Sally Kellerman, Oscar Nominated ‘MASH’ Actress, Dies at 84

Sally Kellerman, the sad, charming voice actress and singer for her role as Major Margaret (Hot Lips) Houlihan in the 1970s dark comedy “MASH” earned her an Oscar nomination , passed away Thursday at an assisted living facility in Los Angeles. She was 84 years old.

Her son, Jack Krane, said the cause was heart failure.

During her decades-long film and television career, she is known for her role as a tight-knit but charming military nurse in “MASH,” which also earned Kellerman critical acclaim. Award and Golden Globe Award.

The Robert Altman-directed film succeeds with its sanctity and graphics depicting a group of gun-wielding surgeons struggling to save horribly wounded soldiers at an army surgical unit. during the Korean War. (When “MASH” was adapted into a TV series, Mrs. Kellerman’s character was played by Loretta Swit.)

Ms. Kellerman went on to appear in several other films directed by Mr. Altman, including “Brewster McCloud” (1970) and “Welcome to LA” (1976). Like other actors, she was attracted to working with Mr. Altman because he allowed for ease in interpreting scripts and improvisational shots.

After her star-studded role in MASH, Ms. Kellerman sought to revive her career as a singer, performing cabaret repertoire at nightclubs like the Grand Finale in New York City.

In the nightclub rotation, her performance received mixed reviews. Although she has “an attractive husky voice” and “characteristics of an effective pop singer”, as The New York Times put it in 1977She has been criticized for some of the qualities for which she is known as an actress, such as her “failure”.

In one Interview with The Times in 1981Ms Kellerman reflected on the break she took to focus on singing, calling it a “wonderful experience” that made her return to acting feel “fresh”.

Sally Kellerman was born on June 2, 1937 in Long Beach, California, to John Helm Kellerman and Edith Kellerman.

In Miss Kellerman’s 2013 memoir, “Reading My Lips: Stories of Life in Hollywood,” she describes her desire to become a performer since she was a “thin kid” grew up in the Granada Hills in the San Fernando Valley. ”

She wrote: “I must have come out of my mother’s womb to sing and act.

As a tall, chubby teenager, she nurtured a dream of performing on stage, which she kept secret until her senior year of high school, acting in the Hollywood High production of “Meet Me in St. Louis” .

Ms. Kellerman told The Times in 1981. Having identified herself as a “jazz group”, she was offered a singing contract with the famous jazz label Verve Records.

Her acting career began with musical comedic roles in productions such as the Broadway musical “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1966).

In addition to her son, she is survived by a daughter, Claire Kellerman Krane. Another daughter, Hannah Krane, died in 2016. Ms. Kellerman’s husband, Jonathan Krane, also passed away in 2016. Her previous marriage to Rick Edelstein ended in divorce. Sally Kellerman, Oscar Nominated ‘MASH’ Actress, Dies at 84

Fry Electronics Team

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