Oscar-Nominated Actress Sondra Locke Dead at 74

Sondra Locke, the Oscar-nominated actress who dated Clint Eastwood for more than 13 years and fought him in court, died on Nov. 3. She was 74.

Locke's death was not reported until Thursday. Radar Online obtained Locke's death certificate from the Los Angeles Department of Public Health. It listed her cause of death as cardiac arrest due to breast and bone cancer.

Locke beat breast cancer in 1990 after she had a double mastectomy. She had been battling bone cancer for the past three years.

The Tennessee-born Locke scored an Oscar nomination for her first film, the 1968 adaptation of Carson McCullers' novel The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter. In the film, she played opposite Alan Arkin, who played a deaf-mute man in the South. Locke played Mick Kelly, a teenager who has to give up her room for Locke's character, who tries to befriend her.

The part earned Locke Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for Best Supporting Actress, and put her on the road for her film and television career. She 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 1970s.

In 1975, she met Eastwood on the set of The Outlaw Josey Wales. She started dating the actor, even though she was still married to sculptor and actor Gordon Anderson. In 1989, she filed a palimony lawsuit against Eastwood after he locked her out of the house they shared and he fathered two children with another woman.

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

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.

Locke also chronicled her relationship with Eastwood and Hollywood in her memoir The Good, The Bad, And The Very Ugly, notes The Wrap.

“[Eastwood] is like the emperor. He always had his own company store," Locke told The Washington Post in 1997. "If you were in Clint Eastwood movies, you were in the Clint Eastwood movie business. You weren’t in the movie business. You weren’t part of Hollywood. This became clear early on; people stopped calling. They automatically assumed I was working exclusively with Clint.”

Locke remained married to Anderson until her death. The two were lifelong friends, and Anderson was gay. They thought of themselves more as siblings.


Locke is survived by Anderson.

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