×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Verna Bloom, Actress in ‘Animal House,’ ‘High Plains Drifter,’ Dies at 80

Verna Bloom, who appeared in “Animal House” and worked with the likes of Martin Scorsese, died Jan. 9 in Bar Harbor, Maine, her rep confirmed to Variety. She was 80 years old.

The cause was complications of dementia, her family stated.

Although Bloom appeared extensively in theater and television, she is most noted for her film work. One of her memorable roles came in John Landis’ 1978 comedy “Animal House,” in which she appeared as the drunken, debauched wife of the beleaguered Dean Wormer. She also appeared in three films by Martin Scorsese — “Street Scenes 1970,” “The Last Temptation of Christ” (1988), and “After Hours” (1985) — and two by Clint Eastwood: “High Plains Drifter” (1973) and “Honkytonk Man” (1982).

Bloom was born in Lynn, Mass., in 1938. After graduating from Boston University, she moved to Denver and started a local theater. Moving to New York in the mid-1960s, she starred as Charlotte Corday in the Broadway revival of “Marat/Sade” and, shortly after, on the recommendation of the writer-historian Studs Terkel, made her film debut in Haskell Wexler’s “Medium Cool” (1969), in which she played a young Appalachian mother caught up in the street violence of the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. For her performance, she was nominated for both lead and supporting actress by the National Society of Film Critics.

Bloom fulfilled a lifelong dream by starring with Frank Sinatra in the two-part television film “Contract on Cherry Street” (1977), and then appearing in Peter Fonda’s elegiac Western “The Hired Hand” (1981).

She is survived by her husband of 49 years, screenwriter Jay Cocks (“Gangs of New York”), and her son Sam.

Donations may be made to Bonaparte’s Retreat Dog Rescue.

(Pictured: Verna Bloom and Tim Matheson in “Animal House”)

More Film

  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi displays

    Narendra Modi Wins New Mandate in Indian Election and Divides the Film Industry

    India has returned the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance coalition to power for a second term, with a huge mandate. In doing so, it polarized the film industry. The NDA won 351 seats out of a total of 542. The biggest democratic exercise in the world, more than 600 million Indians voted across six weeks. [...]

  • Director Dean DeBlois and online game

    'Dragon' Director Dean DeBlois and PUBG's CH Kim to Keynote 2019 VIEW Conference

    Dean DeBlois, director and executive producer of DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” and PUBG Corporation CEO CH Kim are the first keynote speakers announced for the 2019 VIEW Conference in Turin, Italy, in October. Since it began 12 years ago, VIEW, which stands for Virtual Interactive Emerging World, has continually [...]

  • 'The Cordillera of Dreams' Review: Poetic

    Cannes Film Review: 'The Cordillera of Dreams'

    Rounding out his sublimely meditative, deeply personal documentary-essay trilogy on time, memory and the relationship of Chile’s breathtaking landscapes to its troubled human history, Patricio Guzmán delivers “The Cordillera of Dreams,” a haunting and allusive exploration of the cultural impact of the country’s most spectacular geological feature: its snowcapped mountain spine. Coming after the exploration [...]

  • Ari Emanuel Endeavor

    Endeavor IPO Filing Offers Details of Company's Financials, Leadership Pay Packages

    Endeavor’s IPO filing Thursday offers a hard look at the company’s financial performance during the past three years during a period of rapid growth for the company that’s home to UFC, WME, Professional Bull Riders and a clutch of other assets. Endeavor is generating solid free cash flow from operations and healthy adjusted earnings for [...]

  • Inside amfAR's Cannes Gala

    Inside amfAR's Cannes Gala: Mariah Carey, Kendall Jenner and Tiffany Trump

    Kendall Jenner caused a commotion when she arrived. Tiffany Trump went unrecognized until a member of the press pointed her out as she made her way down the carpet. And Mariah Carey flew in to perform a couple of songs. Welcome to this year’s AmfAR Gala Cannes, the AIDS organization’s annual — and largest — [...]

  • 'Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo' Review: Abdellatif

    Cannes Film Review: 'Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo'

    A simple but somehow atypical shot opens Abdellatif Kechiche’s new film: a serene closeup of a young woman’s face, as seen through the camera lens of Amir, a budding photographer still finding his perspective. Her expression is ambiguously tranquil, her long hair lightly rustled by a humid breeze, all softly lit by a sinking afternoon [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content