Oscar Nominated Actress Sondra Locke's Cause of Death Revealed

Following the news of Academy Award-nominated actress and director Sondra Locke’s death, authorities have now released the 74-year-old’s cause of death.

According to documents obtained by The Blast, Locke, whose filmography included multiple credits with Clint Eastwood, died of cardiac arrest due to breast and bone cancer over the course of three years. Locke passed away Nov. 3 at 12:16 a.m., with the death certificate citing her career as an actress, producer and director over 50 years.

Cancer has been something Locke has battled throughout her life. The Tennessee native beat breast cancer in 1990 after she underwent a double mastectomy.

In 1968, Locke’s rise to fame came with her film debut in the adaptation of Carson McCullers’ novel, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter opposite actor, Alan Arkin about a deaf-mute man in the South. Locke played a teenager who has to give up her room for Arkin’s character, who tries to befriend her.

The role earned Locke Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for Best Supporting Actress, and put her on the road for a promising film and television career. Locke went on to star in Cover Me Babe, Willard and The Second Coming of Suzanne. She also appeared in a handful of TV episodes throughout the ‘70s.

Locke’s other film credits included Death Game, Every Which Way But Loose, Any Which Way You Can, Bronco Billy, Sudden Impact and Ratboy, which she directed. She made her final appearance in 2017’s Roy Meets Helen with Keith Carradine and Keith David.

Actress Rosanna Arquette, who starred in Locke’s directorial venture, Trading Favors, remembered Locke as “thoughtful and kind” in a message posted to Twitter.

“[Locke] had laser vision she was great with actors,” Arquette wrote.

Westworld star, Evan Rachel Wood added, “[Sondra Locke] directed me in my first film when I was 4 years old. She was fantastic. RIP.”

Locke also famously dated Clint Eastwood after the two met on the set of The Outlaw Josey Wales. They began dating despite Locke being married to sculptor and actor, Gordon Anderson. In 1989, she filed a palimony lawsuit against Eastwood after he allegedly locked her out of the house they shared.

The suit ended after a year when Eastwood agreed to get Locke a production deal at Warner Bros. However, she went on to sue Eastwood for fraud in 1995, claiming their deal was never going to result in her projects getting made. E! News reported at the time that the two sides reached an out-of-court settlement in 1999.


Locke remained married to Anderson until her death. The two were lifelong friends, and though Anderson was gay, the couple thought of themselves more as siblings. Locke is survived by Anderson, with her cremated remains entrusted to him.

Photo credit: Ron Galella/WireImage