Susan Anspach


Susan Anspach was an American actress who made a significant impact in Hollywood during the 1970s. She was known for her captivating performances and her unique personality. Her sudden passing in 2018 left many fans and colleagues grieving, but her legacy lives on through her work and the memories she left behind.

Early Life and Career

Susan Anspach

Susan Anspach was born on November 23, 1942, in New York City. She attended high school in Scarsdale, New York, and later studied at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. After graduation, she moved to New York City to pursue a career in acting.

Her first significant role was in the off-Broadway production of “The Journey of the Fifth Horse.” She then went on to appear in numerous other productions, including “The Great White Hope” and “The Apple Tree.” Her talent and versatility soon caught the attention of Hollywood producers, and she was offered her first film role in “The Landlord” in 1970.

Five Easy Pieces and Jack Nicholson

Anspach’s breakout role came in 1970 when she played the role of Catherine Van Oost in the film “Five Easy Pieces.” Her performance was critically acclaimed, and she was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress. The film also starred Jack Nicholson, and the two became close friends and collaborators.

Anspach and Nicholson went on to star in several other films together, including “The Last Detail” and “The Fortune.” Their on-screen chemistry was undeniable, and their real-life friendship was just as strong. Anspach once said of Nicholson, “He’s one of the most intelligent and creative people I’ve ever met. He’s also one of the most loyal.”

Personal Life and Family

Anspach was married twice and had two children. Her first husband was actor Mark Goddard, and they had a son named Caleb. Her second husband was musician Sherwood Ball, and they had a son named Jack. Anspach was a devoted mother and often spoke about the joys and challenges of raising two boys as a single mother.

In 2005, Anspach was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent treatment and was declared cancer-free in 2009. However, in 2018, she passed away from coronary failure at the age of 75.

Legacy and Impact

Susan Anspach’s impact on Hollywood may have been brief, but her talent and charisma left a lasting impression on those who knew her and those who were fans of her work. Her performances in films like “Five Easy Pieces” and “Play It Again, Sam” continue to be celebrated and studied by film enthusiasts and critics.

Her legacy also lives on through her sons, Caleb and Jack, who have both pursued careers in the entertainment industry. Caleb is a writer and director, while Jack is a musician and composer.


Susan Anspach was a talented actress and a beloved friend and mother. Her contributions to Hollywood may have been brief, but they were significant. Her legacy lives on through her work and the memories she left behind, and she will always be remembered as a unique and captivating presence in the entertainment industry.


Who was Susan Anspach?

Susan Anspach was an American actress known for her roles in films such as “Five Easy Pieces,” “Blume in Love,” and “Montenegro.”

What was Susan Anspach’s career like?

Susan Anspach had a successful career in film, television, and theater. She appeared in over 70 films and TV shows, and was also a stage actress.

What were some of Susan Anspach’s most famous roles?

Susan Anspach is best known for her role as Bobby Dupea’s (Jack Nicholson) girlfriend in the 1970 film “Five Easy Pieces.” She also starred in the films “Blume in Love” and “Montenegro.”

What was Susan Anspach’s legacy?

Susan Anspach was a talented actress who left a lasting impact on the entertainment industry. She will be remembered for her memorable performances and contributions to film, television, and theater.

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