Honoring the professional life of Actress Karen Black, iconic Hollywood actress of 40 years died August 7, 2013 at the age of 74.
Karen Black was born in Park Ridge Illinois July 1, 1939 and grew up in the Chicago suburbia. The iconic actress made her Hollywood début in 1969 as a prostitute in the movie ‘Easy Rider’. Her breakthrough role co-stared famous actor Peter Fonda. Blacks signature character soon became troubled, neurotic women and her talent would land her 40 more roles throughout her career.
During her Hollywood career Black found herself on set with some currently huge names in the film industry and nominated for several awards for roles in historical films known still throughout the on-screen world. She was nominated for both an Oscar and Golden Globe award for her memorable role as a waitress in Five Easy Pieces alongside legendary actor Jack Nicholson.
Black won a Golden Globe award for her role as mistress Myrtle Wilson in historical film ‘The Great Gatsby in 1974. One year later she was nominated for a Grammy Award for her cast role as a country singer in the 1975 musical drama ‘Nashville’. Black also played a role in what later became the last film ever directed by the legendary Alfred Hitchcock. Hitchcock’s production ‘Family Plot’, released in 1976 cast her as jewel thief.
Black was diagnosed with ampullary cancer in November 2010 which she turned to the fans for assistance. Black spoke publicly about her spiraling health care costs which included operations, extensive chemotherapy and radiation treatments. One such operation removed a third of her pancreas in hopes of recovery. Her campaign rose over $60,000 from loyal followers to be used towards her treatments.
Fans had an opportunity to give back to Black for all the historical, humorous and intriguing roles she played over her four decade career on screen through a fundraiser began with the help of the GoFundMe website. Husband Stephen Eckelberry told sources that the fundraiser brought in over $45,000 in less than one week.
Despite efforts and long term treatments, the beloved actress died August 7, 2013 from complications in the treatments. Fans will always remember her many contributions to the world of film and she will live on in the hearts of all those who adored her work. She is survived by loving husband Stephen Eckelberry, a son and two daughters.
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