Jill Clayburgh, an actress who’s career spanned five decades, has died in her home in Connecticut after a twenty-one year battle with lymphocytic leukemia. She was aged 66.
Clayburgh starred in films such as An Unmarried Woman and It’s My Turn and was married to David Rabe, an award winning playwright.
Daughter, Lily Rabe who was appearing in A Merchant of Venice on Broadway took compassionate leave to be with her mother.
Husband David Rabe reported that his wife had died on Friday surrounded by her family at her home in Lakeville, Connecticut, after a 21-year battle with the disease. He added proudly that she dealt with the disease courageously, and with a quiet dignity, “and made it into an opportunity for her children to grow and be human.”
The actress helped usher in a new era of confident Hollywood actress, alongside peers such as Anne Bancroft, Shirley MacLaine and Jane Fonda.
The pinnacle of her success came courtesy of her role as a divorcee in An Unmarried Woman, a role in which free from the shackles of a sixteen year marriage, the protagonist went on to explore her sexuality.
She leaves behind three children: daughter Lily Rabe and two sons, Michael and Jason.