Sondra Locke, the Oscar-nominated actress and filmmaker, has died at the age of 74. According to the death certification issued by the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, Locke’s cause of death was cardiac arrest due to her breast and bone cancer. Radar Online reports that she had been battling cancer for the past three years.
As stated in her autobiography, The Good, the Bad, and the Very Ugly: My Hollywood Life, Locke was diagnosed with breast cancer and went a double mastectomy and chemotherapy in 1990. Radar Online adds that she was buried at Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park and Mortuary.
Locke Died from Cardiac Arrest Brought On By Her Breast Cancer
Locke is best known for her role in the 1968 film The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, which earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She’s also known for the romantic relationship she had with fellow actor Clint Eastwood from 1975 to 1989.
She and Eastwood broke out with 1976’s The Outlaw Josey Wales, and the couple would go on to star in a series of popular films over the next decade; including 1977’s The Gauntlet, 1978’s Every Which Way But Loose, 1980’s Bronco Billy and Every Which Way You Can. Their final collaboration, 1983’s Sudden Impact, was the fourth installment in the Dirty Harry franchise.
Locke Was In a Relationship With Clint Eastwood from 1975 to 1989
According to her autobiography, The Good, The Bad, and the Very Ugly: My Hollywood Life, Locke had two abortions during the 1970s. After her second abortion, she had a tubal ligation, explaining that her decision to have the procedures done was due to Eastwood’s adamancy that he didn’t want to have children in the midst of his career.
After Locke and Eastwood split up, she sued him for palimony in 1989 and for fraud in 1995. She also brought a separate action against Warner Bros. for allegedly conspiring with Eastwood to sabotage her directorial career. “I don’t have to worry about working,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “[It] was never about money, it was about my fighting for my professional rights.”
She Is Survived By Her Husband, Fellow Actor Gordon Anderson
She settled all three cases out of court. As a director, Locke made her debut with 1986’s Ratboy, before going on to helm 1990’s Impulse starring Theresa Russell, 1995’s Death In Small Doses, and 1997’s Do Me a Favor starring Rosanna Arquette.
Locke is survived by her husband, fellow actor Gordon Anderson. She married Anderson in 1967, but according to legal documents; they never divorced and remained close friends for decades. “Sometimes I wonder whether I would have ever taken the drastic steps I did but for Gordon,” she explained. “He is a very positive person. And courageous. I’m naturally shy. Still, even though I may look fragile and am reluctant to push, somewhere — deep down inside of me — there must be a core of iron!”