Oscar-nominated actress Jill Clayburgh passed away late Friday due to complications from chronic leukemia, which she had lived with for twenty-one years. Jill was known for portraying strong, independent women on screen, and helped push forward ideas of feminism in her starring roles throughout the 70s. She was sixty-six years old at the time of her death.

Jill began her career on Broadway, portraying many characters that had emerged from the new feminist era. She is best remembered for her starring role in Paul Mazursky's 1978 drama An Unmarried Woman, where she played Erica, a strong-willed New Yorker whose husband leaves her for another woman. She garnered a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her performance as Marilyn Holmberg in Alan J. Pakula's 1979 romantic dramedy Starting Over, which found her acting opposite Burt Reynolds as a teacher who embarks on an affair with a recently divorced man.

Starring in many popular film and television series throughout the 80s and 90s, Clayburgh had continued to pursue her career in acting up until her recent death, having even returned to Broadway in 2006, starring in a rival of Barefoot in the Park opposite Tony Roberts and Amanda Peet. She was last seen as a series regular on the short-lived ABC series Dirty Sexy Money. She will next be seen starring opposite Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal in this November's Love and Other Drugs. And she will also appear in the Kristen Wiig comedy Bridesmaids, due in theaters this May.

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Jill is survived by her husband, playwright David Rabe, daughter, actress Lily Rabe, son Michael, stepson Jason, and a brother, James.

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B. Alan Orange