Oscar-Nominated Actress, Sondra Locke, dies at age 74
Actress and director Sondra Locke, who was nominated for an Academy Award for her first film role in 1968’s “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” and went on to co-star in six films with Clint Eastwood, has died. She was 74.
Locke died November 3, 2018 at her Los Angeles home of cardiac arrest stemming from breast and bone cancer, according to a death certificate obtained by The Associated Press. Authorities were promptly notified at the time, but her death was not publicized.
It is not clear why it took nearly six weeks for her death to come to light.
Locke was best known for the six films she made with Eastwood – whom she dated for 13 years – starting with the Western “The Outlaw Josey Wales” in 1976 and ending with the Dirty Harry movie “Sudden Impact” in 1983.
Born Sandra Louise Smith – she would later take on a stepfather’s last name and take on the stage name Sondra – Locke grew up in Tennessee, where she worked at a radio station and appeared in a handful of plays before winning a nationwide talent search in 1967 to be cast opposite leading man Alan Arkin in the movie adaptation of Carson McCullers’ 1940 novel “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.”
She would win rave reviews for the role along with nominations for a Golden Globe and an Oscar. (Both awards went to Ruth Gordon for “Rosemary’s Baby.”)
The actress also had a run of unmemorable film and TV roles until meeting Eastwood on the set of “Josey Wales,” which he both directed and starred in.
Her career would mirror his for the next several years. The pair’s hit films also included the 1978 street-fighting and orangutan comedy “Every Which Way But Loose” and its 1980 sequel “Any Which Way You Can.”
Locke also played singer Rosemary Clooney in a 1982 TV biopic, and directed the 1986 film “Ratboy,” which flopped in the U.S. but was popular with critics in Europe.