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Piper Laurie, star of ‘The Hustler’ and ‘Carrie’ movies, dies at 91

Piper Laurie, the strong-willed, Oscar-nominated actor who played acclaimed roles despite at one point quitting acting entirely in search of a “more meaningful” life, died early Saturday at her home in Los Angeles. She was 91 years old.

Laurie was “a brilliant talent and a wonderful person,” her manager Marion Rosenberg, who said she died of old age, told The Associated Press via email.

Laurie arrived in Hollywood in 1949 under the name Rosetta Jacobs and quickly signed a contract with Universal-International; it was a new title he hated, and he landed a number of leading roles alongside Ronald Reagan, Rock Hudson, and Tony Curtis, among others.

He was nominated for an Academy Award for three different films: the 1961 pool hall drama “The Hustler”; The 1976 movie version of Stephen King’s horror classic “Carrie”; and appeared in the 1986 romantic drama “Children of a Lesser God.” He has also appeared in highly acclaimed roles on television and stage; these included her role as the villain Catherine Martell in David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” in the 1990s.

Laurie made her debut at age 17, playing Reagan’s daughter in “Louisa,” and then appeared opposite Francis the talking mule in “Francis Goes to the Races.” She shot many movies with her once-partner Curtis, such as “The Thief Prince”, “There’s No Place for the Groom”, “Ali Baba’s Son” and “Johnny Dark”.

Fed up, he quit his $2,000-a-week contract in 1955 and vowed not to work again unless he was offered a good role.

He moved to New York, where he found roles in theater and live television drama.

Her performances in “Days of Wine and Roses,” “The Deaf Heart” and “The Road That Led After” earned her Emmy nominations and paved the way for a return to films, including her role as Paul Newman’s troubled girlfriend. Hustler.

Years later, Laurie turned her back on acting. She married film critic Joseph Morgenstern, gave birth to a daughter named Ann Grace, and moved to a farmhouse in Woodstock, New York. She later said that the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War influenced her decision to make this change.

“I was disappointed and looking for an existence that was more meaningful to me,” he recalled, adding that he never regretted the move.

“My life was full,” he said in 1990. “I always loved using my hands and always painted.”

Laurie also became known as a baker and her recipes were published in The New York Times.

His only performance during this time was Sen. It happened when he toured college campuses with a dozen musicians and actors to support George McGovern’s 1972 presidential candidacy.

Laurie was finally ready to return to acting when director Brian De Palma contacted her about playing Sissy Spacek’s unstable mother in “Carrie.”

At first he thought the script was unimportant and then decided he should play the role for laughs. De Palma didn’t realize he meant the film was a thriller until he scolded her for adding a comedic flavor to a scene.

“Carrie” was a huge success at the box office, kicking off a craze for movies about teens in distress, and both Spacek and Laurie were nominated for Academy Awards.

With her desire to act reignited, Laurie continued her busy career spanning decades. On television, she appeared in series such as “Matlock,” “Murder, She Wrote” and “Frasier,” and played George Clooney’s mother on “ER.”

Bob Thomas, a longtime employee of The Associated Press who has now passed away, was the lead author of this obituary. Associated Press writer Hannah Fingerhut contributed from Des Moines, Iowa.

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