Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 8, 2016

Fade to (Karen) Black

Karen Black, one of the faces of 1970s cinema, died on Aug. 8. Her obituary in the Washington Post, written by Adam Bernstein, has an almost perfect lede, encapsulating a life and an era in one paragraph:

Karen Black, an actress whose role as the acid-tripping prostitute in the movie “Easy Rider” launched her career as one of the emblematic tramps, vamps, kooks and down-and-outers of 1970s cinema, notably in “Five Easy Pieces,” “Nashville” and “The Great Gatsby,” died Aug. 8 at a hospital in Los Angeles. She was 74.

Black, whose role in “Airport 1975,” provided the infamous line that led to a book on 70s flicks, “The Stewardess is Flying the Plane!: American Films of the 1970s,” was indeed a fixture of those weirdo years. She’ll be missed.


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