Karen Black, Oscar-Nominated Actress, Dies at 74

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Karen Black, an Oscar-nominated actress known for her roles in Nashville, Five Easy Pieces, and Easy Rider, passed away Thursday. The 74-year-old actress died after a battle with cancer.

Her husband, filmmaker Stephen Eckelberry, made the news of her death public by posting an announcement linked on her Facebook page: “It is with great sadness that I have to report that my wife and best friend Karen Black has just passed away, only a few minutes ago. Thank you all for all your prayers and love, they meant so much to her as they did to me.”

Black, who starred in dozens of films, boasted a dramatic personal life as well — the actress was formerly married to Elizabeth Taylor's paramour, Richard Burton. And she lived her colorful life on screen for much of her life, including close to her death. According to Eckelberry's blog, the filmmaker took footage of Black's struggle with cancer with her permission. Some of which fans of Black might be able to view.

"I never remain idle, and have been filming this whole process from the beginning almost three years ago — it has been therapy for both Karen and myself, because after all, if cameras are rolling, it can't be really serious, it's just a movie, right?" Eckleberry wrote. "I hadn't planned on doing anything with the footage, until a few weeks ago, Karen reached out to her old friend ... who has offered advice to dozens of famous clients over the years including Karen. They spoke by phone about ways Karen could share her experience with others, in her own words, in her own way."

He continued, "It's still a little raw for me, I'm not sure. It would be an interesting and moving journey to share with a truly unique and original spirit."