Susan Anspach, 1970s actress known for 'Five Easy Pieces' and 'Play It Again, Sam,' dies at 75

Susan Anspach, known for her starring roles in 1970s films like "Five Easy Pieces" and in the off-Broadway production of "Hair," has died at 75.

Anspach's son, Caleb Goddard, attributed the cause of death to coronary failure.

In a lengthy obituary, the New York Times calls Anspach "radiant and rebellious," a brave actress who took on counterculture roles. She made waves opposite Jack Nicholson in "Five Easy Pieces," in which she played a young intellectual who sleeps with her fiance's brother, and she appeared twice on Broadway while simultaneously building her film and TV career.

 See photos of Susan Anspach through the years:

Susan Anspach
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Susan Anspach
Susan Anspach and Jack Nicholson in Five Easy Pieces, a Columbia Picture.
(Original Caption) Columbia Pictures presents 'Five Easy Pieces', a BBS Production, starring Jack Nicholson, Karen Black an Susan Anspach. Screenplay by Adrien Joyce, from a story by Bob Rafelson and Adrien Joyce. Produced by Bob Rafelson and Richard Wechsler. Executive producer Bert Schneider. Directed by Bob Rafelson. Jack Nicholson (Robert) and Billy 'Green' Bush (Elton) stop for coffee at the luncheonette where Karen Black (Rayette) works.
THE PATTY DUKE SHOW - 'Will the Real Sammy Davis Hang Up!' which aired on March 3, 1965. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) PATTY DUKE;SUSAN ANSPACH
LOS ANGELES - 1978: Actress-Susan Anspach poses for a portrait in 1978 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry Langdon/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - JANUARY 30: From left, David Carradine, Barbara Bel Geddes (of Dallas television program) and Linda Evans (of Dynasty) and Susan Anspach at the 39th Annual Golden Globe Awards. Geddes and Evans are tied winners for the Golden Globe Awards category Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series / Drama. Image dated January 30, 1982. Hollywood, CA. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 1: Susan Anspach attends Find The Children Benefit on April 1, 1986 at Club 22 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
SANTA MONICA, CA - MAY 19: Susan Anspach attends SHARE Boomtown Party on May 19, 1990 at the Santa Monic Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
PALM SPRINGS, CA - JANUARY 10: Tom Gregory interviews actress Susan Anspach during the 'American Primitive' reception held at the Riviera on January 10, 2009 in Palm Springs, California. (Photo by Angela Weiss/WireImage)
Tom Gregory interviews actress Susan Anspach during the 'American Primitive' reception held at the Riviera on January 10, 2009 in Palm Springs, California. (Photo by Angela Weiss/WireImage)
Tom Gregory and actress Susan Anspach attend the 'American Primitive' reception held at the Riviera on January 10, 2009 in Palm Springs, California. (Photo by Angela Weiss/WireImage)

Anspach was mother to Catherine, whose father was Anspach's "Hair" castmate Steve Curry, and Caleb, who she has publicly said is Nicholson's son. Nicholson has never publicly confirmed whether or not he is Caleb's father and has dueled with Anspach in court for financial reasons.

A vocal opponent of marriage, Anspach did wed twice -- first to actor Mark Goddard, who adopted her kids, and then to Sherwood Ball, whom she divorced in 1988. She also has three grandchildren.

Although she continued to act until 2009, she largely stayed out of the spotlight during her later years. Her last role was in family drama "Wild About Harry."

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