Karen Black, the Five Easy Pieces and Easy Rider actress, died on Thursday due to complications from cancer. She was 74.

Stephen Eckelberry, Black’s husband, announced the actress’s death via his Facebook page. “It is with great sadness that I have to report that my wife and best friend, Karen Black has just passed away, only a few minutes ago,” he wrote. “Thank you all for all your prayers and love, they meant so much to her as they did to me.”

Black’s prolific career saw her appear in over 100 films, including Family Plot and Nashville. At the time of her death, Black had two more films in post-production – She Love Me Not with Cary Elwes and Lisa Edelstein and mystery thriller The Being Experience.


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Karen Black with Jack Nicholson in 'Five Easy Pieces'

Often cast as troubled and quirky women, Black first shot to recognition after her turn in Easy Rider in 1969, playing a prostitute with a proclivity for LSD. Her performance in the film led to her getting cast in Five Easy Pieces opposite Jack Nicholson, a role for which Black earned an Oscar nod and a Golden Globe award.

Black is survived by her husband, her son Hunter Carson and daughter Celine Eckleberry.

– Chelsea Regan

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