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Jill Clayburgh: Jill Clayburgh Passes Away at 66

In this April 9, 2006 file photo, Actress Jill Clayburgh arrives to the opening night of the play "Festen," on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre, in New York. Jill Clayburgh, whose Broadway and Hollywood acting career stretched through the decades, highlighted by her Oscar-nominated portrayal of a divorcee exploring her sexuality in the 1978 film "An Unmarried Woman," died Friday, Nov. 5, 2010. She was 66. (AP Photo/Dima Gavrysh, File)

Jill Clayburgh, film and TV star, passed away after a long bout with chronic leukemia, according to her husband, playwright David Rabe. She was 66.

Clayburgh was best know for her roles in the movies An Unmarried Woman, Starting Over and It’s My Turn, as well as her supporting parts in such TV shows as Law & Order, The Practice, Nip/Tuck, and Ally McBeal.


Clayburgh was nominated for an Oscar for her role in 1978′s An Unmarried Woman. She started acting while a student at Sarah Lawrence College. After graduating in 1966, Clayburgh joined the Charles Playhouse in Boston, where she met Al Pacino, with whom she would begin a five-year relationship.

Clayburgh was awarded an Emmy nomination for her portrayal of a hooker in 1975’s Hustling, which she followed with a role in 1977’s Silver Streak starring comedians Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor. She and Rabe were married in 1978.

Earlier this week, Clayburgh and Rabe’s daughter, actress Lily Rabe, had taken a temporary leave of absence from the upcoming Broadway show in which she will perform, Shakespeare’s A Merchant of Venice, starring none other than her mother’s old beau, Al Pacino. Along with David and Lily, Clayburgh is survived by son, Michael stepson Jason, and brother James.

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