Oscar nominated actress Jill Clayburgh, noted for strong feminist roles in the 70s and 80s, died at her home in Connecticut yesterday of chronic leukemia.
Clayburgh, 66, was known for her roles opposite Burt Reynolds in Silver Streak and Semi-Tough, and was nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award for her role as Erica in An Unmarried Woman. Clayburgh’s other films include Starting Over, Gable and Lombard, It’s My Turn and I’m Dancing As Fast As I Can.
Clayburgh, much like Diane Keaton and Marsha Mason, was part of the wave of young actresses portraying society’s independent-minded, working women struggling to have it all in the 1970s. Balancing love, work, and children in that era, these women were known as feminists; today, because of the strides made then, they are all of us.
Clayburgh was born and raised in Manhattan and attended the prestigious Sarah Lawrence College. Her acting career started on the stage in Boston and on Broadway in the 60s before moving to film in the 70s. Most recently, she was known for guest starring on television shows like Law and Order, Nip/Tuck, Ally’s mother on Ally McBeal, The Practice, and Dirty Sexy Money.
According to the New York Times, Jill Clayburgh had been living with chronic leukemia for over twenty years. Clayburgh’s husband of 31 years is playwright David Rabe, and the couple have two children – son Michael Rabe and daughter, actress Lily Rabe.
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