Actress Collin Wilcox-Paxton, who portrayed the false accuser in the movie classic "To Kill a Mockingbird," died of brain cancer just months after the diagnosis. She was 74.
Her husband, Scott Paxton, confirmed Thursday that she died Oct. 14 in Highlands in the southwest part of North Carolina. No funeral was held. Instead, the family held a service before her death.
"It's pretty special being at your own memorial," said her husband of more than 30 years.
She was diagnosed Aug. 11 with three brain tumors, he said.
The actress played Mayella Ewell in the movie based on Harper Lee's Pulitzer-winning novel. Her role as the young white woman who accuses a black man of beating and raping her in her home was brief but memorable.
She angrily breaks down as actor Gregory Peck, the defense attorney, suggests she lied to avoid being abused by her racist father. The black defendant is convicted anyway and later killed.
In the late 1950s and '60s, she had roles in several Broadway plays, making her debut in 1958 in the family drama "The Day the Money Stopped." While the production was short-lived, The New York Times said she "scatters little sparks of humorous vitality throughout her scenes."
She had guest appearances in many early television series, such as "Gunsmoke," "The Fugitive," "The Waltons" and "Little House on the Prairie."
Her roles in the 1990s included television series and movies that were filmed near her hometown in the North Carolina mountains. They included "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," which director Clint Eastwood filmed in Savannah, Ga., and the inspirational TV series "Christy," about a teacher in the early 1900s in remote Appalachia.
She is also survived by her three children and three grandchildren.