The Word: ‘Five Easy Pieces’ star Karen Black dies

HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 01:  Actress Karen Black arrives at the premiere of 'Hitchcock' during AFI Fest 2012 presented by Audi at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on November 1, 2012 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for AFI)
Karen Black died of complications from cancer. Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images for AFI

Karen Black, star of such films as “Five Easy Pieces” and “Nashville,” passed away yesterday of complications from cancer. She was 74 years old.

Black’s vulnerable, complex performances garnered critical acclaim throughout her career. She won a Golden Globe and was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for “Five Easy Pieces” and was nominated for a Golden Globe for “The Great Gatsby.” She was also nominated for a Grammy for “Nashville,” for which she wrote and performed music.

Black’s husband Steve Eckelberry announced the sad news via Facebook yesterday. Earlier this year he and Black attempted to crowdfund a trip to Europe so the actress could receive an experimental treatment.

On Wednesday, Eckelberry wrote on Karen’s blog that the family was considering making a documentary about Karen’s illness. “As a filmmaker I never remain idle, and have been filming this whole process from the beginning almost three years ago — it has been therapy for both Karen and myself, because after all, if cameras are rolling, it can’t be really serious, it’s just a movie, right?” he wrote.


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