Remembering Karen Black (1939-2013)

karen black

Actress Karen Black lost her bout with cancer at the age of 74. Earler this year, Ms. Black took her fight to overcome her illness to a crowd-funding website, raising thousands of dollars to pay for treatments she hoped to get in Europe. Her husband said she was placed in a nursing facility by the Motion Picture Television Fund recently, where she died this morning.

I’ve listed 5 of my favorite films from her incredible career.  I hope you get the chance to check them out of Netflix.

Easy Rider (1969) – In a supporting role, Mr. Black certainly made her presence known. Along with future Pop star Toni Basil, they meet up with the two main characters played by Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper and subsequently go on an LSD trip. Infused with Catholic prayer represented through quick edits, sound effects, and over-exposed film, movie was innovative in its storytelling. Easy Rider helped kick-start the New Hollywood phase during the late 1960s and early 1970s and kicked off Ms. Black’s unofficial start to her acting career.

Five Easy Pieces (1970) – Ms. Black’s performance as the pregnant girlfriend garnered an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress. It also gave the lead character, played by Jack Nicholson, his first Oscar nomination. The scene in the restaurant is one of the classics in cinema history.

Nashville (1975) – Ms. Black was one of 24 different characters in Robert Altman’s classic tale of the “goings on” in the country music capital. She also showcased her singing talents on the motion picture soundtrack with the song “Memphis”.

Original Movie Trailer

The Day of the Locust (1975) – Ms. Black would change her hair to platinum blonde in the adaptation of Nathanael West’s novel on the movie industry of the 1930’s. Directed by Academy Award winner John Schlesinger (Midnight Cowboy), I found the film to be one of Black’s finest performances.

Dramatic Climatic Scene **SPOILER ALERT!!**

Trilogy of Terror (TV) (1975) – Dan Curtis, the creator of the gothic soap, “Dark Shadows” produced three segments with Ms. Black playing in all three, the third being the most memorable with her portrayal of a woman being pursued by a Zuni fetish doll that comes to life. The story was written by Richard Matheson, who also recently died this year.

Part 1 of 3

Part 2 of 3

Part 3 of 3

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About smoothjazzandmore

I'm a TV producer and an Internet radio broadcaster. I also write for my blogs (An Op-Ed Blog and a Football Blog) here at WordPress.
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