Actress Jill Clayburgh dies

Hollywood, TV and Broadway actress Jill Clayburgh has died aged 66.
She was nominated for an Oscar for her role in ‘An Unmarried Woman’ in 1978 and for ‘Starting Over’, opposite Burt Reynolds the following year.
Her husband, playwright David Rabe, said she died from leukaemia at home in Connecticut. She had lived with the illness for more than 20 years.
Her TV appearances included playing the mother in the Ally McBeal series.
In ‘An Unmarried Woman’, Clayburgh played Erica, a wife and mother whose husband leaves her for a younger woman and who then starts a relationship with an artist, played by Alan Bates.

Actress Jill Clayburgh dies
Jill Clayburgh.

Letitia Darling’s impeccable pedigree had nothing on Jill Clayburgh.
The film, TV and stage actress who played the protective matriarch of a secretive family on ‘Dirty Sexy Money’ has died after a 21-year battle with leukemia. She was 66.
Clayburgh’s husband, playwright David Rabe, said his wife of 31 years passed away at their home in Lakeville, Conn., surrounded by family.
The New York City native graduated from Sarah Lawrence and got her start in the late 1960′s in Broadway productions of ‘Pippin’ and ‘The Rothschilds’, and scored a role in the film ‘The Wedding Party’, directed by Sarah Lawrence grad Brian DePalma, with her buddy Robert De Niro.
Clayburgh’s feature breakthrough was in ‘Portnoy’s Complaint’ in 1972.

Then came ‘An Unmarried Woman’ and Clayburgh’s performance as a happily married middle-class New Yorker who learns that her husband – Michael Murphy – wants to leave her for a younger woman. A relationship with an artist – Alan Bates – ensues, but this late – 70′s urbanite eventually comes to the realization that what she needs most is time for herself.
Clayburgh’s jilted wife could have been merely a one-dimensional, politically correct representation of female victimhood/heroism to please feminists. But with the assistance of Paul Mazursky’s perceptive screenplay and direction, Clayburgh more than rose to the occasion, creating a masterful, unsentimental portrayal of a human being shocked out of bourgeois complacency.
Really, that Clayburgh’s character happens to be a woman ultimately isn’t that important. What her character goes through could happen to anyone, regardless of gender — or sexual orientation, for that matter.
Clayburgh shared the Best Actress trophy (with Isabelle Huppert for ‘Violette’) at the Cannes Film Festival, and deservedly received an Academy Award nomination. She should have won, but that was the year most Academy members discovered that there had been an American war in Vietnam. The result was Jane Fonda taking home the Oscar for ‘Coming Home’.
Clayburgh was back the following year as a self-centered opera singer who has a sexual relationship with her 15-year-old son Matthew Barry in Bernardo Bertolucci’s ‘La Luna’.

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