Family & Companions
Susan Anspach was an American film actress who drew praise from critics for her bold performances in the acclaimed 70s films "Five Easy Pieces" (1970), "Play It Again, Sam" (1972), and "Blume in Love" (1973). Born and raised in Queens, New York, Anspach left home at the age of 15 to escape her physically abusing parents. She stayed with a family in Harlem in the ensuing years, and by the age of 18 had earned a scholarship to attend Catholic University of America. She studied music and drama at the university, and before long had fallen in love with acting. By the mid-1960s Anspach was living in New York as a struggling theater actress. Her friends and contemporaries during this period were the then-unknown New York stage actors Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight and Robert Duvall. Her first big stage acting break came in 1967 when she was cast as the lead in the original Off-Broadway version of the musical "Hair." The show was a big success and would eventually have its Broadway debut in 1968. A different actress, however, was cast as the female lead. Undeterred, by the late 60s and early 70s Anspach had begun making a name for herself as a film actress. In 1970 she appeared in Hal Ashby's "The Landlord," as well as alongside Jack Nicholson in the Oscar-nominated drama "Five Easy Pieces." Her role in the latter, as a new age pianist who makes love with Jack Nicholson's character, would go on to become Anspach's most memorable film performance. Anspach continued appearing in various well-regarded films throughout the 70s and 80s, including Woody Allen's romantic comedy "Play It Again, Sam," "Blume In Love," "Montenegro" (1981), and "Misunderstood" (1984). Her on-screen roles dwindled by the early 90s with just a few sporadic film and TV appearances in the ensuing years. Her last credited role was in the 2010 thriller "Inversion." After a noteworthy career spanning several decades and numerous memorable roles, Susan Anspach died in Los Angeles from heart failure on April 2, 2018. She was 75.
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Made off-Broadway debut as the female lead in "Hair"
Had breakthrough screen role in "Five Easy Pieces"
Made screen-acting debut in "The Landlord"
Played Nancy in "Play It Again, Sam"
Had one of the leads in Paul Mazursky's "Blume in Love"
TV-movie debut, "I Want to Keep My Baby" (CBS)
Cast as Marilyn Jordan in "Montenegro"
TV series debut as regular, "The Yellow Rose" (NBC)
Appeared in the West Coast production of "A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking"
Co-starred in the CBS miniseries "James A. Michener's 'Space'"
Had regular role on the ABC dramedy "The 'Slap' Maxwell Story"
Played a supporting role in the CBS TV-movie "Cagney and Lacey: The Return"
Appeared in the TV movie "Dancing at the Harvest Moon"
Made her feature return in "Wild About Harry"
Appeared in her final screen role as Edna Boswell in the thriller "Inversion"