Susan Anspach of ‘Hair’ and ‘Five Easy Pieces’ Dies @ 75

Susan Anspach, a gutsy, rebellious actor who made her mark in the '60s and '70s, died April 2 at her L.A. home, The New York Times reports. She was 75.

Susan Anspach: November 23, 1942-April 2, 2018 (Image via Columbia)

Following small roles on TV in such fare as The Defenders (1965) and The Patty Duke Show (1965) and an off-Broadway debut in a production of A View from the Bridge (1965), Anspach originated the role of Sheila in Hair when it opened off-Broadway in 1967. She was replaced by Lynn Kellogg (b. 1943) on Broadway.

With Jack Nicholson in Five Easy Pieces (Image via Columbia)

On the big screen, Anspach was a naturalistic and defiant presence, turning in memorable performances in admired films like The Landlord (1970), Five Easy Pieces (1970), Play It Again, Sam ((1972) and Montenegro (1981).

Having publicly decried the lack of meaty roles, certainly of roles commensurate to her skill and to the raves she often received, Anspach did more TV, including as a series regular on The Yellow Rose (1983) and The Slap Maxwell Story (1987-1988), and drifted in and out of less prestigious films, including The Devil and Max Devlin (1981) and her final movie, Inversion (2010).

Anspach is survived by two children — one by Hair castmate Steve Curry (1946-2014), one by Five Easy Pieces castmate Jack Nicholson (b. 1937) — and three grandchildren, as well as her brother. She was married to and divorced from Lost in Space (1965-1968) actor Mark Goddard and musician Sherwood Ball.

No Comments Yet.

Leave a comment