Louisa Moritz, a Havana-born actress who specialized in playing ditzy blondes, died last week at home in L.A, ExtraTV reports. She was 72.
Her friend and publicist Edward Lozzi confirmed she had succumbed to a heart ailment. In a statement, he said:
"Louisa Moritz was so full of life, talent, and she was a genius with a sixth sense for making money. Her parties in Mt. Olympus in the 1980s were wild and most popular with actors, producers, models, makeup artists, set directors, stuntmen... all of the categories. Her support of the Motion Picture Home and animal rights groups was heavy. Her hundreds of TV and film roles will keep her memory alive with her fans forever."
Born September 25, 1946, in Havana Cuba, Moritz relocated to NYC with her family, getting her start as an actress in the 1966 film Assignment: Female and on episodic TV, such as on 1969 episodes of The Leslie Uggams Show and The Joe Namath Show.
Her first big splash was as a bubble-brained student driver in a national car commercial that same year.
After appearing in the sexploitation flick The Man from O.R.G.Y. (1970), Moritz made memorable appearances on early episodes of both Love, American Style (1971) — appearing with her old acting teacher Charles Nelson Reilly (1931-2007) — and its spin-off, Happy Days (1974).
Moritz's claim to fame was surely the small, pivotal role of a hooker named Rose in the Oscar magnet One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975). She continued toiling on TV guest spots and in jiggle-oriented fare like Sixpack Annie (1975) and The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington (1977), but also scored a memorable part as Officer Gloria Whitey in the Cheech & Chong hit Up in Smoke (1978) and gave a charming performance as Mrs. Gossin in the Disney movie The North Avenue Irregulars (1979).
Though Moritz continued working until the mid-'80s — with just two credits after that — her final splash as an actress came in the high-profile teen-sex comedy The Last American Virgin (1982), for which she will be at least as fondly remembered as for 'Cuckoo's Nest by men of a certain age.
When the acting roles dried up, Moritz turned to real estate and put her law degree to good use as well.
She also appeared at autograph shows, where her signature did not come cheap.
Firsthand Account: Meeting Ms. Moritz!
In 2015, Moritz became one of dozens of women to accuse comedy legend Bill Cosby (b. 1937) of sexual assault, relating a story of him coercing her into oral sex in a dressing room backstage at The Tonight Show in 1971.
Even with her death, Cosby is not off the hook — her lawyer Joseph Cammarata said in a statement:
"Louisa Moritz was a brave woman who stood up against a powerful Hollywood icon, Bill Cosby, in an effort to restore her good name and reputation, after he publicly branded her a liar when she made public her allegations of sexual abuse and assault by Mr. Cosby. Ms. Moritz was one of seven women who sued Bill Cosby for defamation. Despite her death, her claim against Mr. Cosby will continue in a federal court in Massachusetts. We look forward to a resolution of the case that will establish that Louisa was a ‘truth teller,’ so that her legacy will live forever untarnished."