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1970s actress known for ‘Five Easy Pieces’ and ‘Play It Again, Sam,’ dies at 75

Susan Anspach, known for her starring roles in 1970s films like “Five Easy Pieces” and in the off-Broadway production of “Hair,” has died at 75.

Anspach’s son, Caleb Goddard, attributed the cause of death to coronary failure.

In a lengthy obituary, the New York Times calls Anspach “radiant and rebellious,” a brave actress who took on counterculture roles. She made waves opposite Jack Nicholson in “Five Easy Pieces,” in which she played a young intellectual who sleeps with her fiance’s brother, and she appeared twice on Broadway while simultaneously building her film and TV career.
Anspach was mother to Catherine, whose father was Anspach’s “Hair” castmate Steve Curry, and Caleb, who she has publicly said is Nicholson’s son. Nicholson has never publicly confirmed whether or not he is Caleb’s father and has dueled with Anspach in court for financial reasons.

A vocal opponent of marriage, Anspach did wed twice — first to actor Mark Goddard, who adopted her kids, and then to Sherwood Ball, whom she divorced in 1988. She also has three grandchildren.

Although she continued to act until 2009, she largely stayed out of the spotlight during her later years. Her last role was in family drama “Wild About Harry.”