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Actress Sondra Locke (1944-2018)


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Actress Sondra Locke, who earned an Academy Award nomination for her first film and became a regular in Clint Eastwood movies, died on November 3, 2018 at the age of 74. Her death in the Los Angeles area was attributed to cardiac arrest after years of battling cancer.

She was born Sandra Louise Smith in Shelbyville, Tennessee on May 28, 1944 (she later changed her name to Sondra so that no one would call her Sandy). After graduating from her hometown high school in 1962, she briefly majored in drama at  Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. 

Her first film was "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter," based on Carson McCullers' debut novel from 1940. Locke won a nationwide talent search for the role of Mick Kelly, a Southern teen who befriends a deaf-mute boarder (Alan Arkin) new to her small hometown. Directed by Robert Ellis Miller ("Any Wednesday," "Sweet November"), the drama also starred Stacy Keach, Chuck McCann, Percy Rodriguez aand Cicely Tyson.

The picture received Academy Award nominations for Best Actor (Arkin) and Best Supporting Actress (Locke). She also earned   Golden Globe nods for Best Supporting Actress and Most Promising Newcomer – Female.

Locke first worked with Eastwood in "The Outlaw Josey Wales," the 1976 Western in which he starred and served as director. They became a couple and appeared together in several other films, including "The Gauntlet" (1977), "Every Which Way But Loose" (1978), "Bronco Billy" (1980), "Any Which Way You Can" (1980) and "Sudden Impact" (1983).

"The Gauntlet" turned out to be a significant departure from most Eastwood action films. The box-office champion starred as a Phoenix police detective assigned to retrieve a prostitute (Locke) from Las Vegas so that she could serve as a witness in an important Arizona case against the mob. In a classic case of role switching, Locke played the character with all the smarts; Eastwood's cop was a solid law enforcer, but a tad slow on the uptake. Their characters soon found themselves targeted by the mob.

The film helped define Eastwood as a filmmaker sensitive to strong roles for women. Wrote film critic Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun-Times: "As in most Eastwood movies, by the way, the woman's role is a good one: Eastwood has such a macho image that maybe people haven't noticed that his female sidekicks (like Tyne Daly, Dirty Harry's partner in "The Enforcer") have minds of their own and are never intended to be merely decorative."

One of Locke's non-Eastwood projects was the CBS made-for-television bio "Rosie: The Rosemary Clooney Story," which aired in December 1982. Directed by Jackie Cooper, the production featured Locke as Clooney from her rise to stardom as a recording artist and actress, her marriage to actor Jose Ferrer (portrayed by Tony Orlando) and her comeback from a mental breakdown in 1968.

Image result for sondra locke as rosemary clooney

ln the mid-1980s, Locke began to direct. Her first film was "Ratboy" (1986), the story of a youth who was part-rodent. She also starred in the picture, which was produced by Eastwood's company, Malpaso. The movie was not successful in North America, but it gained a following in Europe. 

She also directed the 1990 police drama "Impulse," which starred Theresa Russell as an undercover cop posing as a hooker. The film didn't do well in its theatrical run, but it fared better once it was released on video.

Locke and Eastwood's relationship soured and they split after 13 years together. There followed a series of legal clashes, which included her suit for palimony and a later one for fraud in connection with her stalled directing career. She also sued Warner Bros. for conspiring with Eastwood to sabotage her behind-the-camera projects. All of the legal actions were settled.

In 1997, she detailed the ups and downs of their romance with Eastwood in an autobiography titled "The Good, the Bad, and the Very Ugly – A Hollywood Journey."

Her final film as an actress was Alan Rudoph's "Ray Meets Helen," a romantic tale in which she co-starred with Keith Carradine. It was released in May.

The 2005 film "Our Very Own," written and directed by Cameron Watson, was the story of teenagers in 1978 Shelbyville who hoped to meet Locke during her return for the local premiere of "Every Which Way But Loose." The drama starred Carradine, Allison Janney, Jason Ritter, Autumn Reeser, Hilarie Burton, Cheryl Hines and Mary Badham. It provided the first dramatic role for Badham -- the onetime child actress who played Scout Finch in "To Kill a Mockingbird" (1962) -- in almost 40 years.

