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Karen Black 1939-2013


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*Karen Black* has died at the age of 74. I've always thought she was a fine actress who gave many excellent performances in such great movies as *Nashville* and *The Day of the Locust*. Rest in peace.

 

One of the great images in film advertising:

 

 

the-day-of-the-locust-movie-poster-1975-

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> {quote:title=Swithin wrote:}{quote}Speaking of her horror film output, she was great in *Burnt Offerings*. I remember her at the end of the film, up in that window.

Shw was also in a more recent horror film about vampires that sleep under water with their lungs outside their bodies called Children of the Night. She was this mother vampire and she had a teen-age daughter who also was a vampire just like mom. These crazy external lung bloodsuckers had taken over a town and the master vampire could be found sleeping in his submerged tomb. Suffice it to say it was weird low budget stuff a far cry from her Trilogy of Terror days. I had read last year that Karen Black was in very ill health and was asking for donations from the public for her medical bills.

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Wow that's very sad. But you have whetted my apetite for that film you describe so vividly! But I think of all the films in all the towns in all the gin joints in the world, if there is one film that cries out to be shown on TCM, it's The Day of the Locust.

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So sorry to read of the passing of lovely Karen Black.

 

Her husband recently posted this comment three hours ago on his Facebook page:

"It is with great sadness that I have to report that my wife and best friend, [Karen Black|https://www.facebook.com/karenblackreal?directed_target_id=0] 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."

 

Rest in Peace.

 

Here is a recently posted article about her life and death in The Hollywood Reporter:

{size:15px}http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/

karen-black-five-easy-pieces-nashville-dies-431637

 

 

Help Karen Beat Cancer, a GoFundMe project had raised over $61,000 for her support:

http://www.gofundme.com/2b7alc?fb_action_ids=1015153759228634

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A controversial actress, Karen Black did just about every kind of part. In her youth she was a star, but she never stopped working. A great example of her talent in her later years is the quirky film *Firecracker*, in which she plays a dual role as a aged mom and a carny worker. She's brilliant. She's unforgettable. The film is unknown but well worth seeking out. Her best performance was probably in *Five Easy Pieces*.

 

RIP, Karen Black.

 

Edited by: drednm on Aug 8, 2013 10:00 PM

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Even though it wasn't her greatest performance, whenever I hear her name, I think of her part of the country star in "Nashville.'" I loved her in that. Before she hit it big in the movies she was in a memorable episode of The Big Valley, playing a young woman with mental problems who becomes too attached to Heath Barkley. I think it's also the episode with Ellen Burstyn.

 

 

 

 

 

Terrence.

 

 

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The first time I saw Karen Black was in the film "Come Back to the Five and Dime Jimmie Dean, Jimmie Dean." I was very impressed and tried to find some of her other movies. This was before DVDs and the internet. I found the Airport 75' movie and I think Family Plot. While I was impressed with her acting in these films, the films themselves seemed mediocre. Then I found "Five Easy Pieces" and was blown away. Karen Black was a very intelligent, erudite person. Her performance of the simple hearted waitress that just wants to be loved was excellent and very touching. I'll never forget her first scene in the film when she's sitting on the bathroom sink applying lipstick and then turns to the camera. I hope they include that in her SAG In Memorium. I won't hold my breath that she will even be in the Oscar's In Memorium.

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Sad. You could be right. (Oscars)...

 

I'd forgotten about Jimmy Dean. She was also in the short lived stage version.....

 

Edited by: Hibi on Aug 9, 2013 1:14 PM

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Karen Black. A quintessential 70s actress- several of the most iconic films from that decade featured Karen Black, including *Nashville*, *Five Easy Pieces*, and *Day of the Locust* . All great movies.

 

Wonder why TCM never airs *Day of the Locust* , a devastating film about Hollywood in the late '30s ? Maybe they have, but if so, I've never seen it. Well, I have seen it, just not on TCM. It would be great if next time they featured a series of films about Hollywood, they could include this.

 

Miss Black was an unusual actress with a style all her own. She always had a sad look about her, to me. I don't mean that in a disparaging way, more that her face looked as though she had seen some troubling things. Just an impression, I guess.

 

And yes, sometimes *Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean* is forgotten when talking about her work. She played a very challenging role in that. I won't say what for fear of "spoilers", but suffice to say Karen was full of surprises in it.

 

I always liked her, and if I saw her name was in something, I was always interested in seeing it.

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>She always had a sad look about her, to me. I don't mean that in a disparaging way, more that her face looked as though she had seen some troubling things.

 

Aah! So THAT explained the cross-eyed look, EH?!

 

(...sorry, couldn't resist ;) yeah, I know I'm bad...and now to make amends for this)

 

>I always liked her, and if I saw her name was in something, I was always interested in seeing it.

 

Absolutely. Couldn't agree more!

 

RIP Karen.

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She and Norma Shearer had that eye thing going on. The last thing I saw her in was a small part in Tales of the City miniseries (cant remember if it was the first one or one of the sequels...) That must've been 10 years ago........

 

I dont think TCM has ever shown Day of the Locust. I would have watched or recorded it....It's a Paramount film. You'd think they'd have reasonable rental rates as its not a high in demand item (Sigh...)

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Karen Black was an actor rather than just a "movie star." It always seemed that she took parts that were challenging rather than ones that would advance her career. (Of course, there may have been other reasons I'm not aware of for her not apperaing in "big" heavily promoted movies.)

 

Interesting note: Robert Altman originally had Cher in mind for the role that Karen Black ultimately played in COME BACK TO THE FIVE AND DIME, JIMMY DEAN, JIMMY DEAN. Cher, however, convinced him to let her play the part of Sissy so it was Karen Black who played Joanne in Altman's stage production and in his film version (which utilized the set from the stage production).

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I think she was in a movie I like called Law and Disorder 1974 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071743/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

 

& this movie was at the tail end of the New York cycle after which Hollywood stopped making New York movies because they were too free. They declared a boycott & all filming in NY stopped. IMO the NY movie cycle was the greatest single moment in movie history in USA. So many great movies came out of it but there were too many truths in the films. It dwindled on until 1980 & then it was over. Hollywood reorganized / corporatized & movies got really bad really fast.

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