where she played Jack Nicholson’s pregnant girlfriend (which she was nominated for). She also played Mabel in The Great Gatsby.
According to Variety News, her husband, Stephen Eckelberry announced her death over Facebook. He writes, “It is with great sadness that I have to report that my wife and best friend Karen Black has just passed away, only a few minutes ago. Thank you all for all your prayers and love, they meant so much to her as they did to me.”
Black is associated with some iconic films and has worked with many major directors in the 1970s. In an interview with Paper Magazine, she discusses the creative freedom she had while on the set of these films. She said, “I happen to have an acting style that is very spontaneous and very un-self-conscious, and it went with the movies of the '70s. It was a great time, it was a very beautiful time. There was a way of loving freedom -- or loving spontaneity.”
Despite her battle with cancer, Black had just recently finished up a film called The Being Experience. She is survived by Eckelberry and their adopted daughter Celine.
Image: Wikimedia Commons