Shocked to hear that Sondra Locke has died. A woman who really deserved better from this industry.

Gale Anne Hurd Retweeted Peter Avellino

...She was a wonderful talent gone too soon. #RIP #SondraLocke

carriecrop_bigger.jpgCarrie Rickey @CarrieRickey

Sorry to read that #SondraLocke has died of complications from cancer at 74. She rode shotgun to an orangutan and directed Ratboy and kicked **** in The Gauntlet. And she had the creamiest skin -- like alabaster -- I have ever seen on a human. Godspeed.

1vKqxF4X_bigger.jpg 🏳️‍🌈 It's A Wonderful MaryaVerified account @oldfilmsflicker

RIP Sondra Locke. The film she directed IMPULSE is an underrated neo-noir

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Sorry, but I've never been able to forgive her for saying in that really lame and way over the top flick she did with Eastwood, The Gauntlet (1977), that line in the motel room, and when she says to Clint after he picked up the phone and tells the operation to call Air West..."So, you're calling Air Worst for those plane tickets, are ya?!"

You see, I WORKED for Air West at the time!!!

(...just kiddin'...sad news here...R.I.P., Sondra)

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16 hours ago, rayban said:

After her break-up with Clint Eastwood, she did write a tell-all on their relationship.

I had to laugh, it's titled: The Good, The Bad and the VERY UGLY!!!

I put a hold on a library copy. The 2 copies in the system are both checked out. Odd for a 20 yr old book.

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40 minutes ago, Hibi said:

I had to laugh, it's titled: The Good, The Bad and the VERY UGLY!!!

I put a hold on a library copy. The 2 copies in the system are both checked out. Odd for a 20 yr old book.

 Sondra was not just a victim of another Hollywood bully--

She was a talented director and very profound actress.

I was especially impressed with her portrayal of renowned singer-actress Rosemary Clooney in a made-for-tv movie.

What particularly impressed me about the portrayal was that Rosemary Clooney herself was the victim of another Hollywood bully, who was also a noted actor and director.

 

Why is it when equally talented women pair with equally talented men that the women generally get the short end of the Hollywood stick?

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8 minutes ago, Hibi said:

Weird. I just looked up some info and it says she died on NOV. 3RD. Why did it take so long to announce it?

1. Famous people are weird.

2. Also, I'm sure someone, somewhere, who cared about her knew the headlines would read:

A LADY WHO DATED CLINT EASTWOOD FOR A WHILE DIED.

which, for the record, they totally are.

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER had the gall to refer to her as "EMBITTERED" IN THE TITLE OF HER OBIT!!!!

EASTWOOD'S people must have a MAP TO BURIED HOOKERS IN THE AREA OF GREATER WESTERN LOS ANGELES AND VENTURA COUNTIES on file for ALL THE PUBLICATIONS AND TRADES TO STILL BE KISSING HIS WITHERED OLD SATCHEL *** THIS FAR INTO THE 21ST CENTURY.
 

https://jezebel.com/this-is-how-a-woman-gets-written-out-of-her-own-obituar-1831097072

 

 

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13 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

1. Famous people are weird.

2. Also, I'm sure someone, somewhere, who cared about her knew the headlines would read:

A LADY WHO DATED CLINT EASTWOOD FOR A WHILE DIED.

which, for the record, they totally are.

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER had the gall to refer to her as "EMBITTERED" IN THE TITLE OF HER OBIT!!!!

EASTWOOD'S people must have a MAP TO BURIED HOOKERS IN THE AREA OF GREATER WESTERN LOS ANGELES AND VENTURA COUNTIES on file for ALL THE PUBLICATIONS AND TRADES TO STILL BE KISSING HIS WITHERED OLD SATCHEL *** THIS FAR INTO THE 21ST CENTURY.
 

https://jezebel.com/this-is-how-a-woman-gets-written-out-of-her-own-obituar-1831097072

 

 

LOL. That's how the headlines read and pictures of them together. As if she did nothing else. Typical.

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