The veteran actress, who was nominated for Academy Awards for her starring roles in An Unmarried Woman and Starting Over, passed away yesterday at the age of 66. Jill Clayburgh died at her home in Lakeville, Connecticut after a battle with leukemia that spanned more than 20 years.
With a degree in the theatre from Sarah Lawrence College, Clayburgh began her career in the 1960s. She regularly played complex, intelligent women. On stage, she appeared in The Rothschilds (her Broadway debut), Noel Coward’s Design for Living, and the original Broadway production of Pippin with John Rubenstein and Irene Ryan (The Beverly Hillbillies). Her last appearance on Broadway was in a 2006 revival of Barefoot in the Park with Tony Roberts and Amanda Peet.
Aside from her two Oscar-nominated roles, Clayburgh appeared in other films like Semi Tough (opposite Burt Reynolds), Silver Streak (as Gene Wilder’s love interest), Gable and Lombard (as Carole Lombard), and It’s My Turn (with Michael Douglas). Clayburgh will be seen on the big screen on November 24th in Love and Other Drugs and the upcoming Judd Apatow comedy called Bridesmaids.
The actress was also nominated for two Emmy Awards during her career; for a guest appearance on Nip/Tuck and Hustling, a TV movie. She starred in numerous other TV movies and appeared on other shows like Leap of Faith, The Practice, Law & Order, Medical Center, and Ally McBeal (as Ally’s mother). She also co-starred on ABC’s Dirty Sexy Money as wealthy Letitia “Tish” Darling, opposite Donald Sutherland. The series lasted two seasons before being cancelled by ABC.
Clayburgh is survived by her husband, playwright David Rabe, two children and a stepson.
What do you think? How will you remember Jill Clayburgh? A particular role?
Image courtesy ABC.