Jill Clayburgh: 10 Things to Know About Her Life & One Fun Video

jill clayburgh lily rabe
Lily Rabe & Mom Jill Clayburgh
Actress Jill Clayburgh died yesterday at the age of 66. According to her husband of 31 years, the playwright David Rabe, Clayburgh had suffered from chronic lymphocytic leukemia for 21 years. 

Throughout Clayburgh's career, she acted in everything from plays to movies to television. And although she always looked the lady, she says the roles she relished were those in which the character was "coming apart at the seams."

Still, Clayburgh was known primarily for portraying strong, independent women who reflected the feminist movement.

Here are a few other things she's known for.

  1. Clayburgh was born to a wealthy family in New York City and attended the tony Brearley School and Sarah Lawrence College.

  2. Clayburgh lived with actor Al Pacino for 5 years (1970 - 1975).

  3. Her daughter Lily Rabe is an actress, who is currently appearing in previews of The Merchant of Venice on Broadway (as Portia), with ... Al Pacino (who plays Shylock). The opening of the play, which was scheduled for this evening, has been postponed.

  4. Clayburgh was nominated for a Leading Actress Oscar for An Unmarried Woman, in which she played a divorcee exploring her sexuality after 16 years of marriage (1978), and Starting Over, a romantic comedy in which she starred opposite Burt Reynolds (1979).

  5. She also received two Emmy nominations for best actress. One, in 1975, for her role as a prostitute in the television movie Hustling; the other for her 2005 guest appearance as a vengeful plastic surgery patient on FX’s Nip/Tuck.

  6. She played Letitia Darling (Tish), the matriarch of the Darling family (opposite patriach Donald Sutherland) the television show Dirty Sexy Money, which aired from 2007 - 2009.

  7. Clayburgh had a recurring role on Ally McBeal (Calista Flockhart) as Ally McBeal's mother Jeanne.

  8. She started her career on Broadway in the late sixties. Her last stage appearance was in 2006 -- in a revival of Barefoot in the Park with Tony Roberts, Amanda Peet, and Patrick Wilson.

  9. Clayburgh graced the cover of PlayGirl magazine, along with Michael Douglas, in February of 1981. (The two starred together in 1980's It's My Turn.)

  10. Clayburgh will appear on the big screen in the upcoming films Love and Other Drugs (November 24), in which she plays the mother of Jake Gyllenhaal's character, Jamie Randall, and in next year's Judd Apatow comedy Bridesmaids (May 2011).

  11. Performing Swan Lake in her underpants:



How will you remember Jill Clayburgh?


Image via Andy Kropa/Getty

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