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‘Five Easy Pieces,’ ‘Nashville’ Star Karen Black Dead At 74

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Karen Black attends a 2002 screening of "Easy Riders." (credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment)

Karen Black attends a 2002 screening of “Easy Riders.” (credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment)

LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — Karen Black, the prolific actress who appeared in more than 100 movies and was featured in such counterculture favorites as “Easy Rider,” ”Five Easy Pieces” and “Nashville,” has died.

Black’s husband, Stephen Eckelberry, says the actress died Wednesday from complications from cancer. She was 74.

Known for her full lips and thick, wavy hair that seemed to change color from film to film, Black often portrayed women who were quirky, troubled or threatened. She was a prostitute who takes LSD with Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda in 1969’s “Easy Rider,” a breakthrough that helped get her the role as a waitress who dates an upper-class dropout played by Jack Nicholson in 1970’s “Five Easy Pieces.” Black won an Oscar nomination and Golden Globe Award for that performance.

Black also won critical acclaim in the 1982 movie “Come Back to the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean.”

Black was also known for starring in the 1975 TV movie “Trilogy of Terror” featuring her playing four women in three stories of evil, most memorably a woman who was attacked by a possessed Zuni fetish doll that comes to life in her apartment with disastrous results.

She will also be remembered as the flight attendant who was asked to land the doomed 747 in “Airport 1975.”

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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