Actress Carrie Snodgress, whose 40-year career included an Oscar nomination for “Diary of a Mad Housewife” and memorable roles in “Pale Rider” and “Wild Things,” has died. She was 57.
Snodgress was hospitalized at the University of California Medical Center in Los Angeles, awaiting a liver transplant when she died of heart failure April 1, her manager, Sidney Craig, said Friday. Her son, Zeke, by rock star Neil Young, was at her side, he said.
Snodgress was perhaps best-known for her role as a frustrated homemaker caught between a domineering husband and a self-absorbed lover in 1970’s “Diary of a Mad Housewife.” She was nominated for an Academy Award and won two Golden Globe awards — leading actress in a musical or comedy and new star of the year.
She starred in Clint Eastwood’s 1985 western “Pale Rider” and was featured in the 1998 noir film “Wild Things” with Matt Dillon and Neve Campbell.
Off-screen, the Park Ridge, Ill., native’s love life was also tumultuous.
Despite critical acclaim for her role in “Housewife,” Snodgress turned her back on Hollywood in 1971 to live with boyfriend Neil Young on his northern California ranch and care for their son, who was born with cerebral palsy.
She spent more than seven years with Young before she left and returned to Los Angeles, later suing him for child support.
In 1979, her ex-boyfriend, songwriter Jack Nitzsche, was charged with threatening to kill her after he barged into her home and beat her with a handgun. He pleaded guilty to threatening her and was fined and placed on three years’ probation.
Picking up her career after a long absence wasn’t easy, Snodgress later said. She was initially tapped to star opposite Sylvester Stallone in “Rocky” but lost the role over a salary dispute.
She eventually landed a supporting role in Brian DePalma’s 1978 film “The Fury.” But in a 1986 Los Angeles Times interview, Snodgress said she had no regrets about temporarily walking away from her career.
“I was never really a career woman, you see,” she said. “My life always came first. When I got nominated for 'Diary of a Mad Housewife,’ I didn’t think, 'Aah, now I’ll get more money.’ My dream had always just been to do my works well, fall in love and build a life for myself.”
Other film credits included “The Attic,” “A Night in Heaven,” “Blueberry Hill,” “Blue Sky” and “Ed Gein.” Her television credits included appearances on “The Virginian,” “Marcus Welby, M.D.,” “Murder She Wrote,” “X Files,” “ER,” “Judging Amy,” “Touched by an Angel” and “The West Wing.”
There was a private family funeral. No public services were planned, Craig said.