'Easy Rider' actress and musician passes away after battling cancer
Hollywood singer and actress Karen Black has died aged 74, after battling cancer.
The star, who passed away at a clinic in Los Angeles this morning (August 9), three years after she was diagnosed with the disease, 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. She also appeared in more than 100 movies over a career spanning 40 years, shooting to fame in 1969 as a prostitute in Easy Rider, opposite Peter Fonda and late actor Dennis Hopper. More recently, Black recorded alongside singer-songwriter Cass McCombs on the track ‘Dreams Come True Girl.’ Scroll down now to hear the track.
Her husband Stephen Eckelberry wrote on his Facebook page today: “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.”
A host of stars have paid tribute including singer and fellow Hollywood star Juliette Lewis who tweeted:
Karen Black was my mentor and a 2nd mother to me. She inspired everyone she came in contact with.Her spirit/strength My luv is beyond words.
— Juliette Lewis (@JulietteLewis) August 9, 2013
Sonic Youth‘s Kim Gordon also paid her respects, adding:
Karen Black was the bomb RIP
— Kim Gordon (@KimletGordon) August 9, 2013
Black 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 went on to star with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow in the 1974 version of The Great Gatsby, for which she won a best supporting actress Golden Globe for her role as Tom Buchanan’s mistress Myrtle Wilson.
Despite enjoying a successful career, Black was forced 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).