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Margaret Whitton, ‘Major League’ Actress and Film Director, Dies at 67

Margaret Whitton, best known for her role as Rachel Phelps in the “Major League” films, died peacefully in her Palm Beach, Fla., home on Sunday after a short battle with cancer. She was 67.

Producer Steven Tabakin, who co-founded Tashtego Films with the late actress and her husband, Warren Spector, in 2008, confirmed Whitton’s death to Variety.

Born in Philadelphia, Whitton’s first gigs included her off-Broadway debut in 1973 in “Baba Goya,” followed by her Broadway introduction in Nell Dunn’s “Steaming” in 1983. Her first major screen role came in 1986, portraying Molly in “9 1/2 Weeks,” alongside Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger. She then landed lead roles in films such as “The Secret of My Success” and “Ironweed,” before starring in the critically-acclaimed “Major League” and its sequel, “Major League II,” as Rachel Phelps, a former showgirl who inherits the Cleveland Indians following her husband’s death.

On the small screen, Whitton appeared on TV series such as “Hometown,” “Good & Evil,” “A Fine Romance,” and “One Life to Live.” Later in her career, the Pennsylvania native began focusing on directing and producing, making her directorial debut in 2011 with “A Bird of the Air,” starring Rachel Nichols and Jackson Hurst. She remained active with Tashtego Films until the last few months, according to Tabakin.

Whitton is survived by her husband. A date has not been set yet for the memorial service.

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