Oscar-nominated actress Sondra Locke dies at 74

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Actress and director Sondra Locke, who was nominated for an Academy Award for her first film role in 1968's "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" and went on to co-star in six films with Clint Eastwood, has died.

Locked died Nov. 3 at her Los Angeles home of cardiac arrest stemming from breast and bone cancer, according to a death certificate obtained by The Associated Press. She was 74. Authorities were promptly notified at the time, but her death was not publicized until RadarOnline first reported it Thursday. It is not clear why it took nearly six weeks to come to light.

Locke was best known for the six films she made with Eastwood — whom she dated for 13 years — starting with the Western "The Outlaw Josey Wales" in 1976 and ending with the Dirty Harry movie "Sudden Impact" in 1983.

Born Sandra Louise Smith — she would later take on a stepfather's last name and take on the stage name Sondra — Locke grew up in Tennessee, where she worked at a radio station and appeared in a handful of plays before winning a nationwide talent search in 1967 to be cast opposite leading man Alan Arkin in the movie adaptation of Carson McCullers' 1940 novel "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter."

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Sondra Locke through the years
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Sondra Locke through the years
Actress Sondra Locke poses for a portrait in circa 1975. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Clint Eastwood and Sondra Locke riding on a motorcycle down a dirt road in a scene from the film 'The Gauntlet', 1977. (Photo by Warner Brothers/Getty Images)
Clint Eastwood and Sondra Locke looking from motor bike in a scene from the film 'The Gauntlet', 1977. (Photo by Warner Brothers/Getty Images)
Actress Sondra Locke in movie The Gauntlet.
Clint Eastwood and Sondra Locke on the set of his movie The Gauntlet. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
Sandra Locke sitting on the table in a scene from the film 'Bronco Billy', 1980. (Photo by Warner Brothers/Getty Images)
Clint Eastwood smiling with Sandra Locke in a scene from the film 'Bronco Billy', 1980. (Photo by Warner Brothers/Getty Images)
Sondra Locke and Clint Eastwood at the Desilu TV Studios in Hollywood, California (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Actor Clint Eastwood and Sondra Locke, circa 1982. (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Sondra Locke and Clint Eastwood (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
CIRCA 1983: Actress Sondra Locke in a scene from the movie 'Sudden Impact' circa 1983. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Portrait de Sondra Locke, actrice, en septembre 1986 à Deauville, France. (Photo by Pool DENIZE/PELLETIER/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Sondra Locke during Sondra Locke 1986 Portrait Session by Bob Riha in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Bob Riha Jr/WireImage)
Clint Eastwood et sa compagne Sondra Locke à Paris en aout 1987, france. (Photo by GARCIA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Clint Eastwood and his wife Sondra Locke attend the premiere of his movie 'Bird', a biography of jazz musician Charlie Parker, at the Cinémathèque de Paris. (Photo by James Andanson/Sygma via Getty Images)
Actress Sondra Locke. (Photo by Kevin Winter/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 18: Sandra Locke (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 18: Sandra Locke (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Sondra Locke publicity portrait, 1990. (Photo by Warner Brothers/Getty Images)
CANADA - MAY 10: In a washed silk wedgewood blue ensemble; actress or director Sondra Locke looked fragile; like a delicate piece of porcelain. No wonder she's oft described as a waif. Locke; in town recently to promote her movie impulse; is so endearing you want her to be your new best friend. Yet Clint Eastwood; her best friend and lover of 13 years and her co-star in six films; unceremoniously dumped her and locked her out of their home last year. But don't let the angelic blonde exterior fool you; this [Incomplete] (Photo by Doug Griffin/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Actress Sondra Locke attends the 'Twins' Century City Premiere on December 8, 1988 at AMC Century 14 Theatres in Century City, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Actress Sondra Locke on November 10, 1990 dining at Spago in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Actress Sondra Locke attends the 'Inevitable Grace' West Hollywood Premiere on February 15, 1994 at Laemmle's Sunset 5 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 22: Actress Sondra Locke arrives at the premiere of 'Our Very Own' at the Los Angeles Film Festival at the Director Guild of America on June 22, 2005 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JULY 19: Sondra Locke attends Miramax Films release of there DVD 'Our Very Own' at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel on July 19, 2007 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by John M. Heller/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MAY 06: Actress Sondra Locke attends the screening of Alan Rudolph's 'Ray Meets Helen' at Laemmle's Music Hall 3 on May 6, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Robin L Marshall/Getty Images)
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She would win raves for the role along with nominations for a Golden Globe and an Oscar. Both awards went to Ruth Gordon for "Rosemary's Baby."

She had a run of unmemorable film and TV roles until meeting Eastwood on the set of "Josey Wales," which he both directed and starred in.

Her career would mirror his for the next several years. The pair's hit films also included the 1978 street-fighting and orangutan comedy "Every Which Way But Loose" and its 1980 sequel "Any Which Way You Can."

Locke also played singer Rosemary Clooney in a 1982 TV biopic, and directed the 1986 film "Ratboy," which flopped in the U.S. but was popular with critics in Europe.

In 1989, Locke's charmed life came to an end as Eastwood broke up with her, she later wrote. The locks were changed and her things were placed outside a home she thought had been a gift from Eastwood.

She sued Eastwood for palimony then later sued him for fraud saying a movie development deal he arranged for her was a sham to get her to drop the palimony suit. They settled the highly publicized lawsuit for an undisclosed amount during jury deliberations in 1996.

The following year she released her memoir, titled "The Good, the Bad and the Very Ugly: A Hollywood Journey," which also detailed the double mastectomy and chemotherapy that came with her first bout with breast cancer.

She told the AP at the time that the title, a play on one of Eastwood's films, was "applicable to the story."

"I try to cover the good years as well as the bad and the ugly," Locke said. "Also, that in even the worst ugly things there can sometimes be a lot that will make you a better person."

Locke had married actor Gordon Anderson in 1967. According to her death certificate, the two were still legally married when she died, and he was the person who reported her death. She described their relationship to the AP in 1997 as just good friends. A phone number listed in Anderson's name rang without being picked up.

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