Sondra Locke dies

Actress and director was 74

by Jennie Kermode

Sondra Locke in The Outlaw Josey Wales
Sondra Locke in The Outlaw Josey Wales

Oscar-nominated actress and pioneering director Sondra Locke has died, it was announced today. She suffered a heart attack last month, at the age of 74.

Making a big splash with her début film, The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter, the Tennessee-born star achieved more widespread fame for the films she made with Clint Eastwood, including The Outlaw Josey Wales and Any Which Way But Loose. She and Eastwood had a 14-year relationship which ended bitterly after he cheated on her and locked her out of their Bel-Air home. She subsequently took him and Warner Bros to court, arguing that they had conspired to stymie the directorial career that began with Ratboy in 1986. The dispute ended with an out of court settlement, with Locke saying she wanted to let Hollywood know "that people cannot get away with whatever they want to just because they're powerful."

At a time when there were were still few women directing mainstream films, Locke went on to direct three more, including Impulse with Jeff Fahey and Trading Favors with Roseanna Arquette. She revived her acting career in 2000, starring alongside Dennis Hopper in The Prophet's Game.

Locke also published a book, The Good, The Bad And The Very Ugly: A Hollywood Journey.

Locke had survived breast cancer and subsequently suffered from bone cancer, finally dying from a heart attack. She is survived by her long term partner Scott Cunneen.

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