Piper Laurie dead at 91, farewell to star of ‘Carrie’ and ‘Children of a Lesser God’

The American actress, also known for her extravagant interpretation of two characters in ‘Twin Peaks’, received three Oscar nominations

The American actress Piper Laurie, nominated three times for an Oscar for her performances in ‘The Hustler’, ‘Carrie: The Stare of Satan’ and ‘Children of a Lesser God’ and known for her extravagant interpretation of two characters in the TV series “Twin Peaks”, died at the age of 91 at her home in Los Angeles. The announcement of her passing was made by her spokeswoman Marion Rosenberg to ‘Variety’ and ‘The Hollywood Reporter’.

Piper Laurie (pseudonym of Rosetta Jacobs, born in Detroit on January 22, 1932) made her film debut alongside Ronald Reagan in the comedy “I Love Louise Desperately” (1950) by Alexander Hall. She got her first important role alongside Paul Newman with whom she starred in Robert Rossen’s film “The Hustler” (1961), for which she received her first Oscar nomination (in the best leading actress category). The second Oscar nomination came when it was directed by Brian De Palma in the famous thriller “Carrie – Satan’s Gaze” (1976), for whose sensitive interpretation of Margaret White, religious fanatic mother of Sissy Spacek, while the third for ” Children of a Lesser God” (1986) by Randa Haines, where she was the mother of Marlee Matlin. She appeared alongside the young Mel Gibson in Michael Pate’s “The Greatest Guy” (1979). Among her many films are also “Other People’s Money” (1991) by Norman Jewison, “Storyville” (1992) by Mark Frost and “Trauma” (1993) by Dario Argento.

From the mid-1980s, after a 30-year film career, Piper Laurie intensified her appearances on the small screen, starring in television dramas and series. After guest appearances on series such as Murder, She Wrote and The Twilight Zone, the actress starred in the miniseries The Blackbirds before winning an Emmy Award for her role in The Promise. (1986). In the series “Twin Peaks” (1990-1991) David Lynch gave her two roles: after the unscrupulous Catherine Martell of Packard Sawmill had supposedly died in a fire during the first season, the director called her and told her that he wanted her to return for the second season to play Martell disguised as a man.

The actress, who boasted more than 60 films, has worked for many recent television productions. After playing Dr. Ross’s (George Clooney) mother in ER and an evil woman in Law & Order, she appeared as a guest star in Will & Grace.

In the autobiographical book “Learning to Live Out Loud” (2011, “Learning to Live Out Loud”) Piper Laurie revealed that she lost her virginity to Ronald Reagan and slept with Mel Gibson when she was twice her age . Laurie wrote the book because “my life had a lot of secrets and it was exhausting to keep them locked inside me,” she said in an interview.

Piper Laurie’s last film role was in White Boy Rick’s True Story (2018), as the grandmother of a real-life teenage FBI informant turned drug dealer, with Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Rory Cochrane.