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Joan Hackett: Gone Too Soon

Wikimedia Commons / United Artists

Joan Hackett: Gone Too Soon

When actress Joan Hackett died of ovarian cancer 30 years ago today at just 49 years old, she joined a group of notable women who fought the same devastating disease: comedienne Gilda Radner, actress Jessica Tandy, singer Dinah Shore, civil rights activist Coretta Scott King and so many more. Like many of these women, Hackett was at the height of her career when the disease struck. Her final film before she became too ill to work brought her an Academy Award nomination.

Even though Hackett’s last role was in 1981, what she left us with was worth remembering. Today we look at a few of her best roles.

When Hackett's career was new, she guest starred on a number of TV shows. A memorable 1962 episode of The Twilight Zone, "A Piano in the House," featured her as a young woman with a sinister husband.



In 1968, Hackett starred opposite Charlton Heston in the Western film Will Penny.





Hackett displayed her comedic talents in 1969's Support Your Local Sheriff.





The final role Hackett filmed was in Only When I Laugh, a movie adaptation of Neil Simon's play The Gingerbread Lady. Playing the main character's close friend, Hackett was nominated for the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, and she won the Golden Globe.





The award nods should have been a sign of Hackett's success to come, rather than a final chance at recognition. Joan Hackett, like so many others who have died of ovarian cancer, was gone too soon.

Written by Linnea Crowther. Find her on Google+.