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Karen Black: Five Great Movie Appearances

Posted By Patrick Kiger On August 8, 2013 @ 9:03 pm In Legacy | Comments Disabled

Of all the eras in Hollywood history, the decade that stretched from 1969 to 1979 was perhaps the most daring, a time of experimental masterpieces that shocked audiences into seeing the world in a different way. In the era’s edgy eloquence, Karen Black portrayed quirky women who found themselves in trouble.

image [1]The Chicago-area native, who passed away on Aug. 8 at age 74 [2] in Los Angeles, appeared in nearly 200 movies and TV shows in a career that stretched from 1959 to the present, and which ranged from period costume pieces to horror films. Here are five of the films that Black helped make great.

  • Easy Rider (1969): In director Dennis Hopper’s mind-bending exploration of the underside of the 1960s counterculture, Black had a small but memorable role as a prostitute who took LSD with the film’s wandering, motorcycle-riding protagonists (Hopper and Peter Fonda), just before the film’s bloody climax. YouTube Preview Image [3]
  • Five Easy Pieces (1970): Black was nominated for an Oscar for best supporting actress in director Bob Rafelson’s classic. She portrayed the clingy, vulnerable pregnant girlfriend of upper-class piano prodigy Bobby Dupea (Jack Nicholson), who has run away to become an oil-field roughneck. A memorable line: “I’ll do anything you would like me to do, if you tell me that you love me.” YouTube Preview Image [4]
  • The Great Gatsby [5] (1974): In director Jack Clayton’s gauzy retelling of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, Black took on the challenging role of Myrtle Wilson, the wife of a automobile repair-shop proprietor who becomes the mistress of wealthy but empty-headed Tom Buchanan (Bruce Dern). YouTube Preview Image [6]
  • The Day of the Locust (1975): Director John Schlesinger’s film version of novelist Nathaniel West’s cynical take on 1930s Golden-Age Hollywood casts Black as Faye Greener, a would-be actress whose main talent was cruelly manipulating a naive, sexually repressed admirer (Donald Sutherland). YouTube Preview Image [7]
  • Nashville (1976):  In the Robert Altman-directed classic, Black portrayed Connie White, a glamorous country singer who is eager to undercut her rival, a popular but psychologically fragile star named Barbara Jean (Ronee Blakely).YouTube Preview Image [8]

Here’s a 2010 interview in which Black discusses working with director Alfred Hitchcock on his last film, Family Plot. YouTube Preview Image [9]

 

Also of Interest

 

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URL to article: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/08/08/karen-black-five-great-movie-appearances/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://blog.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/image.jpg

[2] passed away on Aug. 8 at age 74: http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/chi-actress-karen-black-dead-at-74--20130808,0,1998067.story

[3] Image: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twBsqfymTYk

[4] Image: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inIRtrZIvwU

[5] Great Gatsby: http://www.aarp.org/entertainment/movies-for-grownups/info-05-2013/great-gatsby-dicaprio-maguire-mulligan.html?intcmp=AE-BLIL-DOTORG

[6] Image: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgZ-MV0YbMU

[7] Image: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmtXA6x6Jm4

[8] Image: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0_nJa2qefs

[9] Image: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLVp25OE9_0

[10] Michael Ansara: He Was Cochise and Star Trek Villian ‘Kang’: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/08/04/michael-ansara-he-was-cochise-and-star-trek-villain-kang/?intcmp=AE-BLIL-BL

[11] J.J. Cale: Rock Stars Made His Songs Into Hits: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/07/31/j-j-cale-rock-stars-made-his-songs-into-hits/?intcmp=AE-ENDART2-BL-BOS

[12] Join AARP: https://appsec.aarp.org/MSS/join/application?intcmp=AE-ENDART3-BL-MEM

[13] AARP home page: http://www.aarp.org/?intcmp=AE-ENDART3-BL-HP

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