Actress Lee Remick Dead of Cancer at Age 55
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Actress Lee Remick, who specialized in portraying women in crises and gained an Oscar nomination as an alcoholic in ″Days of Wine and Roses,″ died Tuesday. She was 55.
Miss Remick died of cancer at 5:15 a.m. at her Brentwood home, with family members at her side, said publicist Dick Winters.
Her death came one day after actor Michael Landon died of liver and pancreatic cancer.
Miss Remick’s cancer was diagnosed in the spring of 1989. She had undergone only physical therapy in recent months, Winters said.
She was in frail health at one of her final public appearances, a star dedicated to her on April 29 on the Hollywood Walkk of Fame.
″This has been a slow slide and it finally came about,″ Winters said.
Miss Remick starred as an alcoholic in the 1962 movie ″Days of Wine and Roses″; a nervous wreck in ″The Women’s Room″; a nymphomaniac in ″The Detective″; and a woman who takes drastic measures to cover up her infidelity in a remake of ″The Letter.″
Most recently, Miss Remick starred as the unfeeling mother to Marlee Matlin in the 1989 television movie ″A Bridge to Silence.″
Actor Jack Lemmon, who co-starred with Remick in ″Days of Wine and Roses,″ said: ″Knowing and working with Lee will always remain one of the most joyous experiences of my life. She was precious, and certainly the embodiment of grace.″
Gregory Peck, who played Remick’s husband in 1976′s ″The Omen,″ a horror film, said the actress possessed ″a rare quality, which I would call a depth of womanliness. She played her on- and off-screen roles with an open heart, an open mind, keen intelligence and honest emotion.
″She made all of her leading men look good,″ Peck said. ″I will never forget this clear-eyed Yankee girl.″
Charles Bronson starred as a Russian agent opposite Miss Remick in 1977′s espionage thriller ″Telefon.″
″I am so sorry she is gone. She was a beautiful, warm and giving individual as well as a very unselfish and professional actress,″ Bronson said.
Actress Angela Lansbury, who starred with Miss Remick in Stephen Sondheim’s 1964 musical, ″Anyone Can Whistle,″ said she ″was such a brave and extraordinarily positive thinking person. She never gave into the cancer for one second.″
″Anyone Can Whistle,″ an off-beat, highly original musical, ran only nine performances on Broadway, but became a cult favorite after it was recorded by Columbia Records. In 1985, Miss Remick starred in another Sondheim musical, ″Follies,″ in a historic concert version that brought together nearly a dozen Broadway stars for two performances at Lincoln Center.
Miss Remick appeared in more than 20 motion pictures, including ″A Face In the Crowd,″ ″The Long Hot Summer,″ ″Experiment in Terror,″ ″Wild River,″ ″Sanctuary,″ ″The Wheeler Dealers,″ ″Travelin’ Lady,″ ″Anatomy of a Murder,″ ″Tribute,″ and ″The Competition.″
Her television credits included ″Toughlove,″ ″Ike,″ ″Mistral’s Daughter,″ ″The Blue Knight″ and ″Jennie, Lady Randolph Churchill.″
She played other famous women in her career, including a former first lady in ″Eleanor - In Her Own Words: A Tribute to Eleanor Roosevelt.″ In ″Nutcracker: Money, Madness and Murder,″ Miss Remick starred as Frances Bradshaw Schreuder, the socialite who was convicted of persuading her 17-year- old son to kill her father.
Remick moved frequently between motion pictures and television.
″I just look for the stuff that interests me. And I don’t like to repeat,″ she said in a 1988 interview with The Associated Press. ″That’s the nature of the biz. Once you’ve done something well, they think, ‘Ah, that’s what she does,’ and they keep sending you the same script over and over again.″
She was born in Quincy, Mass., on Dec. 14, 1935, to department store owner Frank Remick and his wife, Patricia, an actress. Miss Remick attended New York’s Miss Hewitt School and studied dance at the Swobada School and with the Charles Weidman Co.
After working in summer stock, she made her Broadway debut at 17 as a wise- cracking teen-ager in the 1953 flop ″Be Your Age.″ She entered Barnard College that fall but dropped out after one semester to go into the theater again.
Her film debut came at age 22 in 1957′s ″A Face in the Crowd,″ directed by Elia Kazan and co-starred Andy Griffith, also making his film debut. She played a sexy drum majorette who weds the power-mad Griffith.
Her performance in the 1966 Broadway play ″Wait Until Dark″ delivered a Tony Award nomination. In 1974, she was cast in a London production of ″Bus Stop.″
She worked extensively in theater-themed television series, among them ″Playhouse 90,″ ″Studio One,″ ″Armstrong Circle Theatre,″ ″Robert Montgomery Presents″ and ″American Inventory.″
Miss Remick is survived by her husband of 21 years, producer Kip Gowans; daughter Kate Colleran Sullivan; son Matthew Remick Colleran; mother Pat Packard; and stepdaughters Justine Gowans Solly and Nicola Gowans.
A memorial service was not announced, Winters said.