×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Susan Anspach, ‘Five Easy Pieces’ and ‘Blume in Love’ Actress, Dies at 75

Susan Anspach, the blonde actress known for her roles in ‘70s films including Bob Rafaelson’s “Five Easy Pieces,” Paul Mazursky’s “Blume in Love,” and Woody Allen’s “Play It Again, Sam,” died Monday at her home in Los Angeles. She was 75.

Anspach’s son, Caleb Goddard, announced her death to the New York Times and said the cause was coronary failure.

In “Five Easy Pieces,” Anspach played a serious pianist who had a steamy sex scene with Jack Nicholson despite being engaged to his brother; in “Play It Again, Sam,” she played Allen’s critical ex-wife. In Dusan Makavayev’s 1981 “Montenegro,” she played a disturbed housewife, and in “Blume in Love” she portrayed the ex-wife of George Segal’s character who he tries to win back.

Later in her career, Anspach landed recurring roles on television series. She appeared in the family drama “The Yellow Rose,” the 13-hour mini-series “Space” and the comedy “The Slap Maxwell Story.”

Raised in Queens, New York, Anspach graduated from William Cullen Bryant High School before becoming involved with musical theater. She starred in multiple Broadway and off-Broadway shows, such as “Hair” and “A View from the Bridge” with Robert Duvall, Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight. Her first feature role was in Hal Ashby’s “The Landlord.”

Anspach last appeared in the family drama “Wild About Harry” and the 2010 thriller “Inversion.”

She publicly claimed Jack Nicholson as Goddard’s father, but “The Shining” actor has never confirmed the paternity, and later tangled with Anspach in court over repayment of substantial loans he made to her.

She was married to actor Mark Goddard, who adopted her children, from 1970 to 1978; her second husband was musician Sherwood Ball, whom she divorced in 1986.

She is survived by son Caleb Goddard; daughter, Catherine; and three grandchildren.

More Film

  • '2019 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Live

    Film Review: ‘2019 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Live Action’

    The Academy skewed dark in its choice of live-action shorts this year, selecting four films to slit your wrists by — each one featuring child endangerment in a different form — and a fifth, about a diabetic on her death bed, that finds a glimmer of uplift at the other end of life. If that [...]

  • How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes

    How the 'Rich Eisen Show' Mixes Sports and Showbiz in an Entertaining Mix

    Walking through the El Segundo studio where veteran sportscaster Rich Eisen tapes his daily “Rich Eisen Show,” the sheer density of sports memorabilia is overwhelming — everything from game balls to jerseys, gear, autographs and uncountable photos are crammed onto every inch of wall and desk space. But step into Eisen’s dressing room, and the [...]

  • Yorgos Lanthimos

    Film News Roundup: 'The Favourite' Director Yorgos Lanthimos Boards Crime Drama

    In today’s film news roundup, Yorgos Lanthimos has set up a crime drama, “Here Lies Daniel Tate” is being adapted, and Donna Langley becomes a member of the USC film school board. DIRECTOR HIRED “The Favourite” producer-director Yorgos Lanthimos has signed on to write and direct crime drama “Pop. 1280,” an adaptation of Jim Thompson’s [...]

  • Brody Stevens Dead

    Comedian Brody Stevens Dies at 48

    Prominent Los Angeles comedian Brody Stevens died Friday in Los Angeles, Variety has confirmed. He was 48. “Brody was an inspiring voice who was a friend to many in the comedy community,” Stevens’ reps said in a statement. “He pushed creative boundaries and his passion for his work and his love of baseball were contagious. [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business

    Hollywood Agents Blast Writers Guild Over New Proposals

    The war between the Writers Guild of America and Hollywood agents has escalated as the two sides battle over the rules on how writers are represented. The latest volley emerged Friday from Karen Stuart, executive director of the Association of Talent Agents, who accused WGA leaders of misleading its members and asserted that the guild [...]

  • Xavier Legrand Custody

    Cesar Awards: Xavier Legrand’s ‘Custody’ Wins Best Film

    Xavier Legrand’s feature debut “Custody,” a tense portrait of a family torn by domestic violence, won best film, actress (for Lea Drucker), and original screenplay at the 44th Cesar Awards, which took place at the Salle Pleyel in Paris. The awards are France’s highest film honors. “Custody,” which marks Legrand’s follow up to his Oscar-nominated [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'Crazy Rich Asians,' 'Late Show With Stephen Colbert' Win Publicity Campaign Awards

    Hollywood publicists have selected “Crazy Rich Asians” as the top movie publicity campaign for 2018 and “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” as the best television campaign. Warner Bros.’ “Crazy Rich Asians” topped the campaigns for Disney’s “Black Panther,” Fox’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Paramount’s “A Quiet Place,” Sony’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” and Universal’s “Halloween” for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content