Easy Rider Actress Karen Black Dies Of Cancer
American actress Karen Black has died of cancer at the age of 74.
She had been battling ampullary cancer - a rare type that is connected with the pancreatic and bile ducts - for three years and had turned to fans online to raise money for treatment.
The news was announced on Thursday by her husband, Stephen Eckelberry, who wrote on Facebook: "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.
"Thank you all for all your prayers and love, they meant so much to her as they did to me."
The actress, who was of German, Bohemian and Norwegian descent, lived in Los Angeles and had a lengthy Hollywood career.
She established herself nationally through her role as a drug-taking prostitute in the film Easy Rider in 1969 and went on to further success with Five Easy Pieces and the original 1974 film version of The Great Gatsby.
She won two Golden Globes, one for her role as Gatsby's mistress Myrtle Wilson and one for her role as a waitress opposite Jack Nicholson in Five Easy Pieces, for which she was also nominated for an Oscar as best supporting actress.
One of her best-remembered roles for the wider audience was as Nancy Pryor, the stewardess forced to fly the plane in the Airport 1975 disaster film.
She was also picked out by Alfred Hitchcock to star as a jewel thief in Family Plot, the iconic director's last film, released in 1976.