Oscar Nominee Jill Clayburgh Dead at 66

Actress starred in 'An Unmarried Woman,' portrayed empowered women
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2010 12:01 AM CDT
Oscar-Nominee Jill Clayburgh Dead at 66
Actress Jill Clayburgh and daughter Lily Rabe arrive for opening night of 'Exit The King" at The Ethel Barrymore Theatre on March 26, 2009.   (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)

(Newser) – Jill Clayburgh, best-known for her Oscar-nominated role in An Unmarried Woman, has died at age 66, following a 21-year battle with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Clayburgh's career spanned five decades, and broke ground and glass ceilings alike in her portrayals of empowered women, as in her turn as a divorcee exploring her sexuality in 1978's An Unmarried Woman.

"There was practically nothing for women to do on the screen in the 1950s and 1960s," Clayburgh told the AP in a 1978 interview while promoting An Unmarried Woman. "Sure, Marilyn Monroe was great, but she had to play a one-sided character, a vulnerable sex object. It was a real fantasy." Clayburgh graced big and small screen alike, most recently roles on Dirty Sexy Money and Nip/Tuck.
(Read more Jill Clayburgh obituary stories.)

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