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Arts and Entertainment

Karen Black, Star of 'Easy Rider' And 'Five Easy Pieces,' Dies At 74

Karen Black in 1973. (Photo by Liaison via Getty Images)
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Karen Black, the Oscar-nominated actress whose films included Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces and Nashville, has lost her battle with cancer.Her husband Steven Eckleberry posted the news "with great sadness" on his Facebook page today, saying, "Thank you all for all your prayers and love, they meant so much to her as they did to me."

Family spokesman Elliot Mintz confirmed her death, according to the L.A. Times.

Black was diagnosed with ampullary cancer of the stomach in November 2010. In March, a fundraising page on GoFundMe. was set up to help raise donations for experimental treatment in Europe. Nearly $62,000 was raised before June 3, when they closed the site to donations.

On Aug. 7, just a day before she died, Eckelberry posted an update saying that Black had become bed-bound as the cancer had spread to her spine and back and they were unable to go to Europe, People reports.

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Her breakout role was in 1969's Easy Rider and her role the following year in Five Easy Pieces earned her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe.

She also appeared in Robert Altman's ensemble film, Nashville, a role for which she wrote and performed songs, earning her a Grammy nomination. She received another Golden Globe nomination for her role as doomed Myrtle Wilson in 1974's Great Gatsby.

She also starred in Alfred Hitchcock's last movie, Family Plot, as well as Airport 1975 and The Day of the Locust. More recently, she starred as Mother Firefly in Rob Zombie's House of 100 Corpses.

To thousands off Gen Xers, she might be best known for her roles in the '70s TV horror classics Burnt Offerings and Trilogy of Terror. A punk band named itself The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black in her honor.