Lorna Thayer


Actress Lorna Thayer, who played the waitress in the chicken-salad sandwich scene with Jack Nicholson in “Five Easy Pieces,” died in Woodland Hills, Calif. on June 4. She was 86. 

Born in Boston, Thayer moved to Los Angeles and attended Immaculate Heart College, launching her acting career in The Players Ring production of “Street Scene,” followed by “Berkeley Square” at the Geary Theater in San Francisco. She later opened the Huntington Hartford Theater in “What Every Women Knows” with Helen Hayes and Kent Smith. On Broadway, she was a stand-in for Judith Anderson in “Comes a Day” with George C. Scott.

On her return to Hollywood, she appeared in “Camino Real” and then worked with Jan Clayton and John Raitt in the revival of “Carousel” with the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera and in Tennessee Williams’ “Vieux Carre” at the Beverly Hills Playhouse. 

She appeared in films including “The Lusty Men,” “Jennifer,” “Women’s Prisoner,” “The Women of Pitcairn Island,” “Glass Houses,” “Frankie and Johnny,” and “Five Easy Pieces.” 

On TV, she appeared in shows including “General Hospital,” “Bonanza” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show.”

She is survived by two daughters and ten grandchildren.

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