Karen Black Dies; Easy Rider Star Was 74

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Oscar-nominated actress Karen Black, probably best known for her role in Easy Rider, died Thursday at the age of 74 after a long battle with cancer.

Karen Black Image

Her husband, Stephen Eckelberry, said, "It is with great sadness that I have to report that my wife and best friend Karen Black has 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 was diagnosed with ampullary cancer in November 2010 and had a third of her pancreas removed. She was declared cancer-free in 2011, but it returned.

In March 2013, a fundraising page was set up to help raise public donations for experimental treatment in Europe that was not covered by insurance.

On August 7, a day before she passed, Eckelberry posted an update saying that Black had become bed-bound as the cancer had spread to her spine and back.

They were unable to go to Europe, despite their crowdfunding attempts.

He said he had "given up predicting what is going to happen to Karen."

"You look at the scans, they tell you one thing, then you meet Karen, and what you are left with is how amazingly alive she is," he wrote.

"She can't help but take life head-on and to be completely engaged in the moment, always interested, always curious, always present."


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