She Was One of the Major Actresses of the ’70s and Won Two Golden Globes and an Oscar Nomination During That Era. Karen Black Dies at 74

Aug 8, 2013  •  Post A Comment

"Karen Black, 74, who was Oscar-nommed for ‘Five Easy Pieces’ and starred in films including ‘Nashville’ and ‘Easy Rider,’ died [today,Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013], after a long battle with cancer," reports Variety.

The obituary continues, "Her husband Stephen Eckelberry announced her death on Facebook, saying, ‘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.’

"The offbeat, intense actress also tried singing, songwriting and play writing, and was nominated for a Grammy for writing the songs ‘Memphis’ and ‘Rolling Stone’ which she performed in character in Robert Altman’s ‘Nashville.’ "

She won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for both "Five Easy Pieces" (1970) and "The Great Gatsby" (1974). She was nominated for yet a third Golden Globe, this time for Best Actress, for her performance in "Day of the Locust" (1975).

The Variety story adds, "Associated with several iconic films and directors of the 1970s, [Black] talked to Paper magazine recently about the era, ‘We were just doing our thing. 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.’ "

The obituary also notes that Black’s first major film role came in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1966 movie "You’re a Big Boy Now," and she also appeared in TV shows including "Adam 12," "Mannix" and "Judd for the Defense" and in the TV movie "Trilogy of Terror."

The Variety story says that Black was "born Karen Blanche Ziegler in Park Ridge, Ill., [and] attended Northwestern U. before moving to New York to appear in Off-Broadway productions. She took the name Black from her first husband, Charles Black. She was also married briefly to actor Robert Burton and to screenwriter L.M. Kit Carson, with whom she had a son, Hunter Carson. She married Eckelberry in 1987, with whom she adopted a daughter, Celine."

karen black.jpgKaren Black


  1. I’m surprised you didn’t mention her (seriously) iconic role in Airport 1975.
    “The stewardess is flying the plane!”

  2. I always liked Karen Black’s movies she had a unique quality. There will never be another actress that can take the place of Karen in the movies she made.

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