She Got an Oscar Nom for Her First Film. Then She Met Eastwood

Actress and director Sondra Locke has died at age 74
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2018 7:21 AM CST
She Got an Oscar Nom for Her First Film. Then She Met Eastwood
In this Sept. 11, 1996, file photo, Sondra Locke leaves court in Burbank, Calif.   (AP Photo/John Hayes, File)

She was in her early 20s when she received an Oscar nomination for her very first film, and from there Sondra Locke went on to act and direct for the next 30 years. Her longtime relationship with Clint Eastwood in the '70s and '80s earned her even more headlines, the match being described as "contentious" by Variety. Now, the LA County Public Health Department confirms the 74-year-old actress died Nov. 3, with her death certificate indicating her cause of death as cardiac arrest from bone and breast cancer, per Radar. Locke, who was born Sandra Louise Smith—it was said she later changed her first name to Sondra so people wouldn't call her Sandy—was plucked out of hopefuls from around the country in 1967 to co-star in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, opposite Alan Arkin, and it was that film that garnered her a best supporting actress nomination for the 1969 Academy Awards.

Locke went on to nab other movie and TV roles, meeting Eastwood on the set of 1976's The Outlaw Josey Wales. She wasn't only involved with him romantically for more than 13 years: The two made six movies together, including Every Which Way but Loose and Sudden Impact, per the AP. Locke went on to direct the 1986 movie Ratboy, which didn't do well here but received critical applause overseas. Locke and Eastwood's relationship famously combusted in 1989 when Locke says he kicked her out of the home they shared, changing the locks. People reports she sued Eastwood twice, and settled, twice over the next few years—once for palimony and once for fraud. Locke is survived by her husband, Gordon Anderson, whom she married in 1967 and never legally split from. Anderson was said to be gay, per IMDb, but the two wed due to a "spiritual kinship" and stayed friends. (More obituary stories.)

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