Famous movie actresses died when they were 78

Here are 21 famous actresses from the world died at 78:

Esther Rolle

Esther Rolle (November 8, 1920 Pompano Beach-November 17, 1998 Culver City) was an American actor.

She died as a result of diabetes mellitus.

Rolle was best known for her role as Florida Evans in the television sitcoms "Maude" and "Good Times". She was a prominent figure in the civil rights movement and often used her platform to speak out against racial injustice. Prior to her acting career, Rolle was a prominent member of the Negro Ensemble Company in New York City. She also founded the Community Ensemble Theatre in Los Angeles. Rolle's legacy extends beyond her acting career, as she was a dedicated activist and humanitarian until her death in 1998.

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Beverly Sills

Beverly Sills (May 25, 1929 Brooklyn-July 2, 2007 New York City) also known as Belle Miriam Silverman or Sills, Beverly was an American singer and actor.

She died caused by lung cancer.

Sills gained fame as an opera singer and was renowned for her impressive vocal range and virtuosic coloratura soprano technique. She performed at major opera houses around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, where she appeared in over 200 performances.

In addition to her singing career, Sills also served as the general manager of the New York City Opera and was a well-respected advocate for the arts. She was also a beloved public figure and made numerous television appearances, including hosting her own talk show in the 1970s.

Sills was honored with many awards and accolades throughout her career, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States. She was also inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame and the American Classical Music Hall of Fame.

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Diana Coupland

Diana Coupland (March 5, 1928 Leeds-November 10, 2006 Coventry) otherwise known as Betty Diana Coupland was a British singer and actor.

She died caused by surgical complications.

Diana Coupland began her career in entertainment as a singer in the 1950s, performing in clubs and on television. She later transitioned into acting, with notable roles in British productions such as the TV series "Bless This House" and the film "The Railway Children". Coupland also appeared in several West End productions, including "Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'Be" and "Lock Up Your Daughters". In addition to her successful career in the entertainment industry, Coupland was also a trained opera singer and taught singing at the Royal Academy of Music. She is remembered for her distinctive voice and her contributions to British culture.

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Dorothy Loudon

Dorothy Loudon (September 17, 1925 Boston-November 15, 2003 New York City) a.k.a. Loudon, Dorothy or Dotty was an American singer and actor.

She died caused by cancer.

Loudon began her career as a nightclub performer and made her Broadway debut in 1962 in the musical "Nowhere to Go But Up". She is best known for her Tony Award-winning performance as Miss Hannigan in the original Broadway production of "Annie" in 1977. Loudon appeared in numerous productions on and off Broadway, including "The Fig Leaves Are Falling", "Ballroom", and "Noises Off". She also had a successful television career, appearing on several shows including "The Garry Moore Show", "The Dean Martin Show", and "Love, American Style". Despite her success in show business, Loudon was known for her private and reclusive personality.

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Marie Tempest

Marie Tempest (July 15, 1864 London-October 15, 1942 London) also known as queen of her profession, Dame Marie Tempest, Marie Susan Etherington or reina de su profesión was a British singer and actor. She had one child, Norman Izard.

Tempest began her career as a child performer, making her stage debut at the age of 10. She became well-known for her roles in popular musical comedies of the late Victorian and Edwardian eras. She was particularly renowned for her interpretation of the works of W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, and was a regular performer in their productions.

In addition to her work on the stage, Tempest also appeared in several films throughout her career. She retired from the stage in 1925, but continued to perform occasionally in concerts and recitals.

Tempest was widely admired for her powerful voice, elegant stage presence, and dramatic abilities. She received numerous honors throughout her career, including being made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1922. Today, she is remembered as one of the greatest musical performers of her era.

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Ruth Brown

Ruth Brown (January 12, 1928 Portsmouth-November 17, 2006 Henderson) also known as Ruth Alston Weston, The Girl With the Tear In Her Voice, Miss Rhythm or Queen of R&B was an American record producer, actor and singer-songwriter. She had one child, Ronnie McPhatter.

She died as a result of myocardial infarction.

Ruth Brown was one of the most successful R&B singers of the 1950s, known for hits such as "5-10-15 Hours" and "Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean." She was also a trailblazer for African-American artists as one of the first to cross over into the mainstream music market.

After a successful career in music, Brown became an activist for musicians' rights and was instrumental in the passage of the Music Modernization Act of 2018. She also acted in several films, including "Hairspray" and "Blues Brothers 2000."

Throughout her career, Brown received numerous accolades and awards, including induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Rhythm and Blues Foundation's Pioneer Award.

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Sarah Bernhardt

Sarah Bernhardt (October 22, 1844 Paris-March 26, 1923 Paris) also known as Henriette Rosine Bernard, Madame Sarah Bernhardt, Rosine Bernardt, The Divine Sarah, La divine Sarah, Henriette-Rosine Bernard, la voix d'or, Bernhardt or Sarah was a French actor. She had one child, Maurice Bernhardt.

She died caused by uremia.

Sarah Bernhardt was a legendary French stage and film actor who is considered to be one of the greatest actors of all time. She was known for her captivating presence and her sensational performances, which earned her the title of "The Divine Sarah". Bernhardt started her acting career at the Paris Conservatory in 1862 and went on to become a leading actress in France and Europe, performing in many classics of world theatre.

In addition to her theatrical achievements, Bernhardt was also an accomplished sculptor and painter. She was also known for her philanthropic work, particularly for her contributions to the French Red Cross during World War I. Despite suffering from various ailments throughout her life, including a leg amputation due to gangrene, she continued to act well into her seventies.

Sarah Bernhardt's life and work have been the subject of several books, plays, and films. She was a true icon of her time, and her legacy is still celebrated in the world of theatre and beyond.

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Alice White

Alice White (August 24, 1904 Paterson-February 19, 1983 Los Angeles) also known as Alva White was an American actor, singer and secretary.

She died in stroke.

Alice White began her career as a secretary before being discovered by a talent scout who recognized her screen potential. She went on to star in many successful films during the 1920s and 1930s, often playing spunky, flapper-style characters. White was also a talented singer and performed in a number of musicals throughout her career. Despite her success in Hollywood, she eventually retired from acting in the 1940s to focus on her family. Throughout her life, White was known for her vivacious personality and infectious sense of humor. She remains a beloved figure in the history of American cinema.

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Betty Furness

Betty Furness (January 3, 1916 New York City-April 2, 1994 New York City) a.k.a. Elizabeth Mary Furness was an American actor, commentator, advocate, model and politician. Her child is Babbie Green.

She died as a result of stomach cancer.

Betty Furness had a long career in various fields. She started her career as a model, working for top fashion brands and magazines in the 1930s. She then ventured into acting, appearing in more than 20 films in the 1930s and 1940s. She later became a television personality and commentator, working for CBS and NBC. She was a valuable asset to the TV shopping pioneer, Westinghouse, hosting its initial live promotional broadcast in April 1949 on WABD-TV.

Apart from her work in the entertainment industry, Betty Furness was also an advocate for consumer rights. She served as the Special Assistant for Consumer Affairs to U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson from 1966-1969. In this role, she worked to improve product safety standards and to provide consumers with better information about the products they buy.

In addition, Betty Furness was also a successful politician. She was a member of the Democratic Party and served on the New York State Consumer Protection Board and as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention.

Betty Furness passed away in 1994 due to complications from stomach cancer. Her legacy as a multifaceted personality and advocate for consumer rights continues to inspire many people today.

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Dandy Nichols

Dandy Nichols (May 21, 1907 Fulham-February 6, 1986 Whitechapel) also known as Daisy Nichols, Daisy Sander, Dandy Nicholls or Barbara Nichols was an English actor.

She died caused by pneumonia.

Dandy Nichols was best known for her role as Else Garnett in the British television sitcom "Till Death Us Do Part". Her acting career spanned over five decades and included appearances in films, television shows, and stage productions. She began her acting career in the 1930s and worked as a stage actress before transitioning to film and television. She appeared in several films including "The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone" and "The Fallen Idol". Besides acting, Dandy Nichols was also a keen painter and illustrator. Her artwork was featured in exhibitions in London and Paris. Dandy's contributions to British entertainment industry were immense, and she continues to be remembered as a talented and versatile actress.

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Diane Cilento

Diane Cilento (October 5, 1933 Mooloolaba-October 6, 2011 Cairns) was an Australian actor and author. She had two children, Jason Connery and Giovanna Margaret Volpe.

She died in cancer.

Throughout her career, Diane Cilento worked both on stage and screen, and was best known for her roles in films such as "The Wicker Man" and "Tom Jones." She was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in "Tom Jones" in 1963. Cilento also wrote several books, including an autobiography titled "My Nine Lives," which chronicled her experiences as an actor and her personal life. In addition to her work in the entertainment industry, Cilento was also a notable activist, and was involved in various causes related to environmentalism and Indigenous rights. Her legacy continues to inspire many in the acting and literary communities.

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Elsie Ferguson

Elsie Ferguson (August 19, 1883 New York City-November 15, 1961 New London) also known as Elsie Louise Ferguson or "The Aristocrat of the Screen" was an American actor.

Ferguson began her career on the Broadway stage before transitioning to silent films in the early 1910s. She quickly became a popular leading lady known for her grace, beauty, and sophistication on and off screen. Some of her notable films from this time include "The Witness for the Defense" (1919) and "The Bat" (1926).

In the late 1920s, Ferguson successfully transitioned to talking films, but her popularity began to fade in the 1930s. She continued to act sporadically in films and on stage throughout the 1940s, but retired from acting altogether in 1950.

Outside of her acting career, Ferguson was known for her philanthropic work and humanitarian efforts. She was particularly invested in animal welfare and spent much of her time and money supporting various animal charities.

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Jeanne Crain

Jeanne Crain (May 25, 1925 Barstow-December 14, 2003 Santa Barbara) also known as Jeanne Elizabeth Crain or Hollywood's Number One party girl was an American actor. Her children are Michael Brinkman, Maria Brinkman, Christopher Brinkman, Timothy Brinkman, Jeanine Brinkman, Lisabette Brinkman and Paul F. Brinkman Jr..

She died as a result of myocardial infarction.

Jeanne Crain was born in Barstow, California on May 25, 1925. She was the third of seven children and grew up in Los Angeles. She began her acting career in the 1940s and quickly became known for her beauty and charisma.

Over the course of her career, she appeared in dozens of films, including "State Fair," "A Letter to Three Wives," and "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes." She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the 1949 film "Pinky."

In addition to her acting work, Crain was also known for her charity work and was involved with organizations such as the American Cancer Society and the March of Dimes. She was married to Paul Brinkman, with whom she had seven children.

Crain passed away on December 14, 2003 at the age of 78 in Santa Barbara, California. She was survived by her children and grandchildren.

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Katie Johnson

Katie Johnson (November 18, 1878 England-May 4, 1957 Elham, Kent) also known as Katie Jane Johnston, Bessie Kate Johnson or Katherine Johnson was an English actor.

She began her acting career in the theatre before transitioning to films in the silent era. Johnson appeared in a number of popular British films in the 1940s and 1950s including the classic Ealing comedy, "The Ladykillers" (1955) where she played the endearing old landlady, Mrs. Wilberforce.

Her career spanned over five decades and saw her receive critical acclaim for her roles in films such as "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" (1969) and "In This House of Brede" (1975). Johnson also made several television appearances and was a regular on the popular British series "Dixon of Dock Green" (1955-1976).

Outside of acting, Johnson was an accomplished musician and painter. In 1957, she died at the age of 78 in Elham, Kent, England, leaving behind a legacy as one of England's most beloved character actors.

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Katy Jurado

Katy Jurado (January 16, 1924 Mexico City-July 5, 2002 Cuernavaca) a.k.a. Maria Cristina Estella Marcella Jurado de Garcia, Katty Jurado, María Cristina Estela Marcela Jurado García, Maria Christina Jurado Garcia or Katy Jurardo was a Mexican actor, journalist and critic. She had two children, Victor Hugo Velázquez and Sandra Velázquez.

She died in renal failure.

Katy Jurado was one of the first Mexican actresses to achieve success abroad. She was known for her beauty, talent and versatility, starring in more than 70 films in her career. Jurado gained international recognition for her portrayal of a fiery love interest in the 1952 film "High Noon," which earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She also earned a Golden Globe Award for her performance in the 1954 film "Broken Lance." In addition to her career in film, she was a respected journalist and critic, writing for several publications throughout her life. In recognition of her contributions to the entertainment industry, she was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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Lenore Ulric

Lenore Ulric (July 21, 1892 New Ulm-December 30, 1970 Orangeburg) also known as Lenore Ulrich, Leonore Ulrich or Leonora Ulrich was an American actor.

She died as a result of heart failure.

Lenore Ulric began her acting career on Broadway and later became a prominent silent film actress. She appeared in over 30 films, including the 1923 film "The Phantom Fortune," where she starred opposite Lon Chaney. Ulric was known for her dramatic performances and her ability to convey emotion in her roles. After the transition to sound films, Ulric continued to act but also began directing and producing plays. In addition to her work in film and theater, Ulric was also a writer and artist. She published a collection of her poetry and was known for her illustrations, which were featured in several magazines. Ulric was a trailblazer for women in the entertainment industry, known for her talent and dedication to her craft.

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Louise Brooks

Louise Brooks (November 14, 1906 Cherryvale-August 8, 1985 Rochester) also known as Mary Louise Brooks, Scrubbie, Lulu or Brooksie was an American actor, dancer, model and politician.

She died caused by myocardial infarction.

Born and raised in Kansas, Brooks was known for her iconic bob haircut and her roles in silent films during the 1920s and 1930s. She began her career on Broadway before transitioning to film and quickly rose to fame with her breakout performance in the film "Pandora's Box" in 1929.

Despite her success, Brooks struggled with depression and alcoholism throughout most of her life. She retired from acting in the early 1930s and spent many years living and working in Europe. In the 1950s, she returned to the United States and briefly worked as a radio and television personality.

Later in life, Brooks became involved in politics and unsuccessfully ran for a seat in the Kansas House of Representatives in 1950. She also authored several books, including her autobiography "Lulu in Hollywood" which was published in 1982.

Today, Louise Brooks is remembered as a pioneering figure in film history and a symbol of the Roaring Twenties. Her legacy continues to inspire modern filmmakers and fashion icons.

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Marian Nixon

Marian Nixon (October 20, 1904 Superior-February 13, 1983 Los Angeles) otherwise known as Marion Nixon, Maria Nissinen or Marian Nissinen was an American actor and dancer. She had one child, Christopher N. Seiter.

She died caused by surgical complications.

Marian Nixon began her career as a dancer in the Ziegfeld Follies in New York City. She moved to Hollywood in the late 1920s and began working in film. She appeared in over 60 films in her career, including "The Big House" (1930), "The Mysterious Island" (1929) and "The Florodora Girl" (1930). She primarily played supporting roles throughout her career.

Nixon retired from acting in the 1940s and focused on raising her son. She later worked as a real estate agent. In her later years, she was a member of the Motion Picture and Television Country House and Hospital, a retirement community for people who worked in the entertainment industry.

Nixon was married twice, first to director, producer, and writer Benjamin H. Kline, and later to producer Harry Kurnitz.

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Marina Berti

Marina Berti (September 29, 1924 London-October 29, 2002 Rome) a.k.a. Elena Maureen Bertolini, Maurin Melrose, Maureen Melrose or Maurin Melrose - Marina Berti was an English actor. Her children are called Carlo Giordana, Andrea Giordana, Marina Giordana, Luca Giordana and Cristina Giordana.

She died caused by cancer.

Marina Berti began her acting career in Italy in the 1940s, appearing in films such as "La primadonna" and "Il figlio del corsaro rosso". She quickly gained recognition for her talent and was cast in lead roles in several films throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Her notable filmography includes "Barrabas", "La vendetta del Corsaro", and "Sword of the Empire".

Beyond her acting career, Berti was also a talented fashion designer and created her own fashion label in the 1960s. She specialized in designing women's suits and dresses, and her designs were popular among Italian high society.

Berti was married twice, first to the Italian composer and conductor, Mario Costa, and later to the actor and director, Franco Interlenghi. She had five children with her first husband and remained close friends with him after their divorce.

Berti continued to act well into her later years, with her final film appearance in 2000 in the television mini-series "Padre Pio: Miracle Man". Berti's legacy as an accomplished actor and fashion designer continues to inspire many in the industry today.

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Miyoshi Umeki

Miyoshi Umeki (May 8, 1929 Otaru-August 28, 2007 Licking) otherwise known as Umeki, Miyoshi was a Japanese singer and actor.

She died caused by cancer.

Umeki began her career in Japan as a nightclub singer and was discovered by a US soldier during the Korean War. In 1955, she moved to the United States and started performing on Broadway. She won a Tony Award for her role in the musical "Flower Drum Song" in 1958, becoming the first Asian to win a Tony Award.

Umeki later transitioned to film and TV, appearing in numerous productions throughout the 1960s and 1970s. She is best known for her role as Mrs. Livingston in the TV series "The Courtship of Eddie's Father", for which she won an Emmy Award in 1963.

Throughout her career, Umeki advocated for better representation of Asian actors in Hollywood and raised awareness about discrimination against Asian Americans. Her contributions to the entertainment industry and Asian American community have left a lasting impact.

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Olga Baclanova

Olga Baclanova (August 19, 1896 Moscow-September 6, 1974 Vevey) otherwise known as Olga Vladimirovna Baklanova, Baclanova, Olga Baklanova or Russian Tigress was a Russian actor.

She started her career as a ballet dancer and later transitioned into acting in theater and films. Baclanova appeared in several European and American films, including "The Docks of New York" and "Freaks". The latter film, directed by Tod Browning, catapulted her to international stardom and she became one of Hollywood's most recognizable actresses in the 1930s. She was known for her versatility as an actress and was praised for her ability to play a wide range of characters, from femme fatales to comedic roles. After the peak of her career in the 1930s, she continued to act in films and on stage until the 1960s. Baclanova lived in Switzerland in her later years and passed away in Vevey in 1974 at the age of 78.

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