Sondra Locke, Eastwood Ex and Oscar Nominee, Has Died

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Locke and Eastwood in a 1977 pairing

Actress Sondra Locke, who earned an Academy Award nomination for her debut film role in 1968’s The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and then co-starred prominently in a series of films directed by her then-boyfriend, Clint Eastwood, has died. On December 13, Radar Online was the first to report her death, which occurred on Nov. 3. Locke was 74. The website indicated that she died from cardiac arrest due to breast and bone cancer, which she battled for several years.

In the early ’70s, Locke appeared in the 1971 horror film, Willard, and in several primetime television series in guest roles.

Locke met Eastwood in 1972 and was first cast by the director in his 1976 film The Outlaw Josie Wales. Additional roles opposite Eastwood included 1977’s The Gauntlet, and the comedies Every Which Way But Loose (1978) and Any Which Way You Can (1980).

Listen to her sing with Phil Everly in Every Which Way But Loose

Related: Eastwood attempts to sing with Bill Murray

Locke’s characters were often known for a combination of grittiness and spunkiness, as demonstrated by her ability to pack a punch, if the role called for it. The blonde beauty also starred with Eastwood in Bronco Billy (1980) and the fourth film in the Dirty Harry series, 1983’s Sudden Impact.

She and Eastwood were together as a couple from 1975 until 1989. In 1986, Locke made her directorial debut with the film, Ratboy. Their split was marked by a so-called “palimony” suit; two settlements involved an undisclosed amount of cash and a production deal for Locke with Warner Bros. Pictures, Eastwood’s longtime studio home.

Locke was born Sandra Louise Smith on May 28, 1944, in Shelbyville, Tenn.

“I love you, Bronco Billy,” Locke’s character, Antoinette Lily, says to the star of the rundown traveling circus. We loved you, Sondra.

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