Sondra Locke, Oscar-Nominated Actress and Director Dies After Long Battle With Cancer

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You may or may not know the name Sondra Locke, but with a little prodding, you're sure to remember the roles she brought to life. Since her breakout performance in 1968's The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, a movie which got her an Oscar nomination, she was a sought after Hollywood talent.

Sadly, it was announced that Locke passed away after battling breast and bone cancer. She was 74.

Despite the award buzz that followed her first performance, she's probably best known for starring opposite Clint Eastwood six times in the 70s and 80s. They met on the set of The Outlaw Josey Wales and had a 13-year-long relationship.

Sondra Locke
Wikimedia Commons

They had box office success with many of the movies they starred together in. Their final collaboration was Sudden Impact, the sequel to Eastwood's huge Dirty Harry. They also starred opposite an orangutan in a pair of movies, Every Which Way But Loose and Every Which Way You Can, that drew huge box office numbers.

She helped bring warmth and charisma to the offbeat movies and was well-loved in the industry.

She was also a talented director, sitting behind the camera for four critically-acclaimed films.

Despite her fame she remained obscure for much of her later years. Case in point, she actually passed away five weeks ago, but it wasn't announced until Thursday.

She was married to Gordon Leigh Anderson in 1967, before her Eastwood relationship, and never divorced. Anderson has described their relationship as "good friends" and it was he who reported her death.

Locke and Eastwood had a very public breakup in the 80s, after Locke was thrown out of her home purchased by Eastwood. She sued him for palimony, and again later for fraud, alleging that he set up a false production deal in order to get her to drop the palimony suit. The two settled out of court. Eastwood has not yet commented on Locke's death.

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