piper laurie death

Piper Laurie, the Oscar-nominated ‘carrie’ and ‘Twin Peaks’ Actress, Has Died at the Age of 91

Known for her roles as the devout mother in “Carrie” and Paul Newman’s depressed lover in “The Hustler,” Piper Laurie has died at the age of 91, her management said. On Saturday morning in Los Angeles, Laurie’s manager Marion Rosenberg confirmed to CNN that she had passed away. There was no mention of what killed her.

Laurie was “one of the finest actresses of her generation and a superb human being,” Rosenberg remarked. A Warner Brothers Discovery channel, Turner Classic Movies, referred to Laurie as “one of the most celebrated and formidable actresses of the last half-century.” According to the channel, she gives “full-blooded performances as flawed, often ferocious women.”

After a brief stint as a teen superstar in the 1950s, Laurie decided to take a break from Hollywood because of the industry’s dismissive attitude toward young actresses and the lack of complexity in the parts it provided her. After disappearing for a decade, she made a rapid comeback thanks to her remarkable portrayals of nuanced, often tortured women.

Laurie’s performances in “The Hustler” (1961) and “Carrie” (1976) were so impressive that they earned her nominations for an Academy Award. Her performance as a guilty mom in 1986’s “Children of a Lesser God” earned her a third nomination.

piper laurie death

For her role as a vindictive mill owner on “Twin Peaks,” for which she received both a Golden Globe and two Emmy nods, she was deemed worthy of a third prize. She changed her name to Piper Laurie when she started acting professionally after being born Rosetta Jacobs in Detroit in 1932, as she explains in her biography, “Learning to Live Out Loud.”

Laurie, who signed a contract with Universal-International (now Universal Studios) when she was 17 years old, has appeared in films with such stars as Newman, Rock Hudson, Tony Curtis, and Ronald Reagan.

“It would be a very long time before life would teach me that it was okay to fight for what I wanted. At seventeen, I still thought that being a good person and working hard were enough,” she wrote in her memoir. She recalled that the disappointment had hit her suddenly.

While acting in her debut film, “Louisa” (1950), Laurie remarked that “every line and moment for the girl seemed like a cartoon.” Reagan’s character was the father of the adolescent daughter. “I kept trying to think of ways to make her real for myself,” she said, “but it was a constant struggle on the set.”

“Every role I played was the same girl, no matter whether my co-star was Rock Hudson or Tony Curtis or Rory Calhoun,” Laurie told The New York Times in 1977, referring to the films she made under the contract. “She was innocent, sexual, simple — the less intelligent, the better, and complexity was forbidden – and always slender.”

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After breaking her contract with Universal in the mid-1950s, Laurie had a hard time landing the parts she desired in Hollywood. She opted to watch shows and movies on TV instead.

“It was one thing to finally break free from the studio that had owned me since I was seventeen. It was another thing entirely to put the image Universal had created behind me,” she wrote in the memoir.

She made a brief return to Hollywood cinema in 1961 with “The Hustler,” but then she was away for more than a decade until 1976, when she played the torturous role of Margaret White, the zealous evangelical mother in “Carrie.”

According to Laurie, filming “Carrie” was the first time she felt like she was going to enjoy herself on site. “It was a very sweet and sentimental time for me. I felt so welcomed by the crew, a few of whom I had known before.

I felt embraced by everyone and especially free to do the work,” Laurie wrote in her memoir. In the early 1960s, Laurie wed film critic Joe Morgenstern; the pair eventually split up. They have a daughter together.

If you like this piece and would want to read more about your favorite Hollywood actors and actresses, then head on over to Newswatchlist.com.

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