Piper Laurie, the three-time Academy Award-nominated actress whose Hollywood career spanned seven decades, has died. She was 91 years old.
Laurie died of old age on Saturday, her manager Marion Rosenberg confirmed to the Associated Press. In an email to the outlet, Rosenberg described the star as “‘a superb talent and a wonderful human being.’
In 1961, Laurie earned her first Academy Award nomination for her role as Sarah Packard, Paul Newman’s alcoholic girlfriend, in the pool drama “The Hustler.” Laurie and Newman had previously appeared in 1957’s “Until They Sail,” but the actress told Fox News Digital in 2022 that they never really interacted until they starred together in “The Hustler.” .
“That’s when I was really confronted with this beauty, these spectacular eyes,” she recalls.
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Laurie shared that “it was a great gift to be part of a wonderful film” and that she “enjoyed every moment of it.”
In her interview with Fox News Digital, Laurie said she didn’t attend the Oscars that year because she didn’t expect to win. She recalled watching the ceremony over dinner with her husband and mother-in-law in New York.
“I was glad I didn’t go,” she said. “And of course, I didn’t win. Not with Sophia Loren’s performance. I mean, my God, was that even a debate?”
Laurie’s next Oscar nomination came in 1976 when she starred as Margaret, Sissy Spacek’s fanatically religious and abusive mother, in the film adaptation of Stephen King’s classic horror novel “Carrie.”
“I think it was a great movie,” she told Fox News Digital in 2022. “At first I didn’t know if it was a comedy or what. I remembered that I had tried some things during rehearsal, and they said, “Piper, I don’t think you can do that. You are going to laugh !'”
She continued, “We were all supposed to take it seriously. But I played my role in a very big, flashy way. And I guess in a way it still turned out to be funny.”
“I will say that my daughter’s friends were very young and easily frightened. When they came to visit, they wouldn’t look me in the face! They would just go straight to her room,” Laurie recalls with a laugh.
Laurie earned her third Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of a young deaf woman in the 1986 romantic drama “Children of a Lesser God.”
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In addition to her film work, Laurie has received accolades for her roles in television series and television films. She received nine Emmy Award nominations, including two for her portrayal of evil sawmill manager Catherine Martell in David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks.” In 1991, she won a Golden Globe Award for her role as Martell.
Laurie won her only Emmy Award after starring alongside James Woods and James Garner in the 1986 TV movie “Promise.” She was last nominated for an Emmy Award in 1999, when she appeared as a star guest in the sitcom “Frasier”.
Born Rosetta Jacobs, Laurie arrived in Hollywood in 1949 and quickly earned a contract with Universal-International, a new name she hated, and a series of starring roles with Ronald Reagan, Rock Hudson, and Tony Curtis, among others.
Laurie made her debut at age 17 in “Louisa,” as Reagan’s daughter, then appeared opposite Francis the talking mule in “Francis Goes to the Races.” She made several films with Curtis, whom she dated, including “The Prince Who Was a Thief”, “No Room for the Groom”, “Ali Baba’s Son” and “Johnny Dark”.
Unsatisfied with the roles offered to her, Laurie walked away from her $2,000-a-week contract in 1955.
She moved to New York, where she found the roles she was looking for in theater and live-action television series.
After receiving Emmy nominations for her roles in “Days of Wine and Roses,” “The Deaf Heart” and “The Road That Led After,” Laurie made her return to acting when director Robert Rossen cast her in “The Hustler.”
However, Laurie stopped acting for several years after “The Hustler.” She married film critic Joseph Morgenstern, welcomed a daughter, Ann Grace, and moved to a farm in Woodstock, New York. She later said that the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War influenced her decision to make this change.
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“I was disenchanted and looking for a more meaningful existence for myself,” she recalls, adding that she never regretted the decision.
“My life was full,” she said in 1990. “I always loved using my hands and I always painted.”
Laurie also became known as a baker, with her recipes appearing in the New York Times.
In 1964, Laurie made guest appearances in the television series “The Eleventh Hour” and “Breaking Point.” She then starred in the Broadway revival of “The Glass Menagerie” in 1965.
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Laurie returned to the big screen after director Brian de Palma approached her to star in “Carrie.” After earning an Academy Award nomination for her performance in the film, which became a box office success, Laurie’s desire to act was reignited and she resumed her career for the next decades.
Her other television credits included roles on “Matlock,” “Diagnosis Murder,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “Touched by an Angel,” “Law and Order: SVU” and “Will and Grace.” She played Sarah Ross, George Clooney’s mother, in 1995’s “ER.”
Laurie also starred in a number of films, including “Date with Death”, “Other People’s Money”, “Wrestling Ernest Hemingway”, “Storyville”, “Rich in Love”, “Trauma”, ” The Crossing Guard. “The Grass Harp”, “The Faculty”, “Eulogy”, “The Dead Girl”, “Hundog” and “Hesher”.
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She played grandmother Verna Wershe in the 2018 crime drama “White Boy Rick,” which would become her final film role.
Laurie and Morgenstern divorced in 1982. The actress is survived by her daughter Ann Grace.
Stephanie Nolasco of Fox News Digital and the Associated Press contributed to this report.