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Jill Clayburgh Passes Away at 66

Star of the stage and screen, Jill Clayburgh passed away today, November 5, at the age of 66.  Clayburgh lost a 21 year battle with chronic leukemia.  Clayburgh is survived by her husband, playwright David Rabe, and her daughter, Lily Rabe, who is currently starring in the Broadway production of "The Merchant of Venice."

Clayburgh was born in New York City, and appeared in numerous Broadway productions in the 1960s and 1970s, including The Rothschilds and Pippin. Clayburgh made her screen debut in The Wedding Party, filmed in 1963 but not released until six years later, and gained attention with roles such as that of Gene Wilder's love interest in the 1976 comedy-mystery Silver Streak, co-starring Richard Pryor.

She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for 1978's An Unmarried Woman, for which she won the "Best Actress Award" at the Cannes Film Festival, and for 1979's Starting Over, a comedy with Burt Reynolds. She also receivEd Strong notices for a dramatic performance in I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can.

Her other films include Portnoy's Complaint, Gable and Lombard, as a pro football team owner's daughter in Semi-Tough, as a mathematician in It's My Turn, as a conservative Supreme Court justice in First Monday in October and in La Luna, a controversial role in Bernardo Bertolucci's critically panned film.

In 2006, she appeared on Broadway in Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park with Patrick Wilson and Amanda Peet; she played Peet's mother, a role originated by Mildred Natwick. She also returned to the screen as a therapist's eccentric wife in the all-star ensemble dramedy Running With Scissors.

 

Photo Credit: Walter McBride/WM Photos



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