August 9, 2013 15:28

Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon leads tributes to late Hollywood singer and actress Karen Black

'Easy Rider' actress and musician passes away after battling cancer

Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon leads tributes to late Hollywood singer and actress Karen Black

Photo: PA

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:



Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon also paid her respects, adding:




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).

Cass McCombs ft Karen Black - Dreams-Come-True-Girl from Focus Creeps on Vimeo.


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