Karen Black, the wonderful actress with the distinctive cross-eyed gaze, has shared her memories and insights into the craft of acting in “Karen Black: On Acting,” which you can access below or on the Video on Demand rental link at www.KarenBlackOnActing.com.
The actress starred in films that defined an era, primarily from the 1970’s and 80’s. She has appeared in more than 150 movies, five Broadway and many off -Broadway plays, and has written screenplays, five of which were made into movies. Her latest screenplay was selected by the Sundance Screenwriter’s lab. She’s also a playwright and a songwriter.
Her most famous movies include Bob Rafelson’s “Five Easy Pieces,” for which she received an Academy Award nomination and won a Golden Globe; Jack Claytyon’s “The Great Gatsby,” for which she won another Golden Globe; John Schlessinger’s “Day of the Locust,” for which she received a Golden Globe nomination; Robert Altman’s, “Nashville,” for which she was nominated for a Grammy; and Dennis Hopper’s “Easy Rider.”
On Broadway, Karen created the role of Joanne in “Five and Dime…” and also on Broadway, she did “All in the Family,” starring Patrick Magee.
She wrote the book for the musical, “Missouri Waltz” with songwriter Harriet Shock, which had a successful run at the Blank Theater in Los Angeles and at the Capitol in Macon, Georgia.
In March 2013, Black revealed that she has been battling cancer for several years. She was first diagnosed with ampullary cancer in 2010, which required a third of her pancreas to be removed. The surgery was risky and dangerous according to her husband, Stephen Eckelberry, who wrote a letter on GoFundMe to raise money for his wife’s alternative treatment in Europe, which is not covered by insurance. In June of last year the cancer returned and spread to her lungs and lower back.
In January 2013, the actress sat down with director Russell Brown to share her thoughts on acting, which look back over her more than 40-year career. The 75-minute interview gives her insights into a far-ranging list of topics, including how to perfect regional acts and how to find a character’s inner needs and motivations. A portion of the proceeds from the video will go towards Black’s cancer treatment.
Recently, she posted this on gofundme to thank fans for their support and funds, which totaled $54,590 from more 1097 people in 21 days:
“I am writing to tell all of you wonderful ones that I was astonished, flabbergasted at the response to my husband’s request, that there was so much support for me so much love expressed!!!!! How can I ever thank you?!
All my life – all of it – I will remember your gifts, big and small, but moreover the flow of love and support you have given to me at this-for-me-dreadful time and the courage that your generosity has given me to continue my fight!!!
All my love to all, Karen